March & April Planting Guides: Need to Know Information!
I never imagined that when I offered monthly planting guides, I would receive such a positive response! With 2020 behind us, we are ready to move on, but it left many searching for food security. Suddenly, the way that our great and even grandparents lived on their self-sufficient homesteads started to make a lot of sense. Now I don't expect you to want to homestead fully; that's not the life for everyone. But growing some of your food at home will have lasting impacts on you and your family more than you can imagine! Studies show that connecting to nature and the act of producing your food helps to improve physical, mental, and emotional health. You also don't have to know everything before you get started. The essential thing is to take the first step, and that is what you are doing!
Basic things to know before you start: Confession, my very first garden was a complete failure! My second one wasn't all that hot either. Finally, on the third attempt (and with three gardening books that my husband got me for Christmas so I wouldn't kill anything anymore, lol), I was successful!
The knowledge I'm sharing is what I've learned over the past years through research, reading, and trial and era. Remember, my experience is in growing zone 7b, but the following is general for all growers everywhere. As I've said before, you can not put a seed in the ground; walk-off and expect it to grow. All of the following information are things that you NEED to know if you want to be successful!
Growing Zones & Frost Dates: You need to research your growing zone and frost date. Each one is specific to where you live. If you live above or below my growing zone, you can still use the W.W. Growing Guides. You will just need to adjust by two-three weeks ahead (below me) or behind (above me). I've addressed this in a past W.W. blog. Here is the link:
You can also find it on the Facebook Group!
Research Your Plants: The plants I have listed have worked well for me in these months (again, know your growing zone). You will have to research each plant as a gardener and learn its specific seeding and growing needs.
Tip: Only grow things you know your family will eat. One mistake that first-time gardeners make is producing a bunch of veggies their family will not eat. Then you are left with a ton of yellow squash that they don't want to eat. Introduce new veggies and flavors after you've grown the veggies you know your family will love.
Don't Over By Seeds: Seeds go a long way! So, it is not necessary to buy five packs of one veggie. Start with one package and go from there.
Last year people were panic buying seeds at a rapid pace that shocked us, long-time buyers. I suspect that many were purchased that didn't and won't ever get used. Once you get the rhythm of growing, you will know how many seeds you'll need each year to feed your family. You may even start saving your seeds for the next. I don't buy lima or blackeyed pea seeds anymore because I've learned to save and store them myself.
Good Soil: If you plant a seed in clay, don't expect it to grow! You have to have a good foundation for your plants to grow well. Soil mixtures will be different if you are planting directly into the ground or are planting in a raised bed. I discuss this on the YouTube channel in several videos. Here is the link to the video (I apologize for the poor sound on some of it, it was one of my first videos):
Here is a past blog about raise bed garden boxes:
Intuitive Gardening: What is that?
Intuitive gardening is observing your garden and using your common sense to make decisions. As your experience grows, so will your ability to practice intuitive gardening. So, how do you start?
Questions to ask yourself to start with: How does the sun come across the sky in my location? How much is my garden protected from the wind? What animals could get in my garden? What will the weather be like this week? (There is a reason that our grandparents always knew what was going on with the weather!) Do I have a way to water the garden?
I hope this has helped you to start planning your garden! I will be posting more detailed blogs about the topics featured above and other helpful things to help you grow in your garden journey.
Keep growing on,