Today I would like to dedicate my blog to Kristin! 100 uses for Yogurt Containers!!!!! Just Kidding Kristin!
With spring just around the corner it is that time of year to start thinking about your gardens. Until the past few years I didn’t put much thought into this, abiding by the rule of planting during the May long weekend, so not picking out any plants at least until the end of June from where ever I could still find half decent flowers.
Now that we grow our own garden I have to start thinking about this much earlier. Last year I did get away with just planting in the ground and not starting anything. I’m still learning so starting early is still a gamble for me.
Growing a garden can be very simple and fun. Small containers on your patio can brighten it up and even provide you some delicious things to eat. This year I’m attempting to grow Zucchini’s in a pot, more to keep my hubby happy after the run away zucchini fiasco of 2010. Trust me when I say one or two zucchini hills are plenty! 5 was way too many and took over.
There are lots of books out there on container gardening and square foot gardening for those that have small spaces to work with. I have no particular book that I favor except my Lois Holes vegetables book. I read all sorts of books and take the bits and pieces of advice that I enjoy and think will work for me.
Living in Alberta we have a colder climate to work with so some vegetables need to be started early. This year I’m working on tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Cucumbers can do fine just in the ground as I found the first year but it helps to start them early so your crop is ready sooner and not risking the frost. I am also going to try those tomato hanger plants this year, I’ve heard they grow best next to the house to absorb its heat and I figure they are worth a shot. It was my friend Joanna that has encouraged me to plant them early this year. I didn’t think too much about them needing a hardy start indoors and that they take longer to grow.
Before you plant in your garden, it is best to think about what you want to grow to eat. Also how much you like to eat what you are planting. Don’t plant a ton of beets unless you really like them or know how to preserve them. Also look at the growing timelines for your plants so you know when about in the summer/fall they will be ready. Sometimes spacing out your plantings will help you to have a hardy crop all summer long and not surge crops. It will also help you to enjoy the things you grow more, you don’t want to be trying to find homes for 50 zucchini’s, or eating zucchini for 3 weeks straight. Don’t be afraid to space out some plantings of each of your fruits or vegetables.
Make sure to look into what types of plants they are as well, ok duh you know what a cucumber is, but you may need to know how much growing space they need as well, for instance squash needs lots of trailing space. Potatoes grow best next to beans. Things like that. Each plant takes different nutrients from the soil and will also need to be rotated every year to different locations in your garden.
Also look up ways to preserve your crops and what can be stored for long periods of time so you are able to enjoy the benefits of your garden all year round.
Growing your own garden can be a great way to help cut your grocery bill down, to eat extremely local and organic as well. Check out local farmers in your area as well for extra items you may not have grown many of or some to sample before you decide to grow a whole crop. Also consider finding some friends who garden as well and crop share. Each person has something they can really grow and by sharing your harvest you can enjoy much more as well.
A great way we have found to cut the cost of starting our garden and getting our seeds etc. Is to buy our gas at Canadian Tire. We then save up all the money we get from there and it helps to buy our gardening needs each spring.
One green tip for gardening as well is that Yogurt Containers are a great size for starting your plants indoors.
From our Happy Family to Yours