March 13th, 2012

5 Spring Gardening Tips

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Groovy Green Livin Spring Gardening Tips

Gardening is top priority this year. Over the years I have been very diligent about planting a garden each spring with my three boys. Working together to create a vegetable garden has always been an incredibly rewarding process. One of my missions as a parent is to help my children understand that there’s a connection between the food they eat and the earth that grows their food. A garden is a perfect place for that lesson.

organic tomato plantNot much can compare to watching children tirelessly dig and craft a garden. However, after 6 years of this gardening ritual we gave it up. Our garden space was growing smaller and smaller each year as the trees grew in and the sunlight decreased.  I was also finding it difficult to find the time to make our garden work.

Last year was our first year without a garden and we all really missed it. So this year the plan is to bring our garden is back and make it the best one yet.

Gardening in the Spring

If you are interested in planting a garden here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Scout out the perfect spot. I’m going to need a new spot this year. Sunlight is one of the most important elements in growing a vegetable garden. Most vegetables need an average of 6 hours of sunlight.  Your local climate will dictate which plants will grow well in your garden.
  2. Test your soil. Different types of vegetables require different types of soil. You can buy an inexpensive kit to test the PH of your soil. Once you have tested the soil you can determine what’s needed to enrich your soil. Having quality soil in place will help your garden grow.
  3. Use compost. Create a compost pile or use what you already have. Compost piles provide excellent nutrients for your garden soil. They also are a great spot for dumping your banana peels, grass clippings and apple cores.
  4. Buy organic seeds. Try to avoid buying conventional seeds since chances are those seeds came from a genetically modified crop. There’s also a good chance that conventional seeds were sprayed with pesticides while growing on the parent plant. If it’s too chilly out to plant consider starting your seeds indoors.
  5. Have fun! Turn gardening into a family affair.  Your garden doesn’t need to be perfect- enjoy what it has to offer.

Looking for a few more ideas to make gardening a fun event with your baby? Healthy Child Healthy World has a few extra tips.

Are you going to plant a garden this year? What tips do you have?

Photo © DLeonis – Fotolia.com

 

 

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17 Responses to “5 Spring Gardening Tips”

  1. We have never tested our soil. Keep meaning to!

  2. My boys love the garden too, especially grazing on cherry tomatoes! Local readers might want to know that they can send soil off to UMass and get a soil test back with pH, organic matter levels, and lead levels (important for gardening with/for kids). They’ll include recommendations for improving the soil, and for mitigating risk if lead levels are elevated.

  3. This will be the second year for our garden in its current location. I think we know mostly what we are going to plant but have not bought any seeds yet. I have been looking for non-GMO seeds and I found a place that is located in my state that I may purchase from.

  4. I can’t wait to start gardening!

  5. What do you grow Sarah?

  6. What are you planning to grow Marsha? What have you grown in the past?

  7. Cherry tomatoes are the best Carolyn! My kids don’t really eat them-they like to throw them (not kidding). I didn’t realize that UMass offered that service. Thanks for the info. Do you have a link you could share with information?

  8. Hi Tiffany,

    Soil testing is so simple, but so easy to put on a back burner. I bought a simple kit one year and that was it. This year I’m going to test the soil. Anything to make gardening easier!

  9. Can’t wait to follow along as your garden grows, Lori! We’ve tried peppers, watermelon, tomatoes, and potatoes but the bunnies usually eat more than we do. :)

  10. Radishes & spinach will love your shady garden spot Lori.

    You can regrow celery by cutting the end off & planting it in the ground. http://chickensintheroad.com/farm-bell-recipes/re-growing-celery/

    I’m so excited to start gardening!

  11. Thanks so much Andi for the extra tips. I didn’t realize you could regrow celery-one of my kids favorite veggies!

  12. I couldn’t write a post on this topic b/c I know NOTHING about gardening. Hoping to give it a try this year. Thanks for the tips!

  13. Wonderful post! I learned something interesting about non-organic seeds. As I understand it, non-organic seeds will produce once. In other words, you’ll get one harvest but if you try to save the seeds from those plants and grow them the following year, the seeds will either not sprout or will produce plants which are different from the originals. I haven’t substantiated this claim yet but find it interesting.

    I’ve recently found a site that’s been very helpful in knowing when to plant. Here’s the link:
    http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/zipcode

    Thanks for a great post!

  14. Great site! Thanks for sharing. Interesting info on the non-organic seeds. I wonder why that would be the case?

  15. It never occurred to me that there are special tests for the soil in the stores, thanks! I’m sure that using a customized fertilizer will bring better results for me now.
    I have also been looking for some advice for the gardening in spring, one thing that I started to follow is that you want to buy lawn fertilizers with slightly lower nitrogen content. It’s good for the root growth and makes your grass grow faster and taller. Besides, if you have kids playing in the garden, you want to spare them of any more chemicals.

  16. That’s a good list of tips that are useful for every gardener, from brown thumb to green thumb. I’d also add: look up homemade pest control methods. There are sprays that you can create using household ingredients that are non-toxic. There is a wealth of information online, and of course tons of books on the topic.

  17. […] to watching children tirelessly dig and craft a garden. If you are interested in planting a garden HERE are a few tips to get you started  this […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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