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Archive for February, 2012

If you don’t already have an established spot for a vegetable garden, this is the first step.  Think about…

  • Sun!  Most vegetables need full sun in order to grow well.  Find the sunniest spot you can.  We actually pulled down some trees last year to get more sun onto our veggie beds.  Granted, they were evil nasty elm trees that Hubby hated, but it was really about the garden in my mind.spigot
  • Water.  Is there irrigation?  If not, would it be hard to install?  Vegetables need water pretty much every day during the hot days of summer.  If there’s no irrigation, plan on getting out there on hot days with the hose!
  • You can plant your garden right in the ground, or you can build some raised beds.  Raised beds are nice, because it’s a little easier to control where stuff grows, and because you won’t break your back quite as much when it comes to weeding.  Also, you can fill raised beds with all new soil.  If your soil is really poor—impossible to dig into because it’s so full of clay, perhaps—you can start fresh with a raised bed.

    Finn, the Giant Garden-Destroying Pooch

    Our Baby (Our Very Large Baby)

  • Do you have dogs?  How about a 100 lb. crazy one year old dog?  (Yup, that’s what I have.)  Raised beds might be less attractive to a digger—our older dog just walks around them.  But you might want to think about fencing to keep the little angels out.
  • Proximity to the kitchen:  Are you going to want to walk clear around to the far side of your house every morning in your PJs to snip some chives to sprinkle on your eggs?
  • You might not have just one spot.  I have five raised beds in my back yard that are dedicated to edibles, but of course that wasn’t enough.  Since it’s a part of our yard we don’t really use and it gets tons of sun, the south side of our house has become the home to six more tomato plants each year, so we have enough to can for the winter (oh, yeah—we’re gonna talk about canning).
  • Think about containers, too!  Herbs grow fabulously in pots.  So do kale and cabbage—and they’re pretty!  Mix ‘em right in with your flowers, and you can eat them when the season is over.  I don’t want to hear the excuse “I don’t have room to grow vegetables!”  Yes, you do.  (Stay tuned for a post on container gardening soon!)

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