Now that the holidays are done it is a good time to get back to thinking about your garden. If your holidays were anything Like ours I am sure it was a busy and exhausting time. I usually use winter to recover from my previous growing season and the busy summer months, but the holidays just seem to keep me from getting that good relaxation time in. That Being said I use the end of December to the middle of January to get my thoughts together and reflect on what my year was like in my garden and what changes I want to do to my yard in general the next year. I think about vegetables, but I am also thinking this year about flowers and as usual WEEDS!
I begin by thinking about what seeds I am going to start indoors, outdoors, and what seedlings I want to buy. What were the issues I had in my garden and how can I fix them. Well this year I have a lot to think about! Just for starters we started a new large bed that got overrun by weeds, had to little sunlight, and was just generally set up in a very inconvenient way. Not to mention some crops did great and some did not so good ( actually terrible). But that is OK after all that is why we are here. Last year around this time I had big dreams about starting a new garden bed. I did all I thought I could do to clear the land and make it as productive as possible. I though I took everything into account from clearing the land to giving plants enough space to what I was going to plant in that area to maximize the space. After all of that the one thing I did not think about is the position of the sun. I seem to have forgotten that the sun sits lower in the sky during the winter months so when planning the bed i did not think the light wold be any different in the garden bed. Boy was I wrong! I ended up planting some crops were the light was good in the winter but not as good in the summer. See there are no leaves on the trees either and that allows more light to come through as well and when they grew I was out of luck when it came to certain sections of the garden. I have to admit it hurt my feelings during the summer but now that the growing season has ended I have another chance to right my wrong. In other words back to the drawing board and deep into the gardening notebook.
The plants that I started in the front of the bed got a little taller that the back so they ended up shading out my sweet potatoes which for us are one of the most important crops. What should of given us about 150 lbs. of harvest ended up giving us 15 lbs. and putting us into a loss for what we paid for the starters. So this year I will be rotating the crops and positioning the sweet potatoes in the front of the bed. Doing this will allow the vines to grow much more and they will end up shading out the portions of the bed that were overrun with weeds last year. At least that is the thought. Then there was no way for us to walk through the garden with out stepping on a plant or bumping into one. That lead me to decide that i need to build some kind of path way for functionality but also to make it look a bit nicer and inviting. When I looked at the space the thought was daunting and I thought that if i felt that way I imagined that other people felt the same. So we decided to take on this project but to put it on our YouTube Channel to help people and show them that it can be done at an affordable price. In other words please stay tuned to our YouTube Channel to see that project unfold. If you do happen to visit the channel please subscribe so you dont miss it and any of the other videos we have planned. This project will involve a complete overhaul of the garden.
After all of that we start to think about starting seeds. At this point we think about what to start and start to gather our supplies so they are ready to go. Basically I get my seed starting kit, grow lights, soil, and get the area ready in my house were I am going to start them. Like I said earlier I am going to try and do flowers this year as well because buying them at the store is much more expensive and I have a large area to plant. I never really thought much about doing flowers in the past but I have noticed that I dont have as many beneficial insects as I would like to have and I want to invite them into my yard so I can be a good steward of the land. If bees and butterflys are dying out then I would like to help the little guys out and do my part. After all if there are no bees there is no food! We are also going to be adding a beneficial insect house this year to really help out.
This is a lot of information but do not worry we are going to be breaking down each of these topics and much more in our podcast this year! Stay tuned for more details and more videos coming on our YouTube channel. Not to mention we are still filming the documentary! There is plenty of gardening content coming from us since we are always learning. Also do not forget we have a free seed giveaway going on right now. all you need to do to enter is enter your email address on our home page and you will be entered to win 10 free packs of seeds from San Diego seed company! Contest ends 02/14/2020. Let us know in the comments what your thoughts are on what you need to do to your garden to get it ready for the next growing season.
now is the time to start cleaning up your garden so it can get a good nights rest for next year. It is a sad time but even the land needs to take a break.unless you are lucky enough to live in an area that is able to grow year round then you have a different task on your hands.
Start by cleaning up all of your beds and removing all dead plants and any trash you might have around your garden. not that you are messy, but the fall and winter months will bring some heavier winds and things will find their way into your space. Leaves should be raked which in my mind is a terrible job until i learned that it was a good time to add to my compost pile! If you want to add to your compost I found a trick that has worked well for our garden over the years. Rake your leaves into a pile and then take your lawnmower if it has a mulching blade and run over your pile. If you have a bag then use that and once your done your leaves are now perfect for adding to a compost pile! You can also put all of your plants that are not growing into your compost just do not add any that had any kind of disease.
Take inventory of your tools and give them a good cleaning if they need it so they will not rust over the winter months and last you longer. you can put a light coat of mineral oil on them to lubricate and protect them while they take their winter nap. This is a good time to organize your tools and garden so that you can get ready for the next winter task.
It is a slow time in the winter but it is also a good time to make a hot cup of tea or coffee and sit back and evaluate your garden and how it did over the year. Think about any changes you would make and most importantly sit back and think about all of good memories and good food you created this year. Let us know in the comments what you like about winter duties in your garden and what memories you have from this years growing season. Most of all I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
is a Filmmaker with a passion for documentaries and educating people. Gardening is a passion particularly close to his heart and wants to spread that through the world. Between his upcoming documentary and his podcast the goal is to help people get in touch with where their food comes from and help people learn to grow for themselves.