As the sun starts to shine brighter, the days grow longer, and signs of winter begin to melt away, we are all eager to welcome spring. This year, I am so excited to get my hands in the dirt! I think we all share a dream of living off the land. Of reaping the benefits that a lush and bountiful garden can provide.
And if we simply do a little bit of preliminary work, that dream can very easily become a reality – one with an affordable price tag.Gardening is a practice that anyone can do, all it requires is a little TLC. I love getting my kids involved too. Gardening is a great way to create a space of joy, mindfulness, and relaxation. And having the kiddos get their hands in the dirt is a great way for them to gain interest and learn about growing & cultivating.
Growing a garden does not have to be expensive. If planned out, it is actually very affordable, and will save you so much money in the long run. Starting from seeds is not only super cost effective, but it is also so gratifying! In these late winter months when we are so eager to tend to our gardens, but Mother Nature just isn’t ready yet, seeding can help create some excitement for what is to come!
Last year, we had a small garden, and we shared seed packets with friends, which worked out wonderfully. This year however, as you may recall, we have moved into a new home. Our new property has lots of land to plot a BIG vegetable garden. Our hope is to stagger the harvest times so we can optimize the consumption our home grown veggies and reduce our grocery bill. Whatever overflow we have I hope to use in batch cooking, canning, and freezing. With grocery prices at an all time high, there has never been a better time to grow your own food than now. If you are planning your garden for the first time, or simply wanting to try something new, there are many tools online that can be used to aid in your garden design. We used www.growveg.com to help design our garden. It was actually a lot of fun!
The advantage of sourcing out a tool like this is that it gave us suggestions we never would have thought of such as ‘beneficial’ plants (plants that you wouldn’t necessarily harvest, but help your garden in other ways, like keeping away pests, or enriching the soil.) You can also specify what climate zone you’re in, and it will guide you through when to begin seeding, and when to plant outdoors. It determines a layout for your whole garden and considers how much space each veggie needs, and which ones should be paired up or separated. Our finished plan looks like this.
If you are starting from seed, like us, you can also find Anna’s seeding guide on the shop’s website. But here it is again, for easy access 😊 This chart has been made for the Windsor/Essex area.
As you can see, now is the time to start seeding your cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Bell peppers, tomatoes and many herbs should be started as well.