Harvesting and Storing Seeds
As the growing season winds down, it’s good to reflect on what you learned this year and what you would like to grow in the future. If you have a variety that you enjoyed and would like to plant again, now is the perfect time to harvest and store seeds for next year. Since store bought seeds can be expensive, keeping seeds from this year’s harvest is a great way to save money. Seed saving is fun, and the seeds can last a long time if stored properly!
Some people become inspired to plant a garden only once the sun comes out and tulips begin to pop out of the ground. Others stare at the snow drifts covering their yard in February and wish that they could be mucking about in the soil then and there. If you live in a place with four seasons, winter is a time for you, and your garden, to rest. But if you are feeling the itch to start planning your garden as soon as possible, the good news is that there are a lot of tasks that you can cross off your list while winter is still around!
Preparing Your Garden for Winter
As the trees begin to change color and the autumn frost date approaches, you might be sad (or relieved) that gardening season is coming to a close. Once you've harvested everything, it's easy to just leave your garden to be covered with snow over the winter. However, doing a bit of fall clean up goes a long way in setting your garden up for success and even saving you time and effort next year.
Watering Your Garden
Your garden plants need water at every stage of their growth. However, when the weather gets hot and your plants start to produce fruit, it's especially important to make sure that they are getting enough water. A large percentage of fruits and vegetables is water, and without it your plants can become water stressed, which stunts growth and decreases yields. There is a right way and a wrong way to water, though. Watering properly will help to prevent disease and ensure a harvest of large, healthy fruits and vegetables.
Weeding Best Practices
Every garden has weeds. These irritating plants compete with your fruits and vegetables for water, nutrients, and sunlight, so it's important to keep them to a minimum. Successfully managing garden weeds often requires a multi-pronged approach.
Managing Pests and Diseases
One of the unfortunate realities of growing food is that there is a multitude of diseases and pests which can devastate your garden if left unchecked. To protect the results of your hard work, you will need to take proactive steps to prevent and treat any problems as soon as they arise.
As your plants grow, it’s important to check them often for signs of damage. Each pest or infection leaves visual clues which will help you identify the source of the problem. Prevention and early intervention are key to saving a plant that is under attack! Let’s explore some common culprits of plant damage and what you can do to combat them.
The moment you've been waiting for so long is finally here: your in-ground or raised bed is ready, you've hardened off your seedlings, and now it's time to transplant them outdoors! Use the following tips when transplanting to give your seedlings a better chance of survival.
Preparing In-Ground Beds
If you will be growing your garden in an in-ground bed, you need to do some soil preparation before planting. There are a few different ways to create an in-ground bed, depending on the tools and materials you have access to.
Hardening Off Seedlings
Once the spring frost date for your area has passed and the weather begins to warm up, it’s time to prepare to plant your garden. If you started seeds indoors, you will need to harden off your seedlings before transplanting them outside.
Planning Your Garden Layout
While you might be tempted to get outside and start planting as soon as the weather allows, you should first sit down and plan your garden out a bit. Creating a good garden layout will pay off big time in the long run.