Gardening Tips: Garden Planning
It’s been so cold the last few days I doubt many people are thinking about gardening, let alone actually outside doing it. For me personally, this is the start of the time of year where I spend a lot of time indoors for meetings, evaluating programs from the past year and planning activities for the new year. It’s a good time for us to take stock of things in the garden as well. In fact, I think it’s a really important part of gardening to take some time, formally or informally, periodically to just sort of evaluate the state of things and plan for the future.
There are several ways you can do this. For vegetable gardens, you can look at the varieties you grew this past year and assess them. Was there a particular variety of pepper that didn’t yield very well or a tomato that succumbed to disease? Was your corn not as flavorful as you’d like it to be? Perhaps these are varieties that you should avoid going forward. In just a few weeks seed companies will start sending out their 2014 catalogs and you’ll have a great opportunity to browse and find replacements for next years garden.
You can also take stock of insect and disease problems that you’ve had, which is true for vegetable gardens as well as flower gardens and really any other situation. When you encounter insect and disease issues, and we all do, it’s good to familiarize yourself as much as possible with the insect or disease in question in order to best equip yourself to control them. Some insect and disease problems have very small windows of time where treatment is effective and it’s important to know when those windows occur and what treatments are most effective. Now is good time to review those issues that pop up regularly in your garden and develop a plan for when and how to treat them next year.
Finally, it’s a good time to do some planning if you want to dive into something new. One such opportunity is beekeeping, an area where there has been a lot of local interest over the past several years. Locally, we have recognized the need to protect our pollinators by forming the Halifax / Northampton Beekeepers Association, of which I am the President. We meet monthly to offer support to local beekeepers, both experienced and beginning. We always welcome any interested parties to join us at our meetings in order to learn more about bees and beekeeping. However, our November meeting, should be of particular interest to anyone new to beekeeping or thinking about getting started. At this meeting our guest speaker Ricky Coor, President of the Coastal Plain Beekeepers Association, will give a presentation about getting started in beekeeping. We hope to follow this up by offering a beginner beekeeping school in the spring. If interested, please join us at the Halifax Agricultural Center at 6 pm on November 25th. There is no cost and no reservations are necessary but feel free to contact the Extension office if you have any questions.
Matthew Stevens is the horticulture extension agent for Halifax County Cooperative Extension. If you have any questions about this article or other aspects of your home gardening, please contact Matthew at 583-5161 or email@example.com.