As we head into 2022, this is the perfect time to plan your home garden! Here’s all you need to know about how to start a home garden and keep it up year-round! Our gardens are cultivated to bring our clients beautiful blooms that are local and sustainable for the wedding season. While our gardens are on a larger scale, the same planting tips apply, and we hope that no matter the size of your garden, you find some helpful tips for planting. We also include tips about fruits and vegetables in case that is the focus of your garden for the season.
Spring Is Sprung
Mid-March through mid-June is really when things start hopping. The thing to note here is that the danger of frost has not passed even into June. Be prepared to protect anything you’ve taken from seedlings into your home garden. If you grew a cover crop over the winter, this is the time to start by mowing it down and patting yourself on the back for feeding the soil!
March–This is when your seedlings are really starting to show their stuff, but it’s not too late to get them started either. Seedling transplants make a great way to choose exactly what you want to grow. It’s also a great time to fertilize your bed with at least one thin layer of compost mulch with organic nutrients for feeding.
April–It’s still too early to safely plant your seedlings or nursery plants in the ground. You can get the beds ready by pulling as many weeds as you can before planting and consider gardening cloth to prevent them from popping up. This is when you want to add fertilizer, compost, and lime to your beds to feed the soil.
May–It can get chilly still, so be prepared to cover plants you transfer due to frost. Still, now is when you want to start thinking about planting your warm-season vegetables. If they were seedlings or from a greenhouse, they’d likely do okay. Keep watch for temperatures and weeds, as well as animals chewing and pulling seedlings out.
June–You’ll probably see growth, which means you may see insects starting to make their rounds. Keep an eye out for fungus on your fruits, as well as make sure you’re feeding your soil regularly and keeping any pop-out weeds away. If you’re growing tomatoes, cucumbers, or squash, be sure they have cages/vining opportunities for the best growth.
July–Things look lean and green, don’t they? You can still be planting some salad crops in your home garden, and be sure that you’re regularly harvesting as they grow to keep all plants productive. If you planted barry plants, give them some fish emulsion or liquid kelp (strange, we know, but it works!), and if you’re thinking of sowing cool-season crops? This is the time to go ahead and place directly in the soil. Watch for disease and fungus, and make sure you are watering well (particularly for containers and hanging plants).
August–The key to August gardening is to make sure you water well enough to quench your plants but not create mold or mosquito magnets. You should see lots of growth, and you’ll want to continue harvesting as growth occurs for best productivity, as well as making sure there are no insect infestations and they’re getting their best water. It’s true–water in the early morning or evening when the sun is down for the best hydration for your plants.
September–The days are just beautiful, and your garden agrees. This is when you’re going to want to pick and/or store those winter squashes, tomatoes, and herbs. It’s a great time to begin thinking about cover crops. They’ll enhance your soil over the winter and help bring pollinators while they add nutrient-dense organic matter to the soil. Consider grasses, legumes, blends, or clovers as they’ll all add life-giving nitrogen back for spring planting.
October–Continue harvesting as your garden produces. Prune plants back as they’re in their final days, and this can bring you the best last day’s produce. Consider planting bulbs or garlic for next summer’s harvest and take advantage of still-warmed sun and rain before cleanup of the garden comes.
November–The time has come to say goodbye to your summer garden, but that doesn’t mean there’s still no work to be done. Take the time to cut back spent flowers and remove plants and rake out your garden beds. This is a great time to start a compost pile as well for next spring’s planting season. Consider adding a layer of organic mulching (unless you’ve planted cover crop) and make sure all your garden supplies and tools are cleaned, oiled, and ready for winter storage.
Winter Comes, But Just For A Season
December–It’s hard to believe it’s already December, but this is a great time to work on what you’ll be doing in the spring. If you aren’t planting cover crops, you can mulch your garden beds in, and be sure to look at the seeds/plants you’ll want to start in January and February.
January--Birds are great for gardens, so this is a great time to provide them with nectar, seed, and suet to stay healthy. The more pollinators you have, the better. If you’ve got any weeds growing, take care of them now so you won’t have to worry about them later.
February–You may have days where you can get out there and get rid of yard and winter debris. If you have anything you don’t want to grow in the garden, get it out now before it seeds, and it’s impossible to get out. Buy and/or start planting seeds if you’re planning to transplant in May/June, and keep an eye out for slugs. The babies are hatching right now, and they’re NOT good for your garden!
It’s at this time of year you may not believe how soon the growing season will be here because winter drags on, but remember, it’s only for a season, and then it’ll be time to start right back on the gardening bicycle again!