First Full Month of Spring Offers A Multitude of Garden Options

The wet weather in March has turned everything green-a good motivator to plant an ambitious garden this spring.

Prepare Your Garden Before Planting: For most, the gardening bug only hits in spring. That means gardens have been given minimal attention during fall and winter. Get your garden ready for spring planting by first removing weeds and any dead leftover vegetable plants. Then, add two inches of a vegetable garden mix into the soil. The soil amendment with its microorganisms improves soil structure and releases needed nutrients.

Install A Drip Irrigation System: The rain won’t stick around much longer. When the heat of summer is upon us, a drip irrigation system will get the water where plants need it the most-directly into the root system. A drip system makes the best use of water, unlike an overhead spray system where much of the water is lost to evaporation or runoff.

Plant Vegetables With A Good Return On Investment: Garden-grown vegetables taste better and are usually healthier than store-bought versions, but with the cost of water and soil prep, some vegetables are worth planting more than others. Vegetables that can be grown for just about the same cost as their store-bought versions include artichokes, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, garlic and zucchini (although you may end up with too many).

Plant Your Herb Garden: An herb garden also makes good financial sense. Aside from their fresh-picked goodness, most homegrown herbs cost less to grow than to buy. Basil, chives, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, dill and rosemary are just some easy-to-grow herbs that should be planted now.

Add Flowers To Your Vegetable Garden: Add pollen-rich flowers in and around your vegetable garden to attract beneficial, pollinating insects. They’ll be drawn to the flowers but will also make stops at your flowering vegetable plants. Consider planting yarrow, sunflowers, fennel, lantana, alyssum and white clover.

Go Organic: Many commercial vegetable operations use pesticides to cut down on weeds and bugs in their fields. Non-organic fertilizers are used to boost production. The result is that much of the vegetables we purchase at the grocery store are not grown naturally. With your own garden, you have the option to grow fresh, organic vegetables in a pesticide-free environment. Use only organic planting mix to amend your soil and avoid chemical-base fertilizers.

Bulb Control: All those bulbs planted last fall will now begin to grow. Remove dead flowers and brown foliage to build up strength for new blooms.

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