Time to start planning on the Spring Garden

gardening veg

The seed catalogs are already flooding our mailbox. This is the time of year my husband, the master gardener, starts planning for this year’s crops (meaning our vegetable garden which I swear is as big as a football field). If you’ve never gardened before, there’s always a first and its one that will bring you nothing but satisfaction with homegrown produce as well as the added benefit of exercise thru weeding!!!

If this is your first time to plant a garden and you only have limited space availability, you might consider starting small until you get the hang of everything. I know many people who have small gardens, such as several 1/2 whiskey barrels filled with dirt, yet get all they can handle in the way of produce as well as some to share with others. With the correct growing conditions, your plants will most likely be very prolific.

The seed catalogs are an educational process in themselves; learning about each plant; which zone it grows well in, how much sun the plants like etc. Your local garden stores are also a wealth of information. Make a list of what produce you use the most of during the spring/summer/fall then read what is recommended for your areas etc. We enjoy the tender young greens/arugula, pea pods and radishes in the spring, more greens, fava beans, green beans, cucumbers in the early summer, then, yummy tomatoes of all varieties, as well as peppers, eggplants, squash of all varieties, melons, corn, etc in late summer. We’re also blessed with fresh herbs most of the year.

There is nothing like walking out to your garden, whatever size it may be, and picking what you need for dinner. It’s a family project in our house. The raging vegetable of the season is usually what our meals are planned around, which in itself, teaches you how to be flexible and creative with your meal planning. In addition to meal planning, you can also take local classes or self teach yourself how to preserve food. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist and the rewards are huge.

If you have small children, gardening is also a great tool for teaching them good work ethics as well as discipline. It’s also a great educational tool in learning about the growing of plants; watching the seeds evolve from little seedlings into producing vegetables for harvesting. When I was small, we had to spend an hour a day in the garden helping in whatever way was needed. Once we were done, we were free to go about our own business. Because of that time spent in the garden as a child, I’ve now experienced the full circle, with gardening now a big part of my current life.

Lastly, need I remind you, budgeting will be a little easier without the costs of having to buy expensive produce, which isĀ  much fresher that what you get from the stores. If you aren’t able to garden for whatever reason and fortunate to live in an area where they is abundant truck gardening and farmers markets, you have alternate sources for fresher produce.What do you have to lose, other than time and a few packages of seeds/dirt? Give it a try ya’ll, as it gives back in so many ways!!!

 

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