Now is the time to start planning for the coming season. We recommend that each gardener draw a plan of what they wish to plant. Save this plan for future reference.

The biggest mistake beginning gardeners make is planting too close. Crowded plants do not produce a greater harvest and may encourage disease and pest damage. Check out: Plot Designs for suggestions.

It is best practice to rotate your plantings. Many of use a four year rotation. A common rotation is onions, then next year lettuce, followed by carrots the third year and the fourth year beans. This keeps disease and insect pests to a minimum.

If you haven't prepared your garden bed for spring planting this will be your first step. Never work the soil when it is wet or too moist. This will cause clumping and clods in most of our soils in this area. Be patient and wait until the soil is dry enough to work. When the soil is ready add that compost from your compost pile (or bring in some compost or well aged cow, horse or alpaca manure). Spread about three to four inches on top of your beds and work it down eight to ten inches. Water well and cover with a 6 to 8 inch layer of straw until you are ready to plant. That will keep the moisture in the ground.

Now this is the hard part: waiting until spring finally arrives.