Happy (ALMOST) Spring!! It's not technically Spring yet, not for another 17 days anyways, but it feels like it around our house because our seeds are germinating literally as I write this post!! Nothing gets me more excited for warm weather than putting seeds in soil! This is my first Spring in our new state, so I had to do some more specific reading + research to encourage the success of the type of homestead I'm working to create! Here are some basics to get you started if you've been tossing around the idea of starting a garden:
Do your homework
I used the old-reliable, Old Farmer's Almanac, to start looking at the details for gardening in our new area and figured out what "zone" we are considered and got more specific info, like our "last frost date" and such. It provides a guide on when to start seeds, when to transplant outdoors and when you should expect to harvest. I like that this allows me to see when I can start a Fall harvest too so that I begin thinking and planning in advance! The link provided also offers a plethora of info for planting specific to different veggies and gives amazing tips that I enjoy reading in my spare time. I took extra time to read the back of every seed envelope and the information provided on my soil pod kit (simplicity was key for me this year). My Jiffy Greenhouse Kit came with a plot planner and detailed instructions, which I appreciated! I'm a firm believer in soaking in as much information as possible when starting a new project and sincerely enjoy the research part of any new endeavor!
Make a Plan
After I did some research and felt confident in my basic knowledge on the subject, I called up my grandpa, born + raised in this area (less than 30 minutes between our homes) and told him what I planned to grow and asked his input on tips and info he's learned over the years. Based on the info collected up to this point, I made a plan for transplant. I measured, planned and discussed what I envisioned with my husband so he can start building me raised garden beds (I plan on doing one for vegetables + one for flowers since I love a fresh-cut bouquet around the house) and a trellis out back while I get my seeds to show green! I also started collecting more consistently for compost, to help give my garden every chance at success.
Don't Over-do it
Lastly, I had to remind myself not to get too zealous in my endeavors and make my dreams practical and realistic. Because having a sustainable way to provide for our family on our own land is important to us, I was willing to try a list of new vegetables I've never grown, but I cut down the list to just vegetables and flowers that I'm 100% sure we'll use. I decided that if this goes well this year, I will get more adventurous each year with what I'm willing and able to dedicate time to. I also made a plan to have my daughter help with certain tasks so that as she gets older (she's 5yo now), she can take pride in providing for our family as well!
These tips may seem like an oversimplification to the complex planning that goes into gardening in a new place, but these three basics got us started and helped keep the right mindset going into this project! We hope they are helpful to you too! Let us know what you're planting this Spring and how the process is going for you; we love hearing from you! Keep an eye on our social media accounts for more info and process posts as we wait patiently(ish) for the first pops of green sprouting!