Good Day Rochester today with Norma, Jennifer and Adam – what a lovely trio! We talked about how to start a small garden – to experience the joy of growing your own food…and the planning, time, hard work, weather-watching energy it takes to make it happen! It is a joy to hang with these experts – they make me feel so welcome! Always smiling, open, kind and professional. I am blessed to get to work with them.
No garden for me this year as I will be sailing my ship all summer…Except for my garlic – which is up and healthy in spite of the long W…Hoping Hannah will harvest it for me come end of July – right H?
Raised beds are the way to go in my opinion – more control of the soil, keeps things organized and it looks nice. A little more expense up front with a kit or a make your own but in the long run a better gig. I made my own – two 8 x 2 beds with 1×8 planks – with more expensive cedar wood and brass brackets. The second set of smaller 1 x 1 boxes were I made later were standard untreated planks and scraps. Supposedly cedar does not rot and can deter bugs but I am not sure it really matters except for being sure the wood is untreated.
Even with raised beds, there are still weeds to pull and bunnies to deter but daily maintenance and an easy wire fence helps. Once the garden was set up I spent 20 minutes (at least) a day picking weeds, watering and tidying – was lucky to have metal stakes in the ground from the prior garden when I moved in. More scrap wire in the garage made it “easy” to expand the garden space in Year 2. Some day I will add a white picket fence and trellis archway with a gate…#gardendreams. I also turned the garden 90 degrees and doubled the size. Ask me about learning to use a roto-tiller with no injuries or hospital trips.
Basic potting soil for vegetables is fine – often there are sales on the larger bags. The really serious gardeners test their soil first then add other nutrients – calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen, compost. I did not go that far – but I did note the effect of the 6 black walnut trees in my back yard. They tend to make the soil very acidic – hard for tomatoes (kept in pots), potatoes (didn’t plant), carrots (very small) and squash (never happened – and believe me I tried, I really tried.) Expert soil info here from Mother Earth News….
Pot gardens are great too – be sure to choose ones with drainage. I prefer ceramic because they last longer (and can look nicer – personal preference of course. Go bigger than you think – once the plants take root, they will need room to breathe and expand. I have never tried the hay bale gardens but check out the Modern Farmer’s tips here – good stuff!
Start today – do what you can! Even herbs in a pot on the window sill count! Kids benefit from seeing the seed to table miracle, they can gain responsibility for tending the garden and there are endless self-sufficiency lessons to be learned. The time it takes to garden replaces other hobbies/free time – in a good way – less TV, more time outside, less couch time, more outside time, and did I say more outside time?
Garden On People.
Have a Nothing New Day! ~ Kristin