Time to Start Gardening!

I'm so excited that it is that time a year again. Time to get prepping for this years veggie garden! Yes, I know that it is mid-February and my first seeds will not be in the ground for a couple more months... Thanks for reminding me.

However, it is time to start planning out your vegetable garden for the year. Starting now will help you to have a bountiful harvest which will save you money all year long. Here is how I personally prepare for my garden.

I started by planning out my garden on paper. I use drafting paper personally. Lay out your dimensions on paper and then you know how much room you have for all your plants. Next I make a master list of all the vegetable varieties I would like to plant this year. I also pull out last year's copy of my garden layout.

Now that I have those three important things taken care of I take my handy-dandy companion plants guide out and start to figure out which plants like each other and which don't. At the same time I look to where things were planted last year. Plants are either heavy feeds, light feeders or nutrient givers. This is important information to help you from having to spend lots of money on fertilizer.

Armed with all the info I need to do my garden layout I start to layout on my paper a rough draft. It usually takes me a few stabs to get things laid out the way I want them. I take into account plant height (taller plants to the north end), which plants help each other or hurt each other, and I also try to not plant heavy feeders in the same space twice.

Once I have my master plan on paper I can then make an accurate list of seeds and plants that I need for my garden along with any special supplies I need. The biggest advantage of doing this in advance is that most seed order companies are running good deals this time of year. For instance, you can get $25 off a $50 order from at least 3 mail order seed companies that I know of. Taking advantage of these deals will help you to have an even better profit margin in your garden.

I personally have a large garden and will use all the seeds in my seed packets, but if you have a smaller space you don't have to let your extra seed go to waste or pay more for a smaller packet. All you need to do is find a gardening friend and split the cost of the seed. This allows even a small scale gardener to reap the cost savings.

Once you get your garden going and feel adventurous, try saving your seed from year to year. I personally have not done this yet but I have a couple friends who do this every year and swear by it. Neither of them have to buy seeds and they produce enough vegetables to be self sufficient. Of course you can always start your own plants inside with a grow light or in a mini-green house. I've tried this twice and failed both times. For now I'll stick with seed and starter plants for tomatoes and peppers.

Are you starting to prepare for your garden? Do you have any good prep tips to share with other gardeners?


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