Getting ready for garden season


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! What snowy and icy weather we’ve been having lately! I hope the cold weather doesn’t “freeze” your thoughts about gardening this year! At the People’s Garden, we’re starting to prepare for our upcoming season! Ever wonder what someone can do now to prepare for the approaching garden season? Here are a few tips I’m using from Country Woman magazine, February/March 2018 issue that might also be of assistance to you.

1. Tune up your tools. Use a damp cloth or soak to chip away anything stuck on. Gently sand off any rust and wipe blades using an oil-saturated cloth. Lastly, sanitize tools with rubbing alcohol, which is less corrosive than bleach. Common tools to clean would be garden troughs, shovels and hoes. Check oil, gas levels and weed eater line in weed eaters, as well as gas and oil levels in push mowers. Tighten bolts or sharpen any blades if needed.

2. Select seeds. We have free seeds at the People’s Garden. However, you can also make a plant wish list for your garden, then order seeds from your local nursery, seed catalog or online garden website. Plant after the last expected frost or according to seed packet directions. Plants that thrive early in the garden are peas with trellises, hardy greens like kale and radishes.

3. Cover an existing garden area with compost. This is beneficial because it generates heat as it breaks down. Place a layer to a depth of 1 to 3 inches, being sure not to bury any emerging perennials.

I hope these tips help to jump start your garden this season.

If you’re interested in gardening but don’t have the space or know how, please visit the People’s Garden, a local community garden at 209 Brooklyn Ave., Sidney. We have raised garden beds to rent for $10 each that are already filled with soil. Tools, seeds and expertise are provided along the way, so your garden experience can be a success. We are also in need of volunteers to help even if you don’t want to rent a garden bed. Volunteers are needed to tend to the existing garden beds and assist with keeping the garden looking maintained. There will be more information at our garden open house March 23. More information will be included in our March article. I hope to see you this season at the People’s Garden. Please contact Conelia Dixon at 937-726-9525 for more details.

By Michelle Stephenson

The writer is a volunteer at the People’s Garden.

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