Some of us have taken heed by walking, biking, carpooling, combining trips, or trading in our SUVs for hybrids. That was until gas prices hit an all-time high last year. As a result, people actually modified their behaviors to conserve gas. Put simply, sometimes it takes a hit to the wallet to rustle up real change.
National Gardening Association Many gardeners like having a main vegetable garden area to concentrate their food production, but it doesn't have to be all veggies. Feel free to include herbs, edible flowers, and fruits.
Choose a sunny location It's critical to choose a sunny spot for growing vegetables. Most fruiting vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of direct sun a day for best results.
Leafy greens, such as spinach and lettuce, can thrive with a bit less direct sun. If you assess your yard in winter, remember that deciduous trees that are then leafless will cast shadows as the growing season progresses.
While the ideal garden location has loose soil that drains well, don't fret if your soil is less than ideal. You can improve it over time by adding organic matter, such as compost, or create raised beds on top of poor soil by bringing in the amount of topsoil and compost you need.
The right size garden A by foot garden will give you room to grow a wide range of crops, including some that need a lot of space, such as sweet corn and winter squash. A by foot plot is sufficient for a garden sampler with a variety of greens, herbs, a few tomatoes and peppers, beans, cucumbers, basil, parsley, and edible flowers such as nasturtiums.
Try including flowers in your garden, even if they aren't edible, because they are beautiful to cut and bring indoors. Flowers also attract pollinating and beneficial insects to the garden. By growing plants in succession and using 3-foot-wide beds with inch paths, you should have plenty of luscious vegetables for fresh eating and extras for sharing.
To design your garden from scratch, plot it on graph paper. Outline the beds in pencil, then fill in the plant names. Preparing the garden space Once you have a plan, you're ready to measure out the garden. You'll need a tape measure, plenty of string, 1-foot-long wooden stakes, and a hammer to drive the stakes into the ground.
For best sun exposure, orient the garden so the beds run east to west, with the tallest plants on the north end. This will reduce the chance of one vegetable shading another.
Following your plan, drive a stake in each of the four corners of the garden. At this point, you'll need to remove any sod and rototill or turn the soil by hand to loosen the soil and remove weeds.
If you're starting in the fall to get a garden ready for spring planting, you have an option that will save you some hard work. Mow the area close to the ground and lay three to four layers of black and white newspaper over the garden area.
Cover the newspaper with a 4- to 6-inch-thick layer of straw, and cover that with a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of compost.
By spring, the grass will be dead and decomposing, and you can work the soil. Before you plant, have the soil tested to determine the soil pH and nutrient levels. Most vegetables require a pH between 6. Add limestone to raise the pH in high-rainfall areas; add sulfur to lower the pH in the arid West.
Your state university's cooperative extension service or local garden center will have information on obtaining a soil test kit. Lay out the beds Now it's time to lay it all out.
Measure, stake, and outline each bed with string.
To make a raised a bed, first loosen the soil using a shovel or a garden fork, then shovel soil from an adjacent path onto the bed. Keep adding soil until the bed is about 8 to 10 inches tall.
Smooth the soil on the surface of the bed by raking it flat with an iron rake. Draw the soil evenly between the string boundaries, letting excess soil fall off the edge of the bed outside the string. The object is to end up with a flat-topped raised bed that extends fully to the string boundaries about 8 inches above the pathway.
Raised beds can be any shape you want, as long as they aren't wider than 3 feet. The center of a bed is hard to reach if it's any wider than that. Feed the soil It's easier to address the soil's long-term nutrient needs before planting, rather than after veggies are already growing.Edit Article How to Grow Vegetables With Grow Lights.
Growing vegetables indoors is a good idea if you live in a climate that is not conducive to gardening outdoors, or if you want to get your vegetables started before you transplant them to your outdoor garden.
A garden tiller can run into the hundreds of dollars, so if you’re just starting to explore vegetable gardening, look for one to borrow or rent, as Bono did. 3. Turn the soil. This item: One Magic Square Vegetable Gardening: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square by Lolo Houbein Paperback $ Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Ships from and sold by monstermanfilm.coms: A well-planned garden makes growing vegetables a breeze!
Even if you have only a little time or a little space, the earth friendly methods are also the most efficient ones.
Growing your own food doesn't have to mean a huge time commitment or a large garden. Growing your own fruits and vegetables will save your money at the grocery store.
Gardening increases physical activity. It is a great way to engage the whole family in physical activity and lets them help to take responsibility for the garden. Or find out if your city has a community garden, where you can tend to your very own plot.
Check out monstermanfilm.com to locate a community garden near you. If you need more inspiration, read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which chronicles her family's yearlong commitment to feeding themselves.