Grow a Great Garden Posted on 29 Dec 18:15 , 0 comments
At Mary's Heirloom Seeds, our goal has always been to help people grow the healthiest garden using heirloom seeds.
Between our free planting guides and youtube videos, we have enough information to help you get started. Sometimes, the getting started part can be a bit overwhelming but we hope this gets you started in the right direction.
Starting a garden from scratch or expanding your garden is super exciting! Before you get started however, there are a few things to consider and "prep."
1. Determine the best time to plant
2. Pick the right spot
3. Prep your chosen spot
4. Plant Seeds!
Let's get started!
Determine the best time to plant...
We offer 2 different planting guides to help you decide when and what to plant. Before you use these guides, find your First and Last frost dates. Your last frost date will be your Spring planting guide and your first frost date will be your Fall guide. Depending on your region, you might be planting indoors 4 to 12 weeks prior to your last frost date.
Our planting guides:
If you are in a warmer climate such as Florida, you might be growing year round. However, your major planting times are between October and February.
If you are in colder climates, you might consider starting seeds indoors to get a headstart on Spring planting.
If you are new to gardening, you might consider planting easier varieties.
If you use one of our planting guides then check out "easy" guide. You should have a great starting point to determining when to start your seeds.
Pick the Right Spot
Now that you've determined when to plant, we need to find the right spot. Most veggies need 8 hours of sunlight to thrive. However, some greens only need 4 hours for a decent harvest.
It is important to pick a spot that has good soil. Otherwise, a good spot for raised beds. If you have gophers, moles or voles, growing in raised beds is an excellent option.
A water source is another important factor in choosing the right spot for your garden. If you have to haul water, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain your garden.
A healthy garden also needs good drainage. If you are limited to a specific spot for your garden and it floods or does not drain very well, it would be a good idea to build up and/or use raised beds.
Prep Your Chosen Spot
If you are using raised beds, we have a recipe for soil... Soil Recipes for Raised Beds
If you are growing in containers, we have a recipe for soil... DIY Potting Soil Mix
If you are starting a garden in a new spot, you might want to have your soil tested first to see what nutrients you might be lacking. A good all around soil amendment (and my favorite) is Mountain Flower Root Boost. It contains macro and micro nutrients to help your plants grow healthy.
If you are using a spot that is overgrown with grass or weeds, a little extra planning is involved. DO NOT treat with weed-killer prior to planting or you are potentially contaminating your future garden space. Anything that kills weeds will kill your garden. Laying down cardboard for a few months to kill the grass is an inexpensive, eco-friendly option.
DON'T GET OVERWHELMED! I know, that's not one of the steps but it's still very important. Starting a garden can be as simple as planting in a bucket or barrel. Or, it can be planting an acre or more. Whatever you decide, it is important to not get overwhelmed and have fun.
Before you plant those seeds, start by choosing crops that you know you'll enjoy and maybe add a few that you've never tried. I love greens. Seriously, there are no greens that I don't like. Check this out...
Before you plant those seeds, check out our article The Wonder of Seeds and Germination. Most of your every day veggies don't need any special treatment in order to germinate. Soil temp, water and light are important factors to successful germination.
If you are seed starting indoors, you might need to prep a few days/weeks in advance.
Seed planting depth is another important factor discussed in The Wonder of Seeds and Germination.
Seed/plant spacing is important to take into consideration if you are transplanting or planting seeds. We have 2 guides to help you determine how/where to plant
Patience is one factor not mentioned in most seed starting articles. I often say "It's a garden not a microwave." We must have patience in the garden because nothing is instant.
Growing a Great Garden is a labor of love and requires a bit of work but the rewards are amazing. Below you will find a massive amount of information to help you grow a GREAT garden. As always, if you have questions I am happy to help!
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