Preparing Your Spring and Summer Vegetable Garden

Over the next few weeks I would like to share with you how I prepare for the busiest time of my gardening year- spring and summer vegetable production.

If you have not grown your own veggies before check out my online module, “The Annual Vegetable Garden.”
This will give you the lots of other information that you need to get started- like what to grow, how much to grow, how big an area you need and where to put your veggie garden.

Down in the meadow at this time of year the days are still cold and short, but there a few signs that spring is just around the corner with the daffodils out and the birds starting to build nests.
So after a rather short day out in the garden I like to curl up in front of the fire and browse the seed catalogues or go online, to select what seeds I am going to purchase for my spring and summer plantings.

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I like to have all my seed purchased and ready for use so that if I don’t get time during the week to get to the nursery, but know I need to get a particular plant in or need to sow my next successive planting of lettuce, I have the seed on hand and don’t put it off.

For me it is a way to ensure I am prepared for continual production.

Although I pretty confident about what I am planting, I will always check out a couple of planting guides to make sure I don’t miss anything or to see if there is something I don’t normally grow that I might like to try this year.

Here are a couple of my favourite online guides – The Gardening Australia one is particularly good as it is interactive and easy to use.

Online Planting Guides:

The ABC Gardening Australia Planting Guide
The Organic Gardener Planting Guide

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Some of the other things I consider are whether I want to grow open pollinated plants and save the seed, or do I want to purchase organic seed?

I also try and work out as accurately as possible how much I need of each plant so that I don’t have too much left over at the end of the season.
I like to use fresh seed each year to ensure good germination rates.
From all this information I make a list of what I want to purchase, then go online and check out which seed company stocks what I need.

I usually just purchase from one of these companies to cut down on postage cost, but sometimes I need to use several to get everything I need in the right quantities.

Here are some of the Online seed catalogues I usually have a look at:

Yates Seed Catalogue
Mr Fothergills Seed Catalogue
The Diggers Club Seeds
Eden Seeds Catalogue
Royston Petrie Seeds
Green Harvest Organic Seeds
Australian Gardener Seed Catalogue

zucchini seed packet

This can be time consuming process, but very informative. I like to use the time to reflect on what I am growing. Do I still use the plant or its products regularly? Could the area I am using to grow a particular crop be utilised more effectively by a more useful crop, that I (or my family and friends) will enjoy or eat more?

Each season I also like to try to grow something I have not grown before, just to see if it grows well in my climate and if I like to eat it. This way my production is always varied and changing and in the process I am learning all the time. I think that this is an approach that anyone looking at sustainability, homesteading or gardening in general should take, and I would love to know if you’ve tried!

Once I have ordered my seeds and they are on their way, I next start thinking about preparing my garden beds. More on that next week!

Have you started thinking about what you’re planting this spring and summer? Let me know over on the Facebook page

Do you have any pictures of your produce from last year? I would love to see it! You can see my produce over on my Pinterest Page

Happy Growing!

Kathy

Posted on August 1, 2014 in HOW TO GROW, SPRING

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Responses (3)

  1. […] I have chosen what I want to plant for my spring and summer crop, the next step is to think about what you are going to plant where. Most experts and books will […]

  2. lenaivythompson
    October 17, 2014 at 5:15 am · Reply

    Hi Kathy,

    Absolutely loving your blog and all the posts!

    I’m Lena from the ‘Connect To Your Community Garden’ campaign.
    Thanks for following me on WordPress 🙂

    If you were interested, it would be great if you could follow the campaign on:
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/connecttoyourcommunitygarden
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Connect2Garden

    Because we really enjoy your posts on Facebook and WordPress!

    Do you have a Twitter we can follow you on?

    Lena

    • kmfinigan
      October 18, 2014 at 12:37 am · Reply

      Hi Lena, thanks for the comment! You can find me on Twitter at @MPBYau if you like, and pinterest as pinterest.com/mbackyard. Great chatting to you, let me know if there is anything at all that I can do to help you in your endeavours!
      Happy Gardening, Kathy.

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