At last the warm weather has arrived, and you know what that means? It’s time to get outdoors, get your hands dirty and start planning and prepping your edible garden! Whether you have a designated garden area or just notice a few bare spots in your flowerbeds, in my mind, that means there is the potential to plug in one more edible plants!
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
1. Clean up the beds: Before doing anything, the first task is to clean up your beds of all debris and weeds. Prune neighboring plants if need be to provide more sunshine for upcoming growth.
2. Compost: Adding a couple inches of nutrient loaded compost to your flowerbeds or garden area enriches the soil and allows for a slow release of nutrients needed for plants to grow all season.
3. Have plan in hand: I find it invaluable to have a diagram and written log of all past plantings, along with my goal for the upcoming year to reference. This is an essential tool for keeping track of your plant rotation. Seasonal planting in different areas of the garden helps decrease disease and fungus, and is particularly important for tomatoes.
4. Plant an edible landscape: If you are like me, you have edible plants growing throughout your entire property. Within my traditional flowerbeds, I have incorporated a Bay Laurel shrub, rosemary, sage, oregano, chives, artichokes, asparagus and even strawberries scattered throughout. Along the
exterior of my backyard I have several blueberries, raspberries and grape plants along with a few filbert trees. Lastly I have a designated fenced-in garden area where I grow apples as well as many varieties of Asian and European pears. Included in the garden area are seven 14-foot-long x 4-foot wide x 2-foot high raised beds; and this is where my creativity really gets wild!
5. Try something new: Did you know you can grow lemongrass in the Willamette Valley? The next time you are visiting your local nursery, take time to explore new or unusual plants to try in your own garden. Even standard food items such as garlic, onions and carrots can be new and exciting if you have never grown them yourself.
6. Grow vertically: If you are lacking ground space, grow vertically! Trellis your cucumbers or zucchini to allow more room at the soil level. This is also a great way to provide more sunlight deep into your plants.
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The best thing about gardening is that it is all about having fun and being creative. Whether you have a large established garden area, a few bare spots in your landscape, or planting in pots; now is the time to start planning and planting your edible garden! What a terrific way to engage the entire family in not only learning how to grow your own food, but also having the ability to simply step outside of your kitchen door and quickly harvest fabulous tasting, nutrient rich fruit, vegetables and herbs and within minutes have them on the dinner table.
It doesn’t get any fresher than this!
To your health!
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Chicago, IL 60607
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Posted by Administrator on 4/15/2016