Spring Garden Preparation (or “Hoarding Is Good for the Earth”)

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I know it's still the dead of winter, but it's already time to start spring garden preparation! We're well in the middle of our garden preparation, clearing out our garden space, preparing soil and gathering supplies.

spring garden preparation

This little backyard space will soon be a bonafide starter garden brimming with fruits and vegetables.

Spring garden preparation with supplies we have at home

household gardening supplies

Toilet paper rolls for seed starters

I've already begun saving all our toilet paper rolls to make my own little seed starter containers! I won't have to spend a dime on peat pots, and toilet paper rolls are totally biodegradable so I can just stick them directly in the ground with the plant. You can also make seed starter pots with newspaper. I'm a little bit nervous about starting our seeds indoors (what if it's too cold in here? what if they don't get enough light?), but I've researched a ton and I'm already learning little tricks like using a shop light to help boost growth. I'll be sharing everything I learn as I go.

Leftover food for rich soil

We've started composting! Making our own natural fertilizer is super-easy with the Soilsaver Classic Composter (our leftover coffee grounds and eggshells are already adding up quickly). These composters are available on Amazon, but we actually picked ours up at the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation here in San Diego. San Diego subsidizes the cost so that residents in certain parts of the county only have to pay $40 instead of the usual retail price of $94. To see if your county has a similar program, just Google your county name plus the word “composting.” That should help point you in the right direction toward any local resources available to you.

spring garden preparation

Old silverware for garden markers

Nate and I are making garden markers by punching plant names into old silverware with letter and number stamps. We picked up the Tekton 5/32″ stamper kit on Amazon (it'll also be perfect for jewelry projects down the line) to do the lettering with. Cheaper metal actually stamps the easiest, so don't feel compelled to go buy anything fancy!

tire gardening

Bald tires for tire gardening

Tire gardening is the perfect way to give large plants like cantaloupes and watermelons their own space. We've finally come up with a good use for the old Hyundai tires we've been keeping around!

We're ordering all our seeds for the season from FedCo, a cooperative that sells a ton of varieties of non-GMO seeds in small quantities perfect for starting home gardeners (I've always been aggravated having to buy a whole packet at the store when I know I'll never use them all). The company's located in Maine, so their cold-hardy plants do well in pretty much any part of the United States, and they have helpful commentary throughout each of their plant listings to point us newbies in the right direction. Check back tomorros for a full listing of the exact seed varieties we ordered from them for our spring garden preparation. We're planning quite the bountiful crop full of beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, peas, peppers, pumpkins, okra, onion, spinach, squash, tomatoes and watermelon.

gardening essentials

Are you getting into spring garden preparation mode? If you're planning to start plants from seeds (instead of transplanting pre-started plants from the nursery), it's almost time to get them going indoors with the help of a few other on-hand items like an old shop light or reptile light and syran wrap. We'll walk you through every step and help you figure out when to sow your plants indoors and outdoors, depending on the frost date in your area.

Click on over for our full seed order list and planting plan!

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10 thoughts on “Spring Garden Preparation (or “Hoarding Is Good for the Earth”)”

  1. We have tried gardening before to horrible results, lol…however, I might try some of your techniques and see if it helps! I especially love the tire gardening idea. :)

    Dawn

    • Lol. We had some pretty horrible results the first couple go-arounds too. Timing is definitely an important factor that I never really considered. That and, oh yeah, you have to actually water the plants once in awhile!

  2. Wow, it’s amazing how many gardening tools we already have in our house! I’ve always wanted to start a garden, but I have a bit of a black thumb. Still, I’m going to try this spring!

    • You can do it! I used to say that I had the black thumb of death. I killed pretty much any living green thing that had the misfortune of crossing my path. A little research and determination makes all the difference.

  3. My daughter has been begging me for a garden and I’m going to try to start some seedling with her finally this spring.

    • Depending on your daughter’s age, there’s this adorable book called Go Green and Giggle that helps get kids into gardening. I’m totally using it with my boys when they’re a little older.

  4. I had a mini blind that got a broken piece. When I replaced it, I cut up all the slats to use as plant markers. I should be stocked for MANY years. :-) Thanks for the other ideas.

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