We often talk in the Wellness Wednesday column about the importance of healthy nutrition habits and staying active. Gardening is a great way to accomplish both goals. Although we’ll be losing an extra hour of daylight this coming weekend, the next few months give you plenty of time to literally lay the groundwork for a truly productive home garden in 2020.
First, decide what you want to plant. Gardening space, soil characteristics, time of year, exposure to daylight sun, potential threats from critters, your time and expertise, as well as the eating interests of your family and friends are all factors to consider as you plan your garden. As a general rule, some of the best choices in terms of nutrition and ease of growing are lettuce and other leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and green beans. Local garden shops and online resources can assist on your planning and garden design, and can help you decide on the crops and amounts to plant.
November and December are a really good, somewhat underrated, time to spend time with the land itself. Do some digging in the garden on those sunny weekends when you have spare time between now and when the weather gets really cold. You can even start to get weeds under control with mulching, to keep sunlight away from the weed seedlings.
You can also begin to introduce natural fertilizer, including compost, which will decompose and begin its real work by spring. Finally, use this quiet time to sharpen your tools and purchase items you’ll need to make working in the garden as effective and enjoyable as possible. Remember, “planning your planting” before the end of this year will give you a good head start on next year’s garden!