It’s Spring! Which means it’s time for thriving! You may have noticed the mango trees in bloom and the abundance of baby chickens everywhere. The spring season for us in the tropics means an extra boost in plant growth and a good time to fertilize any fruit trees or perennial plants.
Though we are blessed with year round gardening here on Kaua’i, we can still make the most of the weather by timing our plantings with the seasons.
Here are 5 tips to get your garden thriving this spring!
Thrive Tip #1: Plant with the weather in mind
While there is still a little chill in the air, dark leafy greens are at their best!
- Kale, Spinach and Cabbage all do well in our spring season. Cooler temperatures make them sweeter and they’ll be happy in the ground longer than during the summer months.
- Lettuces and salad greens also love this early spring time before the heat of the summer brings them to bolt.
- Start planning for those summer veggies too! I like to put my Tomato starts in the ground right about now so the fruits are ripening with the start of summer.
- Cucumbers, Eggplant and Peppers all love a spring start and can even bear fruit throughout the fall!
- Beans and Okra love the summer heat and can stand a bit of drought.
Thrive Tip #2: Leaf, Root, Legume, Fruit
When I am planning my spring and summer garden I like to keep crop rotations in mind. Rotating what goes where is the best way to utilize available nutrients and break the cycles of pesky pests and diseases. A wonderful crop rotation mantra is Leaf, root, legume, fruit! Through the course of a year in one bed I might rotate Lettuce (leaves), Carrots (root), Beans (legume) and then Tomatoes (fruit).
If you want to really get crop rotations right it’s best to go by plant families. Tomatoes and peppers are both in the same family, Solanaceae, and have similar nutrient requirements. Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli and Radishes are all in the Brassica family and share many of the same pests.
Beans and peas are legumes and actually restore nitrogen to the soil, adding them into your rotation helps replace some of the nutrients used by other crops. Rotating through plant families is one of the best practices to keep your garden healthy all year long.
Of course if you have a small plot or a container garden there is not always enough space to use crop rotation effectively. If that is the case, it’s a good idea to add compost and fertilizer and turn the soil a little every time you replant.
Thrive Tip #3: Don’t forget your companions
If you are gardening in a small space, Companion Planting can be very useful. For example, Basil can improve the flavor of both Lettuce and Tomatoes! While Beans will improve the growth of most plants they don’t like to be near Alliums such as Garlic, Green Onions or Leeks.
Planting aromatic herbs in your garden can really help keep the bugs down as well. My favorites are Lemon Verbena, Basil, Sage, Nasturtium and Marigold.
Thrive Tip #4: Pick Quality Starts
Our vibrant, healthy veggie and herb starts are grown right here at the Nursery. We use Organic seeds and soil to cultivate plants that have proven to grow well in our climate. Our experienced staff knows how frustrating it can be to buy a bunch of seeds and not have them come up or not do well. Let us help you get a head start in starting your garden out right!
Right now we have quite a stock of starts! We are carrying herbs like Fennel, Mint, Parsley, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Dill, and Thyme. We also have veggies like Chard, Okra, Red Cabbage, Tomato, and so so so much more!
Thrive Tip #5: Feed your Soil, Feed your Soul
Growing your own food can be incredibly rewarding and empowering. In our modern times of fast paced living and political uncertainty, connecting to ourselves and our environments through our food sources is one of the best ways to stay happy, healthy and free!
Unfortunately, our soils have been impacted by over farming and climate change. We need to add nutrients to the soil in order to feed and nourish ourselves.
Fertilizing in the spring is especially important to provide a boost of nutrients and encourage new growth. It’s a good idea to get your soil tested yearly to learn what nutrients are necessary and prevent over-fertilization.
We supply Hendrikus Fertilizers to our community because their company mission aligns with our goals and values as well. They are Organic and safe to use. They are safe for wildlife and aren’t going to pollute our rivers or oceans. Hendrikus also re-invests into local and national groups that support organic environmental and personal health.
Here at Seascapes Nursery we carry a rich selection of soil amendments and our knowledgeable staff will surely answer any questions or concerns you might have in regards to which fertilizers or soil accompaniments you might need.
The very nature of Spring is based around nourishment.
It’s a time when the earth naturally nourishes itself and with the increase in daylight the earth not only provides plants with the light they need; it also warms up the soil.
In short, spring nurtures the growth of plants and trees. So what a wonderful opportunity it is for us to take the time to nourish our soils and gardens which will in turn nourish us for the rest of the year!
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