The signs of spring are all so hopeful; the smell of rainy days, the birds chirping, the longer days, and the warmth of the sun. It also means that garden season is upon us - which is my favourite time of the year. The seed catalogues, the garden planning, and ultimately the planting! Since it’s the beginning of April, I thought I would put together a post on how to prep your garden for planting and get it ready for the season.
1. Clean Up
This is the time to remove any old dead debris from the garden. Leaving old plants in the garden can cause more pests in the summer since they harbour over winter. This is also the time to sanitize any equipment or seed trays/containers from the season before, and just organize everything that you will be using for the upcoming season.
2. Soil Test & Fill Up
Now is your chance to see how your soil is doing after its long winter slumber. You can grab an easy-to-use soil test at any garden centre or hardware store. This will save you! If you are just filling your beds for the first time, it’s also a good idea to test the new soil you just bought (I’ve made that mistake before, and wondered why nothing was growing - it was low in NPK). After you know what your soil needs, amend accordingly and top up the beds with compost. I recommend compost in general, as it’s super great for your beds because it is a slow-release fertilizer that will keep working all season long.
3. Rotate & Plant
Crop rotation is something that is super easy to do and comes with many benefits. If this is your first season planting vegetables, plant vegetables in the same family in one location to make rotating easy for next year. If this is not your first time, simply rotate locations of each vegetable group. Crop rotation helps build healthy soil, builds nutrients for certain veg groups, and helps kill the life cycle of certain pests. So be sure to include this in your plan for the summer. In the meantime, you can plant some cold-loving crops such as radish, frost-hardy greens, arugula, mizuna, and kale.
After these things are all done, you’re set. I would use this time now to plan your summer garden, flip through seed catalogues and start your seeds. Enjoy the upcoming season! I’d love to answer any questions you have below in the comments. Check out the blog for more posts on gardening, plus my ‘how to start a garden’ ebook, available now!
Sage & Shepherd Farm
We are a husband and wife duo that love raising nutrient-dense meat in a regenerative manner. We didn’t grow up on farms, but life brought us here and we couldn’t be happier. Growing the food that you nourish your body with and that you feed your family with gives us great pleasure.
With Mack being a former carpenter/musician and Abby being a former landscape designer we joined forces and started our farm 3 years ago. We are super passionate about the regenerative and pasture-based farming movement that we solely run our farm like this, and are very transparent about it. The consistent rotation of animals allows the mix of different species on the farm to constantly get fresh pasture and for the life cycle of the pasture to remain healthy and predictable. This also effectively builds topsoil, sequesters carbon, and creates polycultures.
We want people to grow in their connection to the food they eat, ask those tough questions about how the meat was raised and truly know their farmer. On the farm, we raise chicken, turkey, goose, rabbit, lamb, and pork. Everything is non-gmo, pasture-raised, and of course not given any antibiotics, hormones, or vaccines. Check out www.sageandshepherd.com for more info or to place an order.