Although looking out the window today it may not look much like spring, but the fact remains that spring is just around the corner. Think back to last year and all those “next year we’re going to…” and get going on them! In some parts of the country it’s already time to start seedlings indoors, in others you may have to wait a couple more weeks, but have you inventoried your seeds and ordered any new ones you might need? Are you going to grow in buckets or raised beds or maybe a new garden spot? Think about what were your successes last year and what failed and how you may address those issues.
We surprisingly (and quite by accident) had good success growing corn in plastic bins, we plan to add a LOT more bins for this. Jalapeno peppers went so crazy that we put away enough for several years so they are off the list this year. Tomatoes and bell peppers produced well, but we could have used more so we will add additional space for them. Green beans were grown in rotation, planting every 6 weeks to extend the growing season. This worked really well as we had plenty to eat, but only enough to freeze a couple of pounds. This year we will continue the rotation, but add more space to increase the amount we can preserve. We planted 6 fruit trees (2 apple, 4 peach) last year and depending on how they come back we plan to add more. Our biggest failure was melons; planted lots of melons harvested zero. Just as they would begin to ripen the raccoons (we assume it was raccoons) would harvest them for their own enjoyment. We haven’t worked out the fix for this one yet, will keep you posted. Last year we used 6 raised beds, 3 garden spots, and over 50 buckets for our garden, this year we plan to add 2 more raised beds and nearly double the amount of buckets.
Regardless of what you did last year, you can always do better. Maybe you had a huge garden, do you need more? Maybe you just had one little lonely tomato plant in the window, so, how about two? Fresh is better; tastes better, better for you and saves on those grocery bills. If you want to be more self sufficient, what better way than growing at least some of your own food!
Finally, grow as much from seed as possible. Why spend $3.59 for a tomato plant at Home Depot when you can get a pack of non-GMO seeds for $1.95 and grow 250 seedlings? Yes it’s more work, but the benefit is obvious – and save your seeds!
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.