Finally! For us gardeners this has been a long drawn out winter! Unfortunately in some places spring still seems so far away! If you haven’t been following me long, I’m a huge fan of growing your own organic vegetables. There is nothing better than eating something out of your own garden. They are fresher, have more nutrients (produce loses nutrients through storage and travel), tastier, and you know what’s in them because you grew them!
If you don’t have a place to grow your vegetables yet, it’s pretty simple and you don’t need a lot of room. I usually create a bed 4X8 feet. Look for the sunniest spot in your yard, even if it’s grassed over. If you are comfortable with your soil condition and haven’t been using harsh chemicals, you can just dig out the grass and mix in extra soil until you have 8 inches of loose soil. Layer 1-2 inches of compost on top and lightly rake it in. If you aren’t sure of your soils condition, build up a bed with good soil, 10-12 inches high. You don’t need to side it with planks, but if you do, do not use treated wood. There are toxic chemicals that will leach into your vegetables. Don’t forget to add your compost.
If you don’t have a yard or live in an apartment you can still grow vegetables on your patio or deck using large pots. There are even some pots specially designed with self watering reservoirs so you don’t’ have to water as much. My favorites to grow in pots are tomatoes, peppers, peas, strawberries, lettuce and herbs. Read your soil bags to find an organic mix that is okay in pots. Some warn against it for their product.
If you just built your bed and added your compost, it’s recommended you wait a week or two before planting to let the soil rest and the compost start doing its work. Once you’re ready, buy your seed and plant as directed on the package!
What should you plant now? It’s still early in the season, so you want to work on your cool weather vegetables. Leave your tomato and pepper transplants inside until after danger of frost has past. Here is what you can plant now! Try peas, onions, carrots, radishes, parsnips, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, kale, collards, and Swiss chard.
Do not fertilize until your seedlings have at least 4 leaves! It will burn them if you do. But we can talk about that later. I’ll be talking to you soon about maintaining your garden and what you can plant next!