It’s that time of the year when fruit & vegetable stands are popping up everywhere, which always inspires me to grow a garden. For several years, we had a huge garden. However, after tending it for so long, I became burnt out. Last year, I decided I wanted to try a tiny garden and see how it went.
We tilled a small spot around 20'x20' and plotted what to plant. After talking to a friend about planting strawberries, I learned about companion planting. I thought to myself, "companion what?!"
I am very proud of myself this year. I’ve managed to keep my little vegetable patch weeded. You may think that this is not such a big deal, but it is for me. I hate weeding! Trying to differentiate between weeds and vegetables (especially when they are seedlings) is a pain. Who knew that spinach seedlings look just like grass? Not me. Good thing I was letting those weeds get a little taller so I could get a hold of them. Bending, stooping, or kneeling is also a pain (sometimes literally). I have been using a rotary cultivator to help with the weeding chore.
Time to think about planting some vegetables! Gone are the days when this hobby was a summer tradition just for fun. With the economy squeezing everyone’s wallet, this can be a cost saving measure to feed your family. And if you think you do not have enough ground to grow, how about growing in pots? You can do this on your driveway or your apartment balcony. Here are some vegetables beyond the patio tomatoes, suited for container gardening:
Spring has finally arrived! I love to grow and can my own vegetables. I was looking through one of the How to Grow your Own Vegetables books from the library, and it suggested that you take about 2 inches of the left-over celery end and put it in potting soil. In a couple weeks, it would grow a new stalk of celery for you.
Having a love for growing my own vegetables, I just had to try this. About 2 weeks ago, I put the celery end into my potting soil. Low and behold, I now have celery stalks growing in my pot!
Since this past winter was so warm, I have been expecting a lot of bugs this summer. So have many other gardeners I have talked to. I am trying to use organic methods to keep them out of my garden this year. I have plenty of birds in the yard, so they will help quite a bit. I also planted marigolds around the edges of my vegetable garden to help deter the bugs. I have also noticed a lot of ladybugs crawling around the yard and have spotted a couple of praying mantises, too. These two insects are voracious eaters of other (mostly harmful) insects.
In this hot dry weather, I’m sure no one is thinking about planting more garden vegetable. But did you know that you can plant a fall crop of certain cool weather vegetables? Many of our favorite spring crops can be replanted in late summer for a fall harvest. Also, many of the pests and diseases that plague early crops are not as much of an issue late in the season.
I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about gardening for wildlife. How fun would it be to look out and see birds, bees, and butterflies flitting around your back yard? Rabbits playing tag and chipmunks scurrying to and fro are entertaining for people (and pets) to watch. I’ve found that gardening for wildlife is really easy and low maintenance, too.
Pruning is one of those garden tasks that I always seem to put off as long as I can. Quite frankly, I’m intimidated by the whole prospect of cutting bits and pieces off of my plants. What if I cut off the wrong branch? What happens if I prune a shrub at the wrong time of year? It’s enough to make me want to hide my pruners in the back of the garden shed for the season.
According to an article featured on the Kansas City Star website, now is the time to prepare, plan, and even plant for a bountiful fall garden. I’m not excited to get to work in a garden now, but a little pain now could go a long way later. At least that is what I’m hoping.
I just need to learn what to plant and how to plant it. Now, where I can find this information? You know where this is going. Below are the books I am going to start with.
Most all gardeners are aware of the USDA climate zone map for the United States, but did you know that there is also a heat zone map? I didn’t know about it until the other day when I was looking for the climate zone map on Google and found the heat zone map, too. It was compiled by the American Horticulture Society (AHS) to show the number of days per year that the temperature is above 86 degrees for all areas of the US. This is a great new tool for gardeners to use to ensure the plants they choose will thrive in their area.