It’s a brand new year! What do you have planned for 2023? Although most of us probably don’t have a lot growing right now, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to do this winter season. In the business world and our personal lives, we like to use January to plan and set goals. Envisioning the future and deciding what worked last year, and what you want to try new next year can be a fun way to get ready for the growing season. Here are a few ideas to get you excited about planning your garden this year.
Learning from Last Year’s Garden
Did you have any big triumphs or disappointments in 2022? Take a look at what worked for you - and what didn’t. If you tried to grow something that just didn’t do as well as you wanted, what will you do differently this year? This could be as simple as finding varieties more suited to your climate, changing the lighting, or improving your soil quality.
Have a Rotation Plan
While you’re thinking about last year’s garden, take note of where you planted and switch things up as much as possible. Keeping a log from year to year is a great idea. Even if you are growing in a small space or containers, rotating your crops from year to year is one way to keep your garden healthy. This way you can keep the nutrients in your soil balanced and discourage pests and disease.
Do a general inventory and decide what, if anything, you might need for the new year. It’s a good time to check on your seed vault to see what seeds you have and what you’ll need to source. Do you have enough containers, soil, and compost for next year’s garden? Will you need new tomato cages, stakes, or soil amendments?
Do Some Maintenance
There’s still time to maintain your tools and do general cleanup before spring. Repairing storage sheds, fences, and other tasks like this will give you more time in spring to focus on getting your garden started. Take advantage of the quiet of winter to clear up lingering brush piles or tackle the damage caused by storms. Winter is a great time to clear challenging overgrown areas while the plants are dormant. You can also prune broken, dead, and diseased limbs as needed now.
Plan Your Garden
What will your goals be in 2023? If you want to attract more pollinators to the garden, now’s a great time to figure out how you’ll do that. You may want to experiment with intercropping or companion planting, adding an herb garden, or trying out new varieties. Now’s the time to decide what you want to grow and lay out your garden. Then you’ll be ready to shop for seeds, plants, and equipment.
Create a Calendar
While you’re planning, think about timing. If you want to start seeds indoors, this is an especially important step. You’ll need to figure out how early to start your different seed varieties to give them plenty of time to get established before planting time. Consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to figure out your hardiness zone, and work from there to figure out when your last frost dates are and when it’s safe to start working the ground. There’s a lot to keep track of, so putting all these dates on a calendar can be a big help.
Shop for Seeds and Plants
Once you’ve got an idea, it’s time for the fun part - seed shopping! If you’ve taken the time to do all of this planning, you’re on your way to success. You’ll save a lot of money and be able to choose varieties that will work best for your situation. By shopping early, you’ll beat the usual spring rush and be less likely to run into seed shortages.
If you’re looking for a little help deciding, have a look at some of our seed bundles. We’ve got options for every type of gardener. If you’ve only got limited space, our Apartment Garden collection is filled with dwarf varieties and container-friendly vegetables. If you want to add an herb garden or attract pollinators, check out our herb and flower collections. And if you’re ready for a full-sized survival garden, our Home Garden, Homesteader, and Farmer Collections contain 180 different varieties of seeds to give you a full, well-rounded garden that can feed a crowd!