Spring is an anticipated time of year, especially for the gardener. And whether your idea of gardening is a single, raised-box bed or planting crops on a quarter acre plot of land, a little planning will go a long ways in helping your garden to be successful.
Pick the Right Spot
Location, location, location—this doesn’t just apply to real estate. A sunny location is a must as most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight per day. Likewise, you’ll want to choose an area that isn’t prone to flooding or that tends to dry out too much.
Make your Bed!
Early in the planning process, you’ll need to decide which type of garden bed is best for you. Raised beds can be great for smaller gardens, plus they tend to be easier on the back and work well if you have pets that might dig in your garden.
For more limited space, pots will work just as well, and they’re nice because you can move them, if needed. While not every plant likes a pot, lettuce, peppers, herbs, and garlic all do well in them.
Of course, the most common type of vegetable garden is planted directly in the soil. While this may require more initial work with tilling, in-ground gardens allow you to grow a wide variety of vegetables.
It’s All About the Soil
Sixth grade science taught us that plants need more than just sunlight to grow—they also need water, space, and healthy soil. Unfortunately, due to overuse and widespread chemical application, much of the soil used for agriculture today has been stripped of its nutrients. This results in bland-tasting and nutritionally-deficient produce. However, adding a product such as our Organic Soil Treatment will ensure plant nutrient needs are met as well as healthier soil.
Enriching soil with compost can also boost nutrient levels, increase the soil’s ability to hold water and air, and prevent erosion by binding the soil together. And though it takes a little time to get started, our EcoGuard Compost Starter can cut composting time by as much as 50%!
We all know that plants need water, but when planning your garden, remember that this will likely be a daily task (if you don’t set up automatic waterers). Plant your garden in a water-accessible location, and only plant as much as you’re prepared to water!
Warding Off Pests (Naturally)
If you have any experience with gardening at all, then you know you’re not the only one looking forward to feasting on those vegetables. Aphids, worms, mites, and all sorts of little critters may show up uninvited. Using a homemade oil spray insecticide can prevent this problem. Use one cup vegetable oil mixed with one tablespoon of a mild soap such Dr. Bronner’s castille soap (cover and shake). Then mix two teaspoons of this mixture with a quart of water when ready to apply.
Another option is a diatomaceous earth product such as our Ant Die, which can be sprinkled around plants or directly on foliage to help control not only ants, but other crawling insects, as well as snails and slugs.
Gardening can be fun and it’s also an inexpensive way to supplement your family’s diet with healthy, organic vegetables. So what are you waiting for? Get growing!