If you are an avid gardener like me then you will be looking out your window right now at our beautiful green hills, crisp air and rain soaked soil thinking, “It’s time to get my garden going”. There are many ways to begin but I consider these next few months integral to the success of my future Collard Greens, Red Romaine’s and of course Tomatoes. I have been collecting leaves, various manures and whatever else I could find to add as soil builders to my plot for the last few months and it’s now time to start tillin’. For me few things are as rewarding as looking back on a freshly tilled patch of once dormant garden space now devoid of rocks, weeds and other debris. Depending on your individual climate and the central coast has a few, you may have already started your winter/spring veggies but for me the chance of a hard frost is still out there. My planting zone is listed as 8b therefore I have to be careful not to plant too early (which I routinely do) or I risk a late frost thwarting my efforts. Follow this link to see where you are on the map, http://www.garden.org/
There’s just something about finally winning that neighborhood tomato competition that pushes me to ruin. Don’t try to convince me that you aren’t in the same boat either among your friends, family or coworkers. As I mentioned above soil preparation and condition is critical to our success as gardeners but planting the right variety of plant at the right time is equally important. I have made the mistake in the past of attempting to grow vegetables and ornamentals that just weren’t suited for my area or soil condition. For the next month or so I will be focusing on adding composted material to my garden, keeping the annual grasses from popping up, making repairs to the drip irrigation and laying out in my mind the locations of all of my favorite plants. What are you working on in your Garden of Eden this time of year? We have an article up about how to treat your fruit trees for leaf curl and the like but what about insects that attack the garden both above and below the soil surface? Let’s talk about how to deal with nematodes, white fly, mealy bug, aphids and of course the Tomato horn worm. The beauty of gardening is that all of these topics spill over to our ornamental garden and into our general home landscaping. Water conservation and management along with proper fertilization and pest control all work together for us gardener types whether it’s in our raised beds, planter beds or flower boxes.
Good luck to you this year and get out and get started……
– Charles Lorenzen