PLANNING YOUR SPRING-SUMMER VEGETABLE GARDEN
Can you believe it is Spring already! Where has this year gone?
I don’t know about you, but I am glad that Spring is here, which means warmer weather is on the way. No more cold, wet days. It is hard to do a lot outside in the winter and no matter how I try to keep myself healthy over, I always end up with a bad cold or the flu. And I’m over it!
Okay, enough of my whinging. I have to say I am very proud of my garden and how it has progressed over the winter. I managed to get rid of all the weeds, compost it and then divide it into lots. I planted some vegetables that can grow well in cooler weather. Although, my garden is in a very shaded area, I have managed to get things growing and soon we will be reaping the rewards. I have got carrots, parsnips, cos lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, onions and beetroot. Some of my spinach didn’t fare so well (one lot failed) and as for the cauliflower, I am going to say that the seeds were a dud batch. We are already using the cos and some of the spinach, and soon we will be able to harvest the other vegetables. So now it is time to plan for the Spring-Summer season.
The first thing that needs to be done is to fertilise the garden. Early spring is the best time of the year to give everything a good feed. Some citrus should be coming to an end and will need a good amount of fertiliser. Remember to give them citrus specific fertiliser. With other plants you can place compost around the base of plants to act like a mulch or simply dig it in. Spread organic slow-release or pelletised fertiliser over your garden. As this breaks down, it will be absorbed into the soil and used to fuel the growth of your plants, which will start flowering soon.
Time to clean up the garden
Over the winter, many twigs, branches and leaves will have fallen. So now that the weather is warmer it means it is time for you to go outside and tidy up. Prune dead wood from trees and bushes, and clip any plants that have already bloomed to encourage new growth. Tidy up any shrubs and perennials and remove spent flowers. Remove weeds and then mulch your garden beds with an organic mulch or compost. It is best to keep mulch to a 5mm depth. Repot any plants that have grown too large for their pots. Ensure they go into a pot that is a bigger pot, with fresh potting mix.
Early spring is a great time to plant vegetables, especially if there are no more frosts expected. Plant seedlings directly into soil that has been prepared (compost mixed in at least 1 week before planting). Even consider planting some herbs or some summer salad vegetables in pots, if space is limiting. Brighten up the garden and encourage pollinators to visit by planting some flowers. Not only will the add a splash of colour, with some flowers you might be lucky enough to smell a beautiful fragrance. Now is the time for flowers like pansies, petunia, phlox and impatiens.
Just like the post I wrote about Autumn-Winter planning, I have used the guide from the ABCs Organic Gardener. You might find it useful. http://bit.ly/2bR7Bi0
If you live elsewhere in the world, some good resources are:
Ireland - from Teagasc. http://bit.ly/2bQr4kF Refer to pages 138 -139
U.K. - from the Royal Horticultural society http://bit.ly/1Q3NmX1
U.S.A - from Urban Farmers http://bit.ly/1MUKTja.
Also, for USA, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand have a look at Gardenate http://www.gardenate.com/zones. It caters for the different climates in the different regions.
Hope this gives you the start you need to go gardening this Spring. Love to hear what you are growing this season. Please comment below.
Have an earthly passionate time gardening
Attracta & the team