4 easy steps to get your garden ready now

4 steps to get your garden ready now


gardening process, compost

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Yes, I know, it’s only February 5th, but now is the time to start thinking about getting your garden ready, depending on what zone you live in. I live in zone 8, North Texas, so I have already started some seeds indoors.

Start your seeds indoors

I have started my tomatoes and spaghetti squash seeds already. The best time to start your seeds is to find what zone you live in, and what your approximate last frost date is. Just count backwards from that date, and start your seeds. Depending on what you plant, different seeds need different lengths of time before planting outside. Some seeds should be planted directly outside, in your garden. My last frost date is around the middle of March, and the suggested time to start my tomato and spaghetti squash seeds said 6 weeks prior to transplanting outside. I may keep my tomatoes inside a little longer, to make sure the last of the cold weather is gone.

Where do I get my seeds?

All my seeds come from seedsnow.com.  I only plant non-GMO and heirloom seeds, and they have a huge selection. I have never had any problems with them, and they always send a free, sample seed packet with all their orders. This company dates all their seed packets when the seeds were tested, and even states the germination %, purity %, and how many days to sprout.

Getting your garden ready

While you are waiting for your seeds to grow, and for winter to go away, you can take steps to get your outdoor garden ready. You need to decide if you are planting directly into the ground or using raised beds. I used raised beds, and bought them at Home Depot. It was easy to assemble. I put a layer of cardboard (to help keeps weeds out and to compost), then a layer of mulch. Finally, I added soil along with compost material. I also ran string across my raised bed, and made 1-foot squares within each bed (square-foot gardening).

Is your compost started?

This is the time to get your compost ready, while waiting for your seeds to sprout. I have a kitchen compost bin, along with a bin near my garden. Your outside bin needs to be turned every couple of days, so I bought one that is round and is easy to turn. It’s black plastic, so the sun gives it the heat it needs to turn scraps to soil. Don’t forget to add your compost starter.

That’s it! With a little elbow grease and some preparation, you should have a successful, organic garden all summer long (and maybe even into the fall).

Happy Gardening!


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Composting starts in the kitchen

compost bin

To compost or not to compost…..

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Having a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies, I am always looking for ways to help the environment, and to avoid GMO’s. I discovered GMO’s while in grad school and the more I learned about them, the more mad I became. They are so bad for us, so I decided to start my own garden last summer. Wow, did I have a lot to learn!

I planted a lot of different heirloom seeds with high hopes. There were 4 different types of tomatoes, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, and 10 different types of hot peppers. Well, my spaghetti squash took off like crazy, but I had to hand pollinate tons of flowers in order to get fruit to grow. I discovered there weren’t any honey bees around to pollinate for me (watch for a future article on the disappearance of bees).

Adding a kitchen compost bin makes a great addition to your garden Click To Tweet

How a compost bin fits into your kitchen

One thing I realized was that I should have used compost. I invested in a kitchen countertop compost bin, so that I could start saving kitchen scraps to add to an outside compost bin. I bought this compost bin (affiliate link) and love it. It sits on my counter, so it’s easy to add my egg shells or coffee grinds. Even my husband uses it. It doesn’t smell, which was a something I was concerned about when I first got it. It comes with filters, and I added these biodegradable bags (affiliate link). Just empty it once a week, and you won’t have any problems. If I can compost, then so can you!

Here is my compost bin on my counter (and the bags I use).

Happy composting!!

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