14 Mar Spring Gardening Essentials
Spring Gardening Essentials
By Morgan Malone, Garden Manager
Spring is almost here and it is time to start planning your garden! Here at the Well Fed Garden, we have been busy all winter prepping our soil and planning for spring and summer planting. Here are some tips that we have learned over the years.
Healthy soil is the key to a healthy garden. Your plants will get the nutrients they need to grow into healthy fruits and vegetables from the soil. Make sure that your soil has all the essentials by getting your soil tested through the NC Agronomic Services (http://www.ncagr.gov). Healthy soil is made up of lots of living organisms. Make sure you add lots of organic matter through compost and cover cropping to keep your soil healthy.
Your plants will need water, and lots of it! It is cold now, but NC summers can be hot with little rain. Before you plant, think about where your water will come from and how will you get it to your plants. Think about ways to conserve water, such as water catchment tanks and drip irrigation. Adding natural mulch such as leaves and twigs can also help you conserve moisture in your garden bed.
What to plant:
Plant what you eat. Do you eat a lot of salad? Plant lots of greens. Do you hate tomatoes? Don’t plant tomatoes. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste – make sure you are planting what you will use. If you accidently plant too much of something, consider donating it to a local food bank that collects fresh fruits and veggies. If you have extra space in your garden bed, plant a row for the hungry with the Inter Faith Food Shuttle.
Make sure you get the most out of the growing season. Use row cover to start spring crops such as lettuce or bak choi a few weeks early. Many warm weather plants, such as tomatoes or peppers, you can start early indoors. Plant your seeds in small containers in a warm sunny spot inside. Transplant them outdoors after April 1st.
Check out this great guide through NC State University for planting dates in our region: https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/files/library/71/VegPlantingGuide.pdf