By: Honey Good.
Spring is right around the corner! For many of us that is our prompt to clean our closets or plan a family vacation with children or grandchildren. For one of my daughters Spring means planting a garden.
Last year, she planted her first garden, all by herself. It was a huge vegetable garden with flowers (to take into her home) planted in between her gorgeous vegetable plants. Her garden thrived with enough fresh vegetables to feed her large family healthy meals over the summer and well into the fall. I was shocked and in awe of her accomplishment. She grew up with a mother loving all forms of nature from the newest little bud sprouting out of the ground to a hummingbird nest filled with babies. But I never learned how to plant a garden!
I was amazed at her knowledge and my lack of knowledge in the work that gardening takes! So I asked my daughter to share with me her gardening tips.
I found out it is not easy to plan, plant and tend to a garden. For those of you who want to try, below is a guide that may spark your interest. Or on the other hand, it may make you run out to your nearest Whole Foods produce department and just buy organic vegetables for the family. Either way, here you go:
Honey’s Gardening Tips
- Plant the following from seeds: carrots, peas, radishes, squash, beets, romaine lettuce, kale, cauliflower broccoli and beans.
- Plant the following from the plant: tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelon.
- Purchase an inexpensive soil test kit at your local garden center to test your soil.
- Wait for your area to have two warm weekends back to back before you start your garden.
- Dig your plotted space and prepare special soil - not easy!
- Carefully read the back of the seed packets so you can space your initial seedlings far enough apart when you plant. After the seedlings have germinated you must thin them out to prevent further crowding.
- Fertilize both organic and conventional gardens monthly! Keep the fertilizer four inches away from each plant.
- Water your garden as often as necessary. Use mulch to reduce the need for water and keep away weeds. Use a soaker hose and water at the base of each plant. The water should reach a depth of six inches. You cannot just turn on your sprinkler and come back later! Read the instructions for taking care of your plants, as plants such as cucumbers and cantaloupe must be watered twice a day, and can be time consuming.
- Water at either sunrise or sunset. That means up early and home by sunset!
- Keep bugs away so your garden will be free of disease. My daughter told me she planted rosemary and peppermint to keep pests out of her garden. Also, spray your fruits and vegetables. Ask your garden center for products.
- When planning your garden, your taller plants should go behind the smaller plants, and your smaller plants in front. You don’t want to shade your smaller plants.
Personally, I would prefer to savor my daughter’s vegetables and tend my own greenhouse- -- one filled with orchid plants! I would place a writing desk in my greenhouse so I could write my daily blog and a chaise to lounge on so I could appreciate the unparalleled beauty of my orchid plants. There, I would dream of what I will write. I would name my greenhouse: A Room of My Own. You could also think about doing that!
Hopefully this post has inspired you to think about gardening – or at the very least, appreciate all the work that goes into it!
If you were to start a garden, what would you grow? You can add your comments in the section below!