Garden Fever

my first veggie garden, early June 2010

I grew up on homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers. In my humble opinion, there is nothing better than a BLT sandwich with a fresh slice of tomato still warm from the summer sun. Yum.

(Pardon me… my mouth is watering).

If you’ve  always wanted to grow some of your own veggies, now is the time to plan your garden.

Gardening is pretty easy, but it does take some planning and hard work.Personally, I think there is something very therapeutic about digging in the dirt with your hands.

I found a great article on starting a garden from Living on A Dime. It’s a mother-daughter team that knows how to live frugally – without saving dryer lint,  if you know what I’m sayin’. A portion of it is posted below.

my herb garden, June 2010

What to Plant And Where (From Living on A Dime)

Most vegetables and herbs need to planted in full sun. That means the area needs at least six hours of sun or more a day.

Buying Plants

To start, you may want to buy plants in flats from your garden centers. Here are some things to think about when buying your plants and when you’re deciding what you want and need:

  • Start with easy plants. Herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, carrots, radishes, spinach are all very easy to grow.
  • Read the information on the tags of the plants. Do they need to be planted twelve inches apart. If so and you have a ten foot row available to plant them, that means you can only put ten plants on that row.
  • When buying flowers, remember to check and see if they need full shade, full sun, etc. and plant them in those areas. One of the biggest mistakes first time gardeners make is buying a plant because they like it and know where they want it, not realizing that, no matter what they do, a shade plant will die when planted in full sun and a full sun plant won’t grow in the shade.
  • Less is best to start. I usually plant one plant for each person who eats tomatoes, plus two extra in case some of them die. I don’t can my extra produce. If you want to do that, you will need to plant more.
  • Start with simple things at first. Cucumbers, radishes, lettuce and squash are some good ones to plant first. I started my first garden with corn. It was a mess and I got almost nothing for all of my work.

my sons, with the first cucumbers of the season

Prepare The Soil

  • Rototill or dig soil, getting rid of rocks, and remove sod and weeds. If you try Square Foot Gardening, you won’t need to rototill– just dig. If you are digging up grass, put it in another area of the yard that you need to patch.
  • Add compost. This will help with drainage and give the plants a boost of nutrients.
  • Lay down newspaper or black fabric garden cloth to help control weeds. I put my weed barrier down and put mulch on top before planting the plants. Then I just put a small hole in it and put my plant in. It’s much easier than trying to mulch around all the little plants. (Note from Mike: Don’t use plastic for weed control. If you do, the plants won’t get enough water.)

If you want to know more about starting seeds, designing a garden, when to plant, how/how much to water, weed control and pests, etc., click  here.

Once I get my plan in order, I’ll share it with you.

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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