If you’re like a lot of people in Georgia, you have a garden. It’s just an activity that many in our part of the country enjoy. There is peacefulness about digging your hands in the earth, and growing healthy foods that will be available for you to eat almost all year round. The idea of involving children in your garden, planting seeds together, watching them grow and bringing them to the dinner table can be teachable moments in a home.
The two planting seasons, March-May and July- September are past but we are in the middle of the fall harvest season October-December. What a treat to go out to the yard and garden and choose the freshest items for a beautiful salad or side dish! As you are taking stock of what you have and what you want to plant next spring, make a list of your wants, collect your seed catalogs and get ready to plant next spring. Spring planting season can be 2-3 weeks earlier for those folks in South Georgia and as much as two weeks later for the fall. The opposite is true for Northern Georgia, when spring planting season can be one to three weeks later and two weeks earlier in the fall.
As you prepare for the dishlishisness that will be your garden next summer, there are a few things you can do in November.
Prepare the Soil
Utilize your organic options as this is the best time to spread your mixture of manure, sawdust (rotted) and leaves over the area and mix thoroughly or plow. Fall is when leaves cover the ground. Best to grind this stuff and put 4″ around garden plants to conserve heat and moisture. This also helps build the soil humus.This preparation will ensure the ground is fertile and will increase the ability of the soil to hold water .
Test the Soil
If you’re inclined to the technical aspects of gardening, take a soil sample to find out how to properly enrich your soil with a sample test kit. You can find out more about soil testing. If you’re not sure if you have an adequate amount of lime or too much calcium, this is the best way to find out.
Make Garden Notes
Make note of the vegetables you and your family thoroughly enjoyed and those you shared more with neighbors or friends. Decide if you need to plant more or less this next season. Also, try something new that might benefit your health in one way or another. Iceberg lettuce has little to no nutritional value. Consider the now popular Kale, as a substitute. Kale has all the Vitamin A and C that a body needs in one cup. Plus it is the best breast cancer fighting vegetable you can eat! Spinach has the most folate which your body uses to convert food to energy and produce healthy red blood cells! The last one on our list is Swiss Chard. Colorful and healthy! It has lots of vitamin A,C and K and has iron and some calcium. Grow a bowl of vitamins with these lettuce choices!
As many parts of the country get ready for their blanket of snow, we can use this time to prepare our garden for spring planting season and relish our gardens and the fruits of our planning and labor all year long!