I really want to get you people to grow your own food. I am a bit pushy, and it is a bit selfish because I want others to help me with my gardening questions. The great thing about the “internets” is that we can search for anything and probably find it a “how-to” video or article with step-by-step directions. I should have used that more often in my garden last summer. I have made many gardening mistakes, though I like to refer to them as teachable moments. I learn from each of these mistakes and want to help you not make them as well.
What I learned from my first vegetable garden:
- Research what you are going to plant and plan your garden. Look it up, it is out there. eHow is a good site that comes up regularly in my searches. I learn from gurus such as The Urban Organic Gardener and The Gardenerd, both based out of the City of Angels.
- Over watering is worse than under watering. My dearest neighbor suggested to feel the first inch or more of the soil, if it is moist, no water. Watering frequency will depend upon the type of gardening. For container gardening when it is hot and/or windy, containers may dry out quicker than normal. One solution, a homemade self watering container made on the cheap by The Urban Organic Gardener:
- Mulching will help to keep water and moisture from escaping so that it can be utilized fully by the plant. Mulching will feed the soil when watered. I am currently mulching with coconut shell shavings and my belief is that the nutrients will feed the soil.
- Actively engage in companion planting. This is when you choose your garden based on plants growing to benefit each other. Here are The Gardenerd’s tips on companion planting, tomatoes love to be planted near onions, garlic and carrots, but don’t like broccoli, cabbage and potatoes. Fennel hates everything and squash loves radishes.
What did you learn from your gardening experience last summer that you are implementing this growing season?
– GreenUp! Guy