Garden centers are bringing in pallets of soil and compost, setting up seed racks with brightly colored veggies and colorful flower packets; all while our fruit trees lie dormant outside, restoring themselves so they will be ready to burst into spring once Mother Nature turns the thermometer up. The exciting, anticipatory energy reminds me of being a kid on Christmas Eve.
Note: This fig tree produced nearly 10,000 figs last year! Get inspired and hear more about this trees story in this youtube video.
It is during these grey-skied, cold, darker months, that we have the perfect opportunity to dream and plan for a bountiful garden later this year. Let's take a look at some ideas on how to do this, shall we?
1. First, we need to decide where we want this garden-a planter on an apartment terrace, a section of the backyard or maybe as part of a community garden we would like to join.
2. For those who are novices, it is important to identify the amount of light we have to grow a garden and what growing zone we are in. Knowing our growing zone will allow us to identify plants that best grow where we live. It also helps to identify a watering source. Keeping your garden near water, whether it is from a hose, watering can or water barrel, will make it easier to nurture your garden on hot days.
3. Start dreaming. What would you most enjoy growing this year? Would you love to grow flowers that you can cut and create floral arrangements with? Or, would you prefer to grow a variety of herbs to add to culinary delightful meals or to make teas with? Perhaps growing some of your own food is on your list; juicy, sweet tomatoes picked right from the vine, snap peas that crunch in your mouth, or maybe a variety of leafy greens to create healthy salads with? The possibilities are endless!
4. Identify the supplies you will need. Do you need something to plant in, or wood to make a raised bed? Gloves, shovels, and maybe a garden apron or old, comfy shirt you don't mind getting dirty. Soil, compost and mulch are on many gardeners’ lists.
5. Create a garden journal. This can be as simple as a notebook or maybe you want to purchase a pretty, flower-covered journal, to write down your ideas, wish list, and eventually jot down what you plant and where. I found this last tip helpful, as I tend to get exuberant with seed planting, but then forget what I planted, where, LOL.
No matter how seasoned a gardener you are, even those with brown thumbs, we all can grow something. In fact, we created a year-long series of plant growing tips, information and resources, in partnership with The Nurse Farmer™, LLC, to help everyone discover the joy of plant growing and help them do it successfully. It's free, check it out: Healthy Green Thumbs™.
What are you excited to grow this year? Do you have questions? We would love to try and help you. Let us know in the comments below.