We’re into April now and gardening season is upon us!
If you haven’t begun your gardening efforts for this season yet, don’t worry. There’s still time to get a jump on the season. But time is flying by, so if you want to maximize this year’s yield, act quickly!
These 8 tactics will get you thinking smarter about this year’s garden and DRAMATICALLY increase your results:
- Get irrigation water–If you live in a suburban or rural area, you may have access to irrigation water. Like we know, water is the life blood of your garden, and irrigation water is super cheap! Check with your city’s public works/utilities dept. to see if local irrigation is an option for you.
- Be realistic–Most of us have a HUGE “to grow” list for this season . Maximize your chances of success and say no to some crops. Doing this will allow you to concentrate on the things you really care about.
- Consider Square Foot Gardening–If you haven’t grown a “Square Foot Garden” of your own yet, make this the season! Square foot gardens are high yield and low maintenance. They involve virtually no weeding, less watering, and require minimal space. If you live in an urban or suburban area, square foot gardening is PERFECT for you. And if you do have more “square feet” to work with, it could still be the way to go. Learn more about square foot gardening here.
- Start your own compost–Part of any good garden is good compost. And BY FAR, the best compost is the compost you’ve made yourself. Compost can be made from your grass clippings, tree trimmings, vegetable scraps, eggshells and more. For more info on simple ways to start your own compost, click here.
- Begin indoors–Starting seeds indoors gives them a chance to “germinate” (or sprout) and begin growing before the outside weather is warm enough. Doing this gives you a head start on your “time to harvest” calendar. Click here for a simple way to get your seeds started indoors.
- Beware of planting too early–Don’t be fooled by those early warm days! Many a plant is destroyed by overly eager gardeners trying to transplant their indoor “starts” too soon. Give mother nature her due, and be patient until your “frost date” planting recommendations have indicated you are safe.
- Plan to save seeds–Think a step ahead of the game and plant heirloom varieties. Heirloom varieties (or open pollinated) can be saved and replanted year after year with virtually NO variation in the plant or fruit. With “hybrid” seeds on the other hand, you don’t have the same guarantee. By planting heirloom seeds now, you are laying the foundation of successful seed saving for years to come.
- Find local sources–Whenever possible, find local sources for your seeds and seedlings. Doing this increases your chances of success because you know that those varieties have already worked once in your area. Start by calling a few of your local greenhouses and nurseries. Look for one in your area that actually farms “on site”, and ask if they have heirloom seeds available for purchase. If they don’t carry everything you want, you can also purchase heirloom seeds online, but local is preferred.