Are Your Garden Dreams Blooming?

Have you noticed the sun lingering above the horizon for a little bit longer each day?

You aren’t imagining things, the darkest weeks of the year have officially ended and we will now gain about a minute of daylight each and every day! The winter is far from over, but with the slow rise of the sun in the sky so begins the slow shift towards spring, and for us at the Farm, the beginning of a new growing season!
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Garden Whispers: Cultivating Dreams as Nature Awakens

If you're a home gardener this subtle shift in seasons likely has your green fingers itching to dig into the soil. Although it's a tad early to sow most of your garden seeds, it's the perfect time to gear up and start turning those winter garden dreams into reality!

Now is the time to daydream about what you would like to grow and the best spot to kick things off is in your favourite comfy chair with a bunch of garden catalogues in hand. This is the season of endless possibilities - daydreaming of all that could be in the garden to come. While flipping through those beautiful catalogue pages, here are a few things to think about before you start ordering seeds and sticking them in the ground.

What do you actually eat?
Make sure that you are choosing to grow veggies and herbs that you and your family enjoy and can either eat or store when they reach maturity.. Lettuce might be easy to grow a whole bed of, but it doesn’t store long term and you can likely only eat so many salads! You’ll also want to consider what you will receive regularly in your CSA basket and choose different crops to grow yourself.

What are your growing conditions?
Most vegetables prefer full sunlight and well-drained soil. If you don’t have these exact conditions there are still options for you, but you’ll need to consider your crop plan more carefully.

How much space do you have?
It is all too easy to get carried away early in the season. Make sure you are considering how big the plants will be at full maturity when considering how much space you have. Overcrowding your plants will decrease yield and increase disease risk.

How much time will you have?
Again, it’s easy to have grand plans during the calm of the winter, only to quickly become overwhelmed mid-summer. Your garden will need regular maintenance over the season, including tasks like weeding, watering, pruning, and pest management, to name a few. Do future you a favour and be realistic about your long term garden commitment.

Will you start seeds yourself or purchase seedlings?
Both of these options have their pros and cons. Starting your own seeds allows you to choose from a wider variety of crops and varieties and can be less expensive in the long run. Starting seeds indoors requires a lot of light and space though. Purchasing seedlings from a reputable grower (like us, *hint, hint*), means that you are starting your garden with strong and healthy plants that will flourish immediately!

If all this plant talk has gotten those garden juices flowing, take a deep dive into the Ottawa Farm Fresh gardening library. We have blog posts, presentations, and videos covering just about everything you need to know to get your garden growing this spring!

Gardening 101
Sun + Soil + Water
Choosing Plants For Your Garden
Preparing the Site
Caring for your Garden

Farmer To Gardener Academy
Seed Starting 101
Garden Planning
Garden Care

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