Our week has been filled with planning ahead! A peek into Spring is what I call it.
The air was starting to smell a bit like, “Spring might be around the corner,” and then we got slapped with over a foot of snow. What a doozy.
Spending the week planning was exactly what my heart needed though. A little hope for warmer months and GROWTH!
A Peek Into Spring Garden Planning
We are upping the ante this year with our gardens. By this I mean….more! We are not only going to add in several more raised beds but in addition we are going to try some new grow systems outside of the beds.
We plan to try our hand growing some new, to us, things as well. Some of this will include garlic, potatoes, collards and more. We are also going to take a shot at corn again and broccoli and cauliflower because ours did horribly last year. Also…fruit! We haven’t decided 100% what our focus will be but we know that we are dedicating an area on our property for fruit production. We are lucky enough to have wild blackberries in abundance but we want more!
Where It All Started
Something else I am excited for is our new beds! When we first purchased our house I was only slightly knowledgeable in flower gardening but I had never grown a veggie, herb or fruit in my life! So with a little encouragement from a friend gardener, and him showing up with a raised bed thrown together with some scrap wood I was in business.
That was all that it took. ONE raised bed. I was very literally hooked. I crammed way too much into that 3×6 bed. I did very little research. Just enough to get me going and looking back now I have no idea how I produced so much in that bed. It sparked curiosity and passion for gardening in my soul and I haven’t looked back since.
The next year we went to 4 raised beds and then to 8. This year we will have 11 raised beds of varying sizes and several other grow systems throughout our property. Our new beds come from lumber milled on a family members property and they will be larger and deeper. Overall just better on the eyes as well. Would you believe that we have had almost 5 successful years of growing from scrap wood and pallets turned into garden beds? We have! I tell all that it doesn’t have to be fancy to produce! You can very literally grow anywhere if you put some heart into it.
Some of the things that will happen this year on our property are exciting beyond words! We will see if they are successful or not, and we might not continue after the Spring season but taking chances in the world of gardening can sometimes provide the most abundance!
We plan to have…
- Fruit production plot including both bushes and fruit trees
- Hanging herb garden
- New and improved raised bed systems
- Inventive overflow grow areas
- Perfect a compost system
I am sure that we will brainstorm more from now until then. I have big goals for this grow season. Not only will I be growing my grow areas on the outside but I will be growing in knowledge of canning and from scratch cooking on the inside of my homestead!
Ways To Plan Ahead
There are so many ways you can better prepare yourself for an upcoming grow season. You have to dedicate time before the season starts to get your ducks in a row so that you can not only have a smooth start but also allow yourself to be as thought out for each detail. This is going to make such a difference in the successes you have. I know this from experience….
I have gone from throwing seeds in the ground to see what will happen to spending months and months preparing, planning and making adjustments to our garden plans. Each year I have more production and less waste. It is so rewarding!
So, here are a couple of ways you can plan ahead to help you be more successful this grow season..
- Lay down blueprints. Sit and draw out your beds, or garden plot and what will be growing where.
- Take time to do companion planting research. Plant your crops in a layout so that they will naturally benefit from one another.
- Check out Companion Planting Your Vegetable Gardens to get an idea on how to start companion planting.
- Plant pest deterring crops/flowers near your beds.
- Be aware of the quality of your soils. Make sure that you are using enough compost or rich soils for growing. We use nothing but natural compost, soil and fertilizers in our gardens. We use raised beds rather than direct to ground grow plots because of the rocky soil conditions of our property.
- How to Fill a Raised Garden Bed on a Budget talks about ways to fill your raised beds without breaking the bank.
- Get your starters going with enough time indoors. This doesn’t go for all vegetables but some will be more successful when started inside.
- Looking for some guidance in how to handle starters? How to Start a Vegetable Garden Indoors has all that information covered!
- See what is in your seed bank and purchase seeds ahead of time.
This year is the year for my family to really start embracing our land more. We don’t have a ton of acreage but it doesn’t matter! What we have is perfectly suitable for self reliance. Not only are we focused now more than ever on cutting costs of store bought food down but teaching our children these homestead skills is one of the most rewarding and beneficial things we can do as parents!
If you are looking for the Whalen crew this summer, we will have our hands pressed in soil and our bellies happy with homegrown food!
You Might Also Like…
- How to Create the English Gardens of Your Dreams
- DIY Stone Walkways and Wood Garden Beds
- Garden Tools: Store Bought and Upcycled!
Love, light and a little grace…
Olivia Whalen is mama to three young girls who is devoted to creative learning, exploration and free range imagination. Olivia enjoys thinking outside of the box when it comes to preparing homemade baby food or meals for her family. She most enjoys allowing the little minds in her life to flourish and with that you will see her write about creative kid crafts, recipes that fit a family budget and keep everyone asking for more, tips and tricks for a tiny babe, and beginner homesteader fun! Some of her hobbies include gardening, hiking, reading, cooking or just basking in motherhood.