Yes, it is time to start planning your garden. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or decided that this is your year, it is time to get out paper, pen, and pencil to figure out what you plan to grow. So, where you should you start?
1) A good first step is the National Gardening Association and their Zone Finder site. Knowing what zone you are in will help you determine what grows well in your area and when you should plan your planting and harvesting.
2) Next you want to determine how large an area you can set-aside for your garden or you may decide to do a container garden (the NGA has a few how-to videos). For those with a plot of land set aside, will you need fencing to keep out wildlife or are you opening a free all-you-can-eat buffet? How far is the garden from your watering source? Determining your garden size is helpful in planning because it will help you in your seed selection.
3) Seed Catalogs – of course, you can skip this and buy the seedlings from your local nursery but it is such a fun step and honestly most local nurseries don’t offer the varieties that a seed catalog will give you. I am in Zone 6 and in the Mid-Atlantic and order my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. All of their seeds have been tested in my region and they have many heirloom varieties. Of course, you can order from some of the larger and more well-known seed producers but there are some wonderful varieties out there that have been grown for generations that need preserving, for more information check here. Seed Catalogs can be overwhelming but don’t give up…think about some basics – what does my family like to eat – this is the easiest way to come up with some crop selections.
4) Mapping out – once you have decided upon how much space you will have and what you will grow, you need to map out where things will go in the garden – I will provide more on this step in the coming weeks.
Are you ready to start growing your own food?