Monday, April 12, 2010

All Things Garden- A DIY Guide

As the weather warms up and green begins to be my favorite color, my mind wanders to my childhood- gardening with my dad and reaping the benefits later. Now that I have my own home, all be it small with no backyard, I want to start my own this year. Nothing sounds better to me right now than eating some peas right off of the plant or a fresh cucumber salad.

How do you start your own garden?
It's easy! Just a few steps to get started.

Step One: Gather Tools and Materials Step Two: Select your plot
  • Locate the garden away from buildings and trees.
  • Have the garden where it is convenient to your house and to water.
  • The garden should be well drained but not droughty.
  • Locate the garden on the best soil available -- a sandy loam soil is best.
  • Protect the plot, whether large or small, with a good fence.
  • Source: The Farm
When should I start planting my garden?

The National Garden Association recommends, "In general, plant cool-season crops (peas, lettuce, greens, cole crops, and root crops) so they can mature before the onset of mid-summer heat or freezing autumn weather. Some, such as peas and spinach, will germinate in soils as cool as 40° F. Most cool-season crops will germinate and grow if planted about two weeks before the last spring frost.

Plant heat-loving, warm-season crops (such as squash, beans, corn, melons, and cucumbers) only after the soil has warmed, about two weeks after the last frost in spring. These crops require soil temperatures between 60° and 70° F."

The Garden Helper has an awesome chart where vegetables are listed alphabetically with information on when to plant, how deep to plant the seeds and the distance needed between seeds. For example, I am planting:

Carrots

  • Should plant- April and again in July
  • Space between other plants=2-4" and space needed between rows=18-24"
  • Plant 1/2" deep
  • Will mature in 90 days
View The Garden Helper's Vegetable Growing Tips and Planting Guide for a complete listing.

What if I don't have room for a garden?
No problem! There are several solutions. For one thing, many places have public gardens that you can pay a small fee to have your own plot. See if there is one in your area HERE.

Also, small, portable gardens can work for any type of living situation. Here are a few of my favorites:

Vertical Vegetables
Create a hanging vegetable garden out of a pocket shoe store.

Filing Cabinet Planter Box
via Design Sponge

An Earth Box
Instructable on How-To Build Your Own Earth Box out of a plastic storage bin.

Happy Planting and Growing!

4 comments:

  1. i love the idea of a garden and every year i start one. in fact the kids and i have a little one that we take in at night right now (it is still cold here in utah) and even though all looks well-i promise you that i will kill everything in it.
    it is a good thing im cute because some days that is all i have going for me!

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  2. I really need to get started, I guess! I want tomatoes and lettuce, at least, for my little apartment deck. The shoe hanger garden is crazy!

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  3. Hi, just wanted to stop by and say "hi"...I'm #10 in the parade of homes. Love your blog! So glad I found it! Getting nervous for the big day!

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  4. Ohhh! I want a garden so badly!

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