Every business was caught short with the emergence of the virus at the first of this year. There are still product shortages that will carry into spring. With that in mind, garden season starts in January. Though it might seem uncommon to be talking veggie gardens in December, ready or not, it’s right around the corner. Onions typically show up the first 10 days of January with potatoes arriving mid to late January. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” I think ole Ben (all his friends call him Ben) was talking about gardening.
The things you need to know are the square footage of the garden and what’s in the soil, nutritionally speaking. If you don’t know, do a soil test. For gardens, I recommend a soil test every 18 months to 2 years. The reason is different crops use nutrition at different rates. Since most folks grow 2 to 4 crops a year testing is critical. Wells Brothers sells soil test kits and provides nutritional soil testing. Once you have the results, picking amendments is easy.
Next, you need a good crop rotation plan. Farmers have been moving crops around their fields for more than a millennium. Even so, I still talk to folks that insist on planting the same crop in the same spot year after year and expect the same results. You might get lucky for two years, but not for three. In the past, I have had excellent crop rotation plans and then I have had some that really stunk up the garden. “You have to have a plan before it fails.” As the saying goes, plan your work and work your plan. The bottom line is that you have 30 days to prepare!