Of course, a permaculture food forest should be the majority of your food planting for so, so many reasons. But planting a spring annual garden can be a great way to add to your food forest, in terms of variety and quick-producing food plants.
In most areas, two vegetable crops a year can be planted, one in spring and one in later summer for fall or early winter harvest. A useful resource for annual planting calendars can be found at https://garden.org/apps/calendar/ maintained by the National Gardening Association. Vegetable planting guides are also available at the site.
Planting a spring annual vegetable garden can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some steps you can follow to get started:
1. Choose a location: Find a spot in your yard or garden that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and has well-draining soil.
2. Choose your vegetables: Select vegetables that are well-suited to your growing region and that can be planted in the spring. Some popular options include lettuce, spinach, peas, radishes, carrots, and broccoli.
3. Prepare the soil: Remove any weeds or debris from the planting area and work in some compost or other organic matter to improve the soil quality.
4. Plant the seeds: Follow the planting instructions on the seed packets for each vegetable. Some vegetables can be planted directly in the ground, while others may need to be started indoors and transplanted later.
5. Water regularly: Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and water your plants regularly to ensure they are growing well.
6. Feed the soil as needed: If your soil is lacking in nutrients, you will want to add some organic matter to help your plants grow.
7. Monitor for pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for any signs of pests or diseases and take action quickly if you notice any problems.
With a little planning and care, your spring annual garden can provide a beautiful and welcoming space for you and your guests to enjoy, in addition to your permaculture food forest.