It may be cold outside, but if you want a gorgeous garden come spring, now’s the time to start planning and planting. Managing editor and lifelong farmer Kevin Broady shares his guide on getting your garden started now.
What to do in January
It’s time to start thinking about your garden and stocking up on seeds and supplies. Plan ahead and buy seeds, potting soil, and planting trays. This would also be a good time to order from seed catalogs to make sure that you have the varieties of vegetables or flowers you want when it comes time to plant.
Late month, you can begin to plant your seeds for transplanting into your garden in late April. Pick a place in your home that has lots of warm bright sunlight for your planting trays. Ideal seeds for transplanting would be cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini.
This is also a fantastic time to look at your houseplants and give them a little extra TLC. In late January, you can begin to prune fruit trees like apple, cherry, peach or plum. Yearly pruning and shaping of your fruit trees gives you a better-looking tree that’s healthier and produces prettier and more delicious fruit. By getting a head start this month, you’ll help ensure that you have beautiful blooms when the weather warms up.
A Year of Great Gardening
Time to start planning, buying seeds and supplies.
Start seeds indoors. Most seedlings take 8 to 12 weeks to mature. Prune summer-flowering shrubs.
Prepare soil. Soil temperature needs to be near 60° F or higher for plant survival and growth. Plow or till your soil if the ground has thawed. Prune roses and plant cool-weather annuals.
On average, the frost-free growing season for the Louisville area starts April 19 and ends October 20. Start planting vegetables along with trees, shrubs and perennials late this month.
Get planting in the first two weeks; the weather is right and plant growth is ideal. By the end of May, give them a boost with fertilizer. Plant warm-season annual flowers. Start mulching trees and flower beds.
Watch plants grow, making sure they get enough water. Pull or treat pesky weeds.
Start picking. Get canning supplies. Plant any seeds you want for a late harvest. Keep up with watering. Watch for pests.
Start canning. Begin composting from yard cuttings.
Continue canning. Most plants will have stopped producing. Plant fall flowers, trees and shrubs. Keep composting.
Frost will be coming soon, so finish picking and canning your final vegetables. Prepare soil for next year by removing any non-producing plants and placing them in composting bed. Bring in houseplants.
Finish preparing your soil for next year by giving it a good plow or tilling. Plant spring-blooming bulbs.
Think about what you want to plant next spring, order seeds. Cut greenery for holiday decorations.