Ostara is coming, and I couldn’t be more excited. I am the type of person that loves the springtime, that loves dirty hands and freshly planted herbs and seeds. There are a few things I like to do during this time, besides the typical spring cleaning that happens. I don’t know if I will get to everything before Ostara actually hits, but I will definitely try.
Since we are planning on moving, there won’t even be much preparation for me to do since the growing season here in Oregon is very short and typically takes place closer to summer. However, I do have some plants I can grow in pots that I can hopefully take with me. So, that’s going to be my garden preparation this year.
I already have some white sage seeds started in a pot and I’m hoping they will take off and sprout. I’ve read that white sage is an extremely difficult plant to get germinated and sprouted, but I’m going to try! I also have some lavender seeds somewhere, but I’m not sure if I’m going to plant those since they tend to grow very large.
If you are planning on planting anything this growing season, now is the time to prepare your garden plans. I know some people really understand the different combinations of plants to go into one area for the best harvest. Some people prefer to plan out their gardens before planting. Some prefer to just wing it. Whatever your style is, now is the time to start those preparations. Plant those seeds and get them sprouted. A good way to do this indoors is to use an empty egg carton, fill it with soil, and then put a seed in each spot that an egg would sit. Then you can section these out if you are planting many different seeds at once! Once they’ve sprouted, you can begin to put them in the ground.
We also have several trees here on our property that need to be pruned before the peak of spring, and even though we are moving, it is probably a task that I will undertake to keep the trees from getting too big while we’re still here. We have a peach tree, a hybrid apple tree, and a crabapple tree. They produce fruit, but we also have a large problem here with bugs and other critters ruining our fruit. They were here when we moved into this home, so we just sort of let them do their thing and eat the fruit.
If you have trees, now is typically the time to prune them - especially if they are fruit-bearing trees. The reason for this is because you want to make sure that the dead branches that have less chance of bearing fruit are removed as well as any branches that are too young to bear fruit. Those branches take away vital nutrients from the branches that would be bearing the fruit, so it’s best to prune them before any leaves start budding.
The land here in Central Oregon is definitely not optimal for growing anything and that’s because of the climate and the fact that most of Central Oregon is built on top of lava rock and mountain. So, the ground is really hard. However, if you are in a place that has good land or soil, now is the time to start preparing it for the growing season.
Mix your soil with fertilizer. Get the soil turned and loose. I like to water down my soil before mixing in any fertilizer or extra potting soil. I feel like this helps the mixture combine better, but that’s just a personal preference of mine. You also want to make sure that you have the least amount of weeds as possible. I know sometimes this can be difficult, especially if you aren’t using pesticides or if you’re like us and use planters that were used previously (seriously, we have no idea what some of these things are that sprout in our planters because of the previous tenants).
Planting with the Moon
One thing I will definitely be learning more about after we move is planting with the phases of the moon. The Farmer’s Almanac is a wonderful resource for this if you haven’t heard of it already. Now would be a good time to start looking at the moon phases for the growing season and planning out when you are going to plant certain things. For example, the Farmer’s Almanac says that if your growing season is in March, then the 16th and 17th is a good time to plant any root crops, as they will do well. Looking at my Moon calendar, the 16th and 17th is the last quarter moon.
Do you have a garden? If so, what are the preparations you take to make sure it grows well?