Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year. 2017 is full of possibilities! But what is a gardener to do when it’s cold outside? Garden planning is an essential step to a successful garden, so we can concentrate on that.
Have you gardened before? Think about what plants you were successful with, and make sure to include some of those in your planning. Note any changes in environment in your garden-will it get less or more sun this summer? If trees in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard) have grown or been removed this may change the amount of light your garden will receive. Remember what types of plants were planted where in your garden last year and make sure to rotate. For instance, do not plant tomatoes, peppers or potatoes in the same soil you grew tomatoes, peppers or potatoes last year. This will help avoid soil-borne diseases for these plants.
Did you notice deer or rabbit activity last year? You will probably need to plan for this activity again this year. Did you go through last year wishing you had installed a rain barrel or started a compost pile? Planning for these things now will help you get the ball rolling for the new year. Do you have a relative or friend who really loves a certain kind of vegetable or flower? Plan to grow this plant for them!
You may think January is not a good month to plant, and here in Zone 7 this is true for many vegetables and flowers. But if you just can’t wait to plant something, try onion seeds! We have been fortunate to have some mild weather in the Piedmont, and onions can germinate at 50 degrees F. Once germinated, they are cold hardy, so this will give them a head start in the spring when temperatures warm up again. Also, in early February (right around the corner!) there are lots of things that can be started indoors, such as cabbage, eggplant, and lettuce. In late February, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peas, peppers and tomatoes can be started inside.
So grab a pencil and some graph paper, draw out your garden, think of what you’d like to grow, and get planning! 2017 seeds are in stock at our store, we have diverters you can install into your gutters to divert water into your rain barrel, we have products to help with deer and rabbits, and as always we have premium soils, soil conditioners such as gypsum and lime, inexpensive containers and saucers, and everything you need to start seeds inside. See you soon!