Preparing for the 2020 garden

January and February are prep months for gardening. Here’s a list of what you should be doing.

We have been busy making preparations for our summer garden.

Having recently moved to a new home, Ron spent last fall building the garden beds. He prepped them with rocky bottoms to assist in drainage and tied into the sprinkling system so each bed has its own watering source.

The raised beds were built with 2 x 12 x 16 treated boards. It takes two of these boards to build a single bed. He managed to get 4 beds built before winter, and we still have one more 12 ft bed as well as the herb bed to assemble.

As January rolled around, the daily delivery of seed catalogs became an important piece of literature in our home. I used sticky notes, bent page corners, and a black marker to tag potential seed purchases.


  1. Start looking at seed catalogs to see the NEW seeds offered and to check for the ones you have enjoyed from year to year.

  2. Start thinking about where you have stored all your equipment from past years, as well as considering what you need to add for the list for this year’s garden.

  3. If you’re growing your own sweet potato plants, now is the time to get them started.  Start them at least two months before your last forecasted frost date.

We live in zone 6, so I started rooting my sweet potatoes three weeks ago. Our citrus trees seemed like a good place to temporarily house the sweet potato starts.


  1. Inventory the seeds you have on hand from last season.

    • TIP: Purchase seeds at the end of the season. You’ll get really good prices on your favorites.

  2. Sanitize your old equipment. Your new seedlings will appreciate the clean environment for growing.

  3. Organize your seed list and what you need to order, but more importantly, in the second week of February, order your onion plants. For zone 6, it’s important we receive our onion plants by the first of April. We actually request delivery the week of March 30.

    • TIP: We purchase $20 in onion plants from Dixondale Farms in Carrizo Springs, Texas. This gives us over 100 pounds of excellent, sweet onions. These onions have never failed to be huge, yummy and Dixondale does not charge shipping. Added bonus!

  4. The third week of February is order time! Shipping is typically prompt from seed companies, so order all your seeds, supplies and equipment and you should have everything you need the fourth week of February.


••• ONION TIPS •••

We like the 1015Y Texas Sweet or Walla Walla because they are super sweet onions. This year, in addition to these two varieties, we ordered the Candy and the Red Candy Apple onions, too.

The Red Candy Apple is the sweetest onion variety available. It contains a higher concentration of Quercetins, a plant pigment (flavonoid) that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help delay or slow damage to the cells and tissue of the body.

Although these are not long-term storage onions, we manage to have fresh garden onions through the holiday season.

When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden. – Minnie Aumonier, 18th Century Poet

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