Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gardening Girls: Preparation

To give you a better look at the gardening options we are following this summer, we wanted to share what type of preparation is required. You can plant from seeds or starts with any method, but those of us who experienced the late Utah freeze may have to replant our gardens with starts to make up for lost time.

Chelsea on the Classic Garden: To prepare a plot of ground, you will need to till it to loosen the soil. You will also want to mix in fertilizer or compost to make sure there are enough nutrients to support proper plant growth. Preparation is pretty easy...Especially when you can enlist some help...
I think it's also important to decide what you want to grow, and to map it out before planting to make sure you will have enough room to grow everything you need. You'll also want to figure out how you will water. Our sprinklers will do the work for us - sprinklers or a drip system would be great for raised planters and trellis gardening as well.


AnaLee on Raised Planters: You will need to buy or build your own planter. Building your own would be the most economical choice, though it also takes a little more effort. There are hundreds of tutorials on how to do this, a simple one can be found here. You will also need to bring soil in to fill your planter and position it somewhere that is easily accessible, and also gets adequate sunlight and water. Make sure you know where you want it since it will be too heavy to move once you've filled it with dirt. Remember that the planter itself needs good drainage or else the roots of your plants will rot.


Paige on Container Gardening: To start my indoor herb garden I first wanted to pick out some pots to match my kitchen, which was a fun excuse to run to Ikea.This may be the easiest type of gardening to set up initially, though depending on the types of containers you use, can also be costly. You could also check a local thrift store for other types of containers to re-purpose as planters (think Tupperware bins, old trash cans, etc.). Remember that when using containers you must use potting soil to allow enough oxygen to reach the plant roots. Also, containers must be watered by hand, so don't let your plants get too thirsty! Make sure to read the container gardening class post here for more tips on effective container gardening.

Janae on Trellises: This type of gardening is a spin on the classic garden, so you will need to do all of the same preparation, as well as purchase or build your own trellises, which can be as elaborate or primitive as you want - I've seen people use everything from sticks to iron pipes.A simple tutorial to create your own can be found here. Remember, trellising is perfect for beans, peas, cucumbers, melons, squash, and any other vining vegetable. I like to build the trellises before planting so I know just how much space I will need between plants. Having everything off the ground also prevents it from being stepped on while my kids and I are working in the garden.

---So no matter what method you use, you'll want to research it further to know what other preparations you might need to make to have a successful garden this year!

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