Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring...January Addition

Now, now, don't say that I am jumping the gun!

Before we know it, we will have our last frosty morning and it will be sneezing season spring again!

So are you ready to get ready to dirty in the garden??

Alright then, I'm not so crazy! 

We need to start thinking now about getting our flower and vegetable gardens ready.  I thought I would give you some more gardening chores that you need to be thinking about now so that you will have the best garden in the neighborhood!

Finish Planning the Garden:  If you haven't already, make a list of the vegetables you want to grow.  Try some new varieties along with your old favorites.  You will need about 1/10 of acre of garden space for each family member.  It is not a bad idea to make a drawing of your garden plan.  This will give you a fill of how your garden will look.

Send in That Seed Order:  After all that planning, it's time to order your seeds!  Plan on buying enough seeds for two or three plantings to lengthen the production season.  This is especially something for Southern gardeners to be thinking about.  Most gardeners in Zone 6 and higher can get almost 9 months of planting time in their gardens.  So why not take advantage of all that time!  If you don't have any seed catalogs to order from, check out this great article.  There are tons of free seed catalogs that you can ask to be sent to your house.

 Build Up Your Soil: If you have not applied manure or compost to your garden spot before now, do so before the next snow or as soon as the snow melts.  It is really better if you can apply the manure or compost before a snow to allow the manure or compost to get into the soil properly.  You need to apply 100 pounds of manure per 1/10 acre of garden.

Take a Soil Sample:  Now is when you need to take a soil sample.  For a small fee, most county extension offices will take and analysis your sample.  This will give you a base-line as to how good or bad your soil is and what, if anything, your garden needs.  In case you do not know how to get a good soil sample, read this extension publication on how to take a proper soil sample.  If you are still unsure, call your local extension agent for help.

Canning:  Start thinking now about canning and preserving all those wonderful vegetables and fruits you are going to be harvesting.  Check the rubber seal on the pressure cooker.  Order a new one from the local hardware store or on-line.  Sometimes this seals can be hard to fine, so starting now will assure you will be ready to can the first day you pick!  You might want to look into having a seal on hand just-in-case even if your seal is in good shape.  Also check the local dollar stores, grocery stores and hardware stores for canning jars.  Now is when they are on sale.  Check thrift stores too for canning supplies.

Early Planting:  Get seed boxes ready to start your seeds.  Tomato, peppers, and eggplant can start in early February.  Get a good quality soil mix high in peat and low in bark to start your seeds in.  Ready your seeding area.  Remember that many seeds that you will be starting need to be kept warm.  A great trick is using a heating pad under your seeds to keep your soil nice and toasty (be sure to use common sense and safety measures to keep this from being a fire hazard!).

I hope you are as ready as I am about getting dirty in the garden.

If you weren't, I hope you are itching to plant now!!

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  1. I had to go read the about you, google Toccoa to find out where that way to find out how you can be talking about spring. I'm from Minnesota and of course we are 4 months from any kind of planting and more closer to 5 months. I do grow all our veggies we need for the year plus our own chicken/ducks and eggs. I have been having a blast reading the about you and all. Have to say we are a great family because my uncle in law started the first one in our area 70 years ago. But I'm not partial to either, love them all as long it makes my day easier.
    Take care and have a blessed afternoon.


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