Friday, May 15, 2009
Work hard, and then you wait
Our upper garden. The water source and great soil make this spot perfect.
When you plant a garden, there are a number of things to do before you begin.
Decide what you would like to plant and go for it. You might find some surprises at the seed store. Don't be afraid to try new things.
Draw your garden plot on a large piece of paper and lay out where your plants will go beforehand.
Now would be a great time to start a garden journal. Choose a notebook or scrapbook and keep detailed notes. You can use the information in the future. Even though you think you will remember, the details can get fuzzy over time. Photos are also a big help. There are some very good garden journals you can buy to get you started. One I would recommend is Katherine McCall's, A Record of the Garden 2009.
It might also benefit you to have a couple of gardening books. The internet can provide some good information, too.
2. Prepare the soil
Either use a tiller, hire someone to plow or prepare your raised beds.
3. Gather tools, supplies and seeds or plants
We had some leftover seeds and we bought some plants. We planted all of the usual things - tomatoes, peppers, green beans, eggplants, lettuce, Swiss chard, radishes, cucumbers, okra, butter beans, butter peas, summer squash, winter squash, melons, corn, pumpkins and potatoes. We may add a thing or two before it is over.
The tools I used included a hoe, a hand fork or trowel, water. I didn't apply fertilizer because I had already applied manure to the rows before planting.
Above, our corn and melon garden.
4. Work like crazy until things are planted
Tired and sore? Yes, but ... you have a garden!
5. Wait until your garden grows
It usually takes about a week before you see anything and then suddenly, everything happens and you are ready for the final step.
Don't believe that "Mother Nature" will take care of your garden for you. The sun and rain are great, but if you leave it alone from this point on, your garden is toast! You have to take care of it like it is your child. Water, nourishment, protection from bugs and wildlife, and then there is the weeding.
Thankfully, the end result is rewarding or people might decide not to bother. One seed produces a lot of tasty treats and it really is cheaper, fresher and tastier than buying from the store.
Tia, our garden mascot. She inspects everything as we plant.