gardenFinally!  With a few warm days, we’re really getting the itch for Spring, and who can blame anyone?  It’s been a rough winter…one that most of us weren’t prepared for.  Frost went deeper into the ground than it has in forever, snow kept piling up, the winds felt colder…all in all, I think we’re all ready for some sunshine and warmth.  And with the Spring, comes gardens!  After all, Norfolk County is considered “Ontario’s Garden”, the sign driving in says so!  I’ve spoken to a couple people who are experts in this, and I’ve had a hand in outside gardening for a while now myself.  Here are some tips you might want to consider…

It might be a bit early to start planting things.  We’re still having nights that come with some frost.  A friend of mine, Jonelle, tells me that you can get a good jump on things by warming up the soil with a sheet of black plastic.  It acts as a heat conductor for the sun, and an insulator to keep the warmth in the ground.  If you do decide to risk putting some seedlings in the ground early, you can give them the best fighting chance by taking an empty pop bottle, cutting the bottom off, and pushing it into the soil around the seedling.  Make sure to cut a couple holes near the bottom for ventilation, but this is going to act like a little miniature greenhouse.  And odds are, you’re going to be drinking pop at some point anyways, so that makes this a no cost project!

She also talks about “Companion planting”, or interplanting.  This is a great way to get the most out of your available space.  A great example of this method is dubbed the “3 Sisters Garden”, in which corn, beans, and squash are interplanted.  Beans produce nitrogen, which really helps out the demanding corn. The squash will sprawl out, it’s leaves acting as natural protection from the sun, shielding the soil and preventing moisture evaporation.  Companion Planting also increases the biodiversity of your garden, which can attract pollinating and beneficial insects and birds.  Typically you want to use plants that belong to different families, so that they’re not competing for the same nutrients.  You can read more about Companion Planting HERE.

What are some of your favourite gardening tips?  Leave a comment in the section below.  If you liked this, you might like to share it (I’d love you for it!).

And as always, thanks for coming by!


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