While we finished up the last snow of the season (hopefully!) last week, I’m now thinking spring. Our grass is getting greener, new spring shoots are arising out of our landscape and I’m excited to plant some vegetables soon with my kids. Maybe you are thinking of starting a garden this year or maybe you have been doing one for a few years now. Either way, it helps to have a simple checklist to begin organizing the family garden before it gets too late in the season!
Here’s a few things you can start doing now, especially if you live in the northern Midwest states.
- Decide on the idea of what your garden will be used for – herbs, fruits, vegetables, flower. What’s your garden’s purpose?
- Do a soil test by collecting soil from 3-5 areas of your garden and mix them together. Communicate with your local county/state extension service on how to get an accurate test. Testing your soil is really valuable to help prevent nutrient deficiencies and maintain a healthy and productive garden!
- Create a list of all the fruits and vegetables your family is interested in planting. Include your kids on this brainstorming discussion.
- Design the garden using graphing paper and create the layout you wish to pursue. (Or try Lego’s as your garden design tool!)
- Plot and plan where the plants will grow.
- Stop by local garden nurseries to get ideas, pick up either seeds or even seedlings to prepare for planting.
- Gather and clean all your gardening tools with soapy water, let them air dry. This helps prevent disease transfer from the previous season.
- Start some seeds indoors (tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) about 4-5 weeks before you intend to plant outside – knowing the last frost date in your area really helps. Here’s a helpful link to find that information: https://www.burpee.com/findgrowzone
What else do you do to get your garden ready? Leave a note in the comments!