For gardeners, especially vegetable growers like me, Preparing to grow in January is the calm before the storm. In a few weeks we will be in full sowing and growing mode which doesn’t let up until at least June. It’s a wonderful time in the gardener’s year.
As we lay tiny seeds in the soil and cover them over, in the hope that we will soon see a rash of seedlings popping up that we can nurture and develop into fully grow plants that will feed our families, look beautiful or give us a sense of peace and pride knowing we played a small part in that whole process.
It’s magical, watching a tiny speck of dried up seed, flourish into a grand tree, ripe juicy tomatoes or a bunch of flowers we can give to a loved one with a smile. There is no better feeling in the world except maybe sharing that process with your child. Seeing their face light up when they discover the joy of growing for the first time is special. (See this post on Gardening With Kids)
What if you are sitting there reading this thinking ‘yeah right, everything I’ve tried to grow has curled up its toes and died. I just don’t have a green thumb!
Well I’m here to tell you that’s total nonsense and I’m living proof.
How I learned to grow
I grew up watching my dad grow veg for a neighbour over the fence. He’d do all the work growing , weeding and planting and bring home a share of the harvest. He always had a smile on his face as he washed and chopped the veg.
Vividly, I remember him bringing home bunches of hard red beetroots and helping him clean and boil these delicious balls of goodness. (boiling beets is not the best smell though, just so you know)
Those were magical times for me before the world got crazy. I found myself wanting to grow my own organic vegetables and fruits too, especially when I moved into my own home.
I set about digging out a patch of the grassy lawn and bought trays and trays of leeks, peas, cabbages and of course beetroot seedlings. Dug small holes in the lumpy soil I had uncovered and with a satisfied smile I dusted myself off and went inside for dinner dreaming about all those veggies and what I would do with them.
However, the next morning I was distraught to find every plant I’d put in the soil was gone. I got so upset, I called my dad and uttered the words ‘I just don’t have a green thumb!!’
He said that was nonsense and asked if I ;
- Applied compost to the soil?
- Did I protect from the birds?
- Did I put egg shell down to protect from slugs etc.
Em, no! of course I didn’t !
That was when I realised that, it’s not lack of a green thumb, or talent. It’s simply a lack of preparation. (Yes, it sounds cheesy and it maybe I have been talking to my son who’s sitting exams way to much but…its true!!) Find out more about caring for your seedlings here
Seriously, it doesn’t matter if your a total novice, totally clueless or The Green Reaper (which is what my husband used to call me!)
What is considered the growing season?
The growing season is basically natures cycle. It dictates everything in a garden and everything around us in the natural world. The “growing season” is the time between the last frost of the winter and the first frost of Autumn. The time when all life around you is having babies, eating as much as they can and actively growing and fruiting and flowering before the cold weather returns. Its different in all parts of the world but here in my corner of Scotland in the UK we generally start sowing in late February March, either indoors for tender plants or in the ground for March onwards. It depends on the weather, the plant variety and where you plan on growing
When should I start preparing my garden for spring?
Here in my corner of heaven we prepare in January for the start of indoor plants like chillies and onions in February and outdoor sowing start in March. Look online for the exact dates for growing in your area. I’m the US for example they have growing ‘zones’ that help guide them.
How to prepare for the growing season?
Learning how to prepare for the growing season took time. Trial and error and I didn’t completely ‘get it’ until my own kids came along. I knew I wanted my children to know where food comes from, and be able to carry this magical life-skill with them for their own future. So I made it my passion to succeed.
It makes my heart sing to see their faces light up in wonder when those seeds sprout, or the first time they taste a fresh pea from the plant or pick a sun ripened strawberry and eat it while its still warm.
Those are the memories I want my children to have and hold dear and those are they same lessons I want to give to families just like yours.
So, if your like me and want to finally grow something and connect with your children, even if you don’t have a garden, a green thumb or any clue where to start. I’ve got you!
Now, is thee best time to get yourself grounded and start the way you mean to go on. What to do now to prepare for a new growing season and finally how to finally develop that green thumb and be able to help your seeds flourish.
How to prepare for your growing season now
Prepare for your growing season now by
- Setting your gardening goals and decide on the vision your have your your space
- Improve the soil and areas you want to grow in so your plants can thrive
- Work out the space your have to grow and how to determine what you can grow in each spot whether it is a pot, window box or a patch of your backyard garden.
- Find out how to gather the tools you actually need and how to find time and a budget for gardening that doesn’t interfere with your busy life.
- You also need to think about how to organise all those seed packets.
- Then, after making all those decisions, it’s finally time to learn how to sow your seeds and how to keep them alive and thriving.
Don’t Worry if this seems too much. I have a 12 Step Planning Guide to help you consider what’s important to do, what to grow and how to get started. You can download this by clicking the image below.
Or for those of you that are just itching to get started and need more than a quick guide to where to start You can download my 30 Days From Beginner to Green Fingered Grower Workbook. This will help you go from total beginner to planning, starting and nurturing your own growing space whether that’s a garden, patio or pot.
You can take 1 day or 30 to work through each step which will guide you through each step you need to get ready for new growing season in 30 days to help you get 2022 growing season off to a flying start. Get more information here.
But, What If The Growing Season Comes And…
I’ve no green thumb? you will learn how, where and when to start
I’ve no space? You can grow on a windowsill, in a pot, hanging basket, even a shelf indoors can give your a growing space. There are many ways to garden share, garden on waste land or help a neighbour. Think outside the box, there is always a spot somewhere you can help to thrive. Check out this post for space saving ideas.
No money? You don’t need a ton of money to get started, in fact here at Growing Healthy Kids we actively encourage recycling and reusing items instead of buying anything. gardeners are a thrifty lot and the more you can save money the better. Here’s our best money saving tips to get you going
No time for growing? Yes you could lose hours to growing and being out in the garden, but you can grow a lot of things with a few minutes a day. There is nothing more relaxing than pottering around the garden for a few minutes after work to relax. watering your plants and dealing with the stress of the day. Try these tips for time saving ideas.
My Kids are too young, maybe next year!
Rubbish! All you need is a little planning now while the days are short. Planning and preparing now will save you time and money, give you something to focus on over winter and give you a way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. If you can get kids of any age involved then all the better. Little ones can crawl around on the grass or a blanket and pull at leave sand learn the sounds of nature while you potter and as they grow they will learn how to help and develop a bond with the world around them before they can talk if given the chance. Try Gardening with kids here
So, Grab a copy of my 30 days From Beginner To Grower Workbook NOW! (Or find out more here) and get ready for the growing season ahead. Head here for more information of click the image below to go straight there and happy growing .