10 Tips for Starting your garden

Gardening Season 2018 Tips

It’s gardening season! Gardening offers a variety of benefits such as moderate exercise, added exposure to Vitamin D, and elevates overall mental and physical health. In addition, gardeners are more likely to consume the fruits and vegetables they produce, adopting sustainable food practices and contributing to their local food system. Learn the ins and outs about growing different types of vegetables, California native plants, and fruits through these great resources provided below. From beginner to pro, these gardening tips will ensure a bountiful 2018 for all.

Step 1
Spring Cleaning and Organizing
First things first, start by cleaning and organizing your gardening space. Clearing up last season’s weeds, raking dead leaves, and removing diseased plants will freshen up your garden and make it ready to grow new life.
Step 2
Your Tools
Before delving into planting, take stock of your current tools and identify new tools you will need. Sharpen your cutting shears, tune up your lawn mower, and dust off your gloves. Next, head to your nearest nursery to purchase new tools and plants for this season. Napa County residents can check out the local Orchard Supply Hardware, Mid City Nursery, Van Windens Garden Center, and Central Valley Garden Center and to stock up!
Step 3
How to Plan for your Space
Take some time to map your garden space to ensure a successful growing season. Draw it out at first if it’s helpful. Learn about which plants to plant together or how to divide perennials. Remove undesired plants or shrubs and arrange for the safe removal of trees as needed. Journal about your garden to keep track of it throughout the season.
Step 4
Ins and Outs of Composting
Know what to compost and what to throw away in the trash. Plant debris, dried leaves, and grass clippings can be composted and used to fertilize next season’s soil. Support earthworms, pill bugs, and other decomposers by providing the best conditions for them to thrive and do their job. And definitely throw away diseased and rotted plants and weeds. Learn more about composting here.
Step 5
Be Water Wise
When planning your garden, it’s important to conserve water when possible. Choose native plants that can thrive in their natural environment. Make sure your soil is healthy and moist. Know when to water your plants and the right amount for each type. Finally, learn about the best techniques and tools for watering your plants.
Step 6
Healthy Soil and Fertilizing
Healthy soil is the cornerstone for a thriving garden. To maintain it, test your soil to identify the nutrients it needs. Then, apply mulch and fertilizer to balance pH levels, mitigate diseases, and retain moisture. Add organic materials such as compost or manure before you begin planting. Learn more here.
Step 7
How to Start Seedlings
Can’t wait for frosty nights to end so you can get gardening? You don’t have to! Get ahead for the growing season by starting your seedlings indoors about six weeks before the last frost. Check out the Farmer’s Almanac for more tips for starting seeds indoors.
Step 8
Natural/Organic Remedies for Dealing with Pests
Even the healthiest of gardens have pesky pests and fungus growth. Check out these natural remedies that you can make at home and are environmentally safe to use in your garden.
Step 9
Best Plants for Napa County
Napa County gardeners should definitely consider these crops and plants in their garden this season: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, cabbage, beets, herbs, kale, and more!
Step 10
Garden Calendar
For more ideas on what to plant in your garden, check out this month-by-month guide to success in the garden.

 

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Resources

6 Unexpected Health Benefits of Gardening
10 Essential Spring Gardening Tips
12 Homemade Natural Remedies for The Vegetable Garden
14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks
20 Essential Spring Gardening Tips
A month-by-month guide to success in the garden
Garden Calendar
Month-by Month Guide from Sunset Magazine for Norcal
CUESA Cultivating A Healthy Food System: Seasonality Chart