Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Starter Garden

As cold as it is, it is time to think about your Spring garden.

Here is an idea for a starter garden:

1. Parsley
2. Tomatoes
3. Basil
4. Pole Beans
5. Sweet Peppers
6. Hot Peppers
7. Broccoli
8. Summer Squash
9. Cucumbers or Sugar Snap Peas
10. Butter Beans or Swiss Chard
11. Beets
12. Early Carrots then Lettuce
13. Scallions
14. Lettuce then Fall Carrots
15. Strawberries/Alpine Strawberries

What should you grow?
Start with what you love to eat. Shop around for seed packets to get started. Since you won't need all the seeds in the packets, and most stay fresh for at least three years, the yearly cost is very small. You could grow as much as $500-600 worth of food, and today we need it.
Remember that tall plants such as pole beans should go on the north side, to avoid shading the others. The strawberries are kid magnets. The children/grandchildren are excited to pick a strawberry to eat and it generates an interest in the garden. They learn that growing food brings joy and that dividend is priceless.
It's all about the Soil -- The very best garden investment is a healthy, fertile soil that's the consistency of crumbly chocolate cake. It should be alive with worms, plant-nourishing bacteria, and other tiny microbes that help crops grow. Create soil like this by adding plenty of organic matter; the best is your compost pile of dried leaves, grass clippings, and veggie scraps from the kitchen. It takes time for these to break down into nature's "black gold," so you might need to buy some organic matter to improve fertility. A couple of 40lb bags of manure (and a bit of lime if your soil is acidic).
You can get your soil tested through your local Agricultural Services for a small fee.
In Alabama go to www.aces.edu/soiltest for more information or email soiltest@auburn.edu .

5 comments:

  1. Very informative here..thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A STARTER garden? LOL I'm not so sure this particular plan isn't for the more experienced among us. Or a starter, perhaps for someone who's not afraid of a challenge. I love the print.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good list of seeds and plot.

    I haven't been around for a while - I'm sorry. Love the flowering cherry and the camelia's.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good post. I've been looking through my seeds for a couple weeks now. 36º as I type so must wait a bit. Not use to this much cold this late in the yr. & we've had lots of rain. Can't walk in the yard yet.

    ReplyDelete