It's high time to get going with your gardening preparations for spring. The first frost-free date is May 9, so you've got some time to get things just right in your garden while the weather is cool.
Thinking of buying from Wheeling homes for sale or Moundsville homes for sale? Be sure to look for a good garden spot on the property with plenty of sun, good drainage, and a level surface.
If you already are in your home, get started with these suggestions and enjoy your spring gardening.
- Choose your spot.
Here's hoping you have that sunny, level spot with good drainage mentioned above. A little dappled shade shouldn't hurt, but you need at least six hours of sunlight.
Do you need to get rid of weeds or grass? Rather than dousing them with chemicals that may harm creatures and the environment, try solarizing by laying down black plastic, which heats up weeds and grass.
- Lay out your garden.
One of the best ways to grow vegetables or flowers is in a raised bed. You can buy a frame for a raised bed at the garden store or make it yourself, but it should be about six by four feet, with room between the frames if you opt for more than one. Locate it near a source of water, as raised soil mounds can dry out easily. Add a layer of grass clippings, leaves, straw, or other organic material. Place a layer of cardboard on top of that layer. The organic stuff will turn into compost. The cardboard will prevent weeds. Fill it with good soil and compost.
A raised bed gives your garden plants a place to put down deep roots in good soil. The framed beds make it easier to get at weeds.
- Plan what you will grow.
Some vegetables that do well here are bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, kale, leeks, cauliflower, celery, sweet onions, potatoes, and green beans.
- Start seedlings indoors.
Some gardeners enjoy raising their plants from seeds. You can buy a miniature hothouse kit with cells, soil, and a protective plastic cover and plant your seeds according to instructions. Be sure to use markers to identify the seedlings. Follow directions on seed packs or the miniature hothouse to thin seedlings and for transplanting. Use a grow light so that seedlings get adequate light and don't grow up leggy, and possibly a seedling heat mat if conditions are cold enough to warrant it.
If you want to skip starting seeds, buy bedding plants from the garden store, or sow directly into the soil.
- Do some maintenance on existing garden beds.
If you have existing garden beds, do some maintenance, clearing out weeds or perennials stalks. Add fresh compost and mulch in preparation for replacing any plants that were lost or damaged over winter. Trim back tree limbs that might block sunlight.
- Planting your garden.
Once the danger of frost has passed, you're ready to plant your seedlings, bedding plants, or sow seeds directly. If you transplant seedlings, make sure they are sturdy enough to withstand the hot sun. Some shading may be necessary until they are sturdy enough to survive in the garden. You may plant intensively (lots of plants together, so they shade out weeds) or in rows.
- Weeding and maintenance.
Check your plants daily, weeding, watering, and fertilizing as needed. If you get garden pests, talk to your local garden center or the West Virginia University Extension Service about natural applications to control them.
Our real estate agents can recommend lots of properties with good gardening possibilities. Contact us today.