Every gardener begins to feel the itch when the first warm spring days emerge in March. The sunlight holds the promise of the ever increasing growing season that is just around the corner. During those early spring days the gardener begins to plan the perfect garden.
Garden preparations begin in March in most locations that suffer cold winters. Here are ten tips to help anyone prepare for the upcoming garden season.
1) Choose a location that offers full sunlight. Virtually all garden vegetables require six to eight hours of sunlight per day to grow well.
2) Lay out the garden plot by pounding stakes into the ground and stretching string. Take into consideration exactly which vegetables will be planted and the space they will require when fully grown. Some vegetables require ample space. Rhubarb grows quite large, beans often need poles to climb and watermelons spread out across the garden soil in large mounds.
3) Till the soil deeply. Remove all weeds and discard.
4) Mix ample compost into the soil to add abundant organic matter so that the vegetable plants flourish. Use peat moss, sawdust, aged manure, leaf debris and compost to help build up the soil.
5) Till the organic matter into the soil. Mix 5-10-10 granulated fertilizer at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet of garden space. Water the soil to help dissolve the fertilizer or apply it right before a rain storm.
6) Use a soil pH test to test the soil prior to planting. Most garden vegetables enjoy a soil pH between 6.5 and 7.0.
7) Determine which vegetables will be planted and when. Many vegetable varieties do well when planted as transplants. This enables the gardener to start the plants indoors six to ten weeks prior to the last expected frost.
8) Harden the transplants off prior to planting them within the garden by setting them outside during the day. Be sure to bring them indoors during the cold nights. Overtime the plants will become adjusted to the outdoor conditions and can be easily transplanted into the garden spot for growth.
9) Look over the garden tools prior to planting. Replace any that are in need of replacement and sharpen any that have grown dull. Organize the garden sheds so everything is handy and ready.
10) Purchase seeds early. The best seeds go fast. Most mail order seed catalogs and online companies accept advance seed orders and they will ship the seeds when the weather is correct for the region.
These ten tips will help anyone prepare for the spring gardening season.