Now is the time to start thinking about what you’ll be growing this year, which is why we want to offer these tips for planning your spring garden.
- Look back to last year
Make a mental review of last year’s garden. Were your plants healthy and productive? If not, research ways to deal with problems that might have plagued your garden last year: pests, weather conditions, disease, and insects.
- Send away for catalogues, or connect online
It may be too cold for your garden, but you can fend off the winter blues during the darkest days of the year by going online to connect with other gardeners, or by sending away for catalogues to read up on this year’s planting possibilities.
- Try something new this year
This could be a vegetable that you’ve never had, or one that you think might become an acquired taste. Or you could try growing an herb. Fresh basil, thyme or oregano will give your meals a flavor that store bought herbs could never hope to match. And you can preserve these herbs to use year round, thus saving you money on dried herbs. We carry a variety of seeds that allow you to produce an abundance of different plants including herbs, flowers and vegetables.
- Plan for varieties that might take longer to grow
Remember that not every plant grows at the same rate. Biennial and perennial flowers need an early start. Container grown plants can go in the ground as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Be sure to research the growing season for each vegetable before you plant.
- Consider companion planting
Gardeners use companion planting to boost production and save space by planting two vegetables in the same spot. According to the Penn State Extension, some common companions include:
- Beans with cucumbers
- Beets with lettuce, cabbage or onions
- Carrots with tomatoes, peas or radishes
- Corn with pumpkins, potatoes or beans.
But not every vegetable is companionable. Avoid putting onions with peas, or corn with tomatoes, or dill in the same plot with carrots.
- Know your nutrients
Another Penn State Extension tip: the different vegetables we grow need different levels of nutrients in the soil to capitalize on their success. You may need to fertilize your vegetable beds to ensure the proper amount of nutrients are prevalent in the soil. It’s also a good idea to conduct a pH test in your soil to ensure the nutrients will hold. A vegetable garden should have a pH of 6.5.
- Don’t garden alone
Gardening is good way to relax on your own, but it can also be gratifying when you involve others. This year, try to involve your kids, grandkids or other loved ones. And if you grow more vegetables than you can eat, share them with your neighbors, or with your community’s food bank.
We hope this year’s planting season is a rewarding one. If you have more questions about planning your spring garden, contact Mendham Garden Center NJ.
For more than 50 years, we’ve been helping central New Jersey gardeners grow their best. Good luck this spring!