There has been a lot of talk about gardens in my world lately. It started with Joe and I discussing our plans for the backyard and it snowballed from there...turning into somewhat of Pinterest obsession. Gardening isn't easy...even though it looks easy right? I mean it looks like you just plant some stuff and then you water it every once in awhile and then stuff grows and you eat it. If only it was that simple. Okay it kind of was that simple when I had a small garden but I know I got lucky. So let's talk about gardens and how to make them successful. At least how I am hoping our expanded garden will be successful this year.
Deciding what to grow
How do you even pick when there are so many delicious things that you can grow??? There are lots of things to consider including the type of soil you have, the plants growing season and how much sun your garden gets. And if you are in this house then you also have to consider that your husband insists on planting at least one thing that will grow "really big". Last time it was watermelons and I feel like this year it will be pumpkins.
I am leaning towards planting tomatoes, cucumber, beans, peas, lettuce, carrots, onion, garlic, peppers...what else do I want???
It is cheaper if you start your garden from seeds. Most need 6-8 weeks to germinate so you need to figure out when you want to plant (based on your climate) and count back from there. For me that time frame is the end of March or beginning of April. Seeds NEED to be non GMO and non Monsanto. There are lots of companies out there so look for one that meets your needs and price range. I found the Sustainable Seed Company through Sam.
Once you have your seeds you need to start growing them. Rishma posted this on my Facebook wall and it looks like a great eco solution and yes I Pinned it.
What a great way to use your toilet paper rolls!
Make sure your seeds get some light and water so they can grow grow grow! When you are ready to plant just plop them into the ground and hello instant garden!
Don't over water your garden. Pay attention to what you have planted and what its specific requirements are. If you over water you can end up with mould growing on the soil. I am hoping that we can attach a pump to our rain barrel and use that water to water our garden automatically on a timer. If not then I will just manually water it from the rain barrel.
Watch for weeds and pull them carefully so you don't spread the seeds. When you are first creating your garden think about putting a barrier down under the soil. You can buy biodegradable barriers but you will eventually have to replace them as they degrade if you want your garden to remain weed free. You can also use cardboard which is a great way to reuse instead of recycling.
There is nothing worse than putting hard work into a garden and watching it be eaten by animals! Find out what animals you have in your area and look for natural solutions to keep them out of your garden. Ideas include:
* Mulch - it keeps all kinds of animals out of your garden. Go to a local farmer and buy some straw from them!
* Plant the perimeter of your garden with things that the animals won't like. Examples here.
* Sprinkle the perimeter of your garden with human hair, bacon grease, blood meal or fox urine (WHERE DO PEOPLE FIND THIS???)
* Build a fence around your garden. I have heard of lots of people using chicken wire successfully.
* Cayenne pepper - so many animals hate it so sprinkle some plants with it. One bite and they won't be back.
So...what are you planting in your garden this year? What are your tips to keep it eco-friendly and producing lots of goodies all season long?
Stuff I Pinned for the Garden
Oh so Pretty with a stone walkway around it
Building a Fence
Wine Cork Labels
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