Home grown food is an incredible concept which most people in cities have been devoid of. However, there are still many homeowners who are willing to go a few notches further and grow the kitchen vegetables right in their yards. Home grown veggies are organic and healthier than their supermarket counterparts. Although it takes some doing to build a spring garden in winter, the results are definitely worth while. Whether one wants to take up gardening as a hobby or plans to add some fresh, home grown vegetables to the kitchen supplies, here are some of the things that can truly help.
The vegetables for the cool season are perfect for the spring garden. They thrive when the days are short and the mercury keeps low. In fact, there are certain plants such as kale and kohlrabi tend to get better flavour when it gets a little frosty. Cabbage, broccoli, collards, lettuce, snow peas, are some of the kitchen vegetables that grow in the cool season. Depending upon the local climatic conditions and the weather behaviour, the vegetables for the cool season can either be planted without any cover directly into the soil, under the low tunnel, or in the trays and pots. Vegetables like tomatoes, okra, and squash are the summer favourites as they require longer and sunny days to grow.
Keeping the spring garden soil thin is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners or gardeners make. It is important to prepare the area by digging the garden to loosen up the soil. Once the soil has loosened, organic materials can be added to it. Soil preparation is extremely important for the success of the spring garden in winter. For most of the plants, soil depth of 6 to 9 inches is sufficient. However, if the plan is to grow lots of root crops such as beetroots, carrots or potatoes then deeper digging will be needed. A foot deep soil bed will be good enough for just about any type of plant. Once the soil has been dug, it needs to be fed abundantly with the organic matters such as dry cow manure, compost, rotted horse manure, shredded leaves, or a soil mixture available in the market.
While choosing the spot for the spring garden, sun exposure, amount of space, and drainage are a few things that need to be considered. The space must have enough exposure to sunlight in the morning. On the other hand, the heat during noon and the exposure to the evening light may hamper the growth of plants. Therefore, it is important to choose a spot which is east facing and has ample sun cover in the west. The quantity of vegetation to be grown in the garden determines the space. However, if one needs family supplies for the kitchen, a larger space must be chosen. While water is needed for the growth of plants, too much of it can cause damage to them. It is important to ensure that the chosen spot slopes to one side. If there is no slope, the homeowner will need to get rid of excess water manually.
When the winter is at its peak, it might sound a little unwise to think about a spring garden. But, the fact is that it is the perfect time to get started with the gardening for spring. While it may still be frosty outside, it is wise to order the seeds now. When the seeds arrive, even if it is too early to plant them outdoors, they can still be planted indoors. Many vegetables for the cool season get a good head-start of 6-8 weeks when they are planted indoors and taken care of. However, it is crucial to know the date for the last frost in the area before sowing the seeds. There are many websites that provide tentative information about the start of spring.
Spring garden water supply can come from various sources depending upon the location. However, in urban locations, for gardens in the yard, municipal sources are more prevalent. Some of the tools that keep the garden adequately watered are lightweight hoses, rain barrels, soaker hoses, aqua cones and sprinklers. While soaker hoses ensure optimal usage of the water with less than 10% wastage, aqua cones are good when water needs to be supplied directly to the roots. Rainwater is the perfect choice for spring garden plants as it is free of chlorine. Rain barrels can be effectively used to collect the rainwater. To reduce the water needs, 6 to 8 inches of mulch layer can be applied. It reduces evaporation and blocks the weeds from using water.
The area around the spring garden could be a perfect place to spend some leisure time with the family, friends, and even alone. Spending some time overlooking the plants one has sown with their own hands, and watching them grow brings immense joy and satisfaction. Wooden furniture is a perfect choice. A few tables and a chair or even a wooden recliner would be a great idea. If the space allows, one can also install a hammock in the area.
A spring garden is truly a wonderful idea. It not only makes the landscape more natural and beautiful, it also contributes to one’s health with fresh and nutritious vegetables. Spring gardening in winter may not necessarily be easy but it is definitely fruitful.