It is that time of year again when organic gardening time is upon us. Sacramento is experiencing mild Spring like temperatures, which makes this the best time to get your garden plan underway. Here are five chores that you should do this weekend as you prepare your organic garden for Spring and Summer Crops.
Step 1: Choose your seeds.
As you are planning your Sacramento organic garden, choose organic seeds. Be sure the seeds you order are from a certified organic seed company and not one that uses GMO or genetically modified seeds. Seed packs should clearly state Non-GMO. Your choice of seeds is going to depend on your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone.
Step 2: Prepare your soil.
The recent rains and all of this beautiful sunshine are making right now a great time to prepare your soil. Start by tilling the soil, or using a shovel to break up the earth. If you your soil is really clumpy, then add the right amendments, such as organic compost. If your soil is really wet and moist, consider adding in clean sand. The perfect soil will depend on what kind of plants you want to grow in your garden.
Step 3: Care for your tools.
Before you begin organic gardening, make sure your tools are up to the task at hand. Tune up that rototiller, if you have one. Make sure to sharpen shovels, pruners and hoes. Check all of the handles on your garden tools for a tight fit and wood that is free of splinters. Making sure that all of your tools are up to par will make your organic garden chores a lot easier.
Step 4: Make a garden calendar.
Plan out your organic garden, by determining when you will need to weed, water, and harvest different vegetables. Knowing when the harvest dates are for what you plant will allow you to better plan successive crops. For example, if you know that your garlic is going to be harvested by mid July, in May you can start new plants that will be planted where the garlic had been. This will save you 4-6 weeks of growing time because the two crops overlapped.
Step 5: Enjoy your garden.
The enjoyment of an organic garden is one the best parts of organic gardening! Get outside, shake Winter off by enjoying the sun. Cleaning up and preparing your garden is a good way to help start up that Summer minded metabolism too. Choosing seeds, and planning your crops can also be an important part of sticking to those New Year's resolutions to be healthier and fit. For new gardeners, think about joining a community garden. There are many gardeners there that will help you learn the tricks of the trade.
Map it out!
Plotting out plant space and growing times can help you to maximize the yield of your organic garden. Plants also grow better when not crowded. Proper plant spacing lets you get the most out of the garden.
Don't forget the Flowers
Flowers attract pollinators and pollinators will help your plants to produce the most fruit possible. Flowers like Sunflowers also help to provide shade for those plants that do not like 12 hours of full sun. Peppers are one such plant that likes a little shade.
Sharpen those tool
Sharpen tools like shovels, hoes, and pruners so that you do not have to work as hard. make sure to check the handles. Sometimes soaking a tool in a bucket of water will cause the handle to swell up forming a tight fit.
Plan your organic garden based on consumption
Plan how much of a crop you need and then plant a little bit more. It is always good to share extra food with the local food bank or with your neighbors.
Amend soil when needed
Organic compost is a wonderful way to boost the productivity of your garden. Compost is easy to create using just a little time and water.
Gardens can be for more than just food production. Enjoy the bounty of your garden with fresh cut flowers. Take them to work or just use them around your home. Either way you will get more enjoyment from your garden with flowers.
Growing herbs that you use in your own cooking is a wonderful way to save money on grocery bills, and to increase the flavor of foods. Herbs are easy to grown and they often help to to keep pests away.
In smaller garden spaces, you can grow plants vertically. This will help you to increase the amount of plants that you can grow. Vertical gardens are awesome to look at, and they often have a higher production.
Prepare now for later
The work you do in your garden now will pay off later when your plants start to produce fruits. Soil that is healthy, full of nutrients, and organic matter will not only retain moisture but will help your plants to flourish.
Bees, Flowers, and Enjoyment
Flowers offer a great many positive aspects to gardening. They are not only beautiful, but also beneficial. Flowers help you to enjoy your garden and are the perfect example of the reward you get for working in your garden.
Clean it up!
A tidy garden is free of pests. Pests like to have a place to hide. Weeds, stepping stones, etc, are all places where pests can hide. Keeping your garden clean and tidy is a great way to prevent pest problems.
Think about the Children
Gardening with children is a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Thornless berries make a great haven for kids. Strawberries, and other fruit are fun to grow and kids love them.