Henry Homeyer: Plan now for a vegetable garden in the lawn – The Providence Journal
This is a good time in order to make plans. If you are willing to spend just 15 minutes a day — every day — from spring to fall, you can create an edible showcase for beauty: the splendid look of ripe red tomatoes, multicolored Swiss chard, or glossy green peppers. It’s not nearly as difficult as you think. Unlike maintaining a lawn, you get to eat the results associated with your labor. Here’s what you need to do:
To grow good vegetables, you need sunshine, at least six hours a day — and preferably more. For most people, the particular sunniest part of the yard is in the middle of the lawn. A well maintained vegetable garden can be as gorgeous as a flower backyard. If you like flowers, plant some of those in your vegetable garden, too.
Don’t bite off more than a person can chew — or weed. A nice lawn backyard can be just 10 feet across and 12 feet long. Properly maintained, it will provide you with fresh veggies much of the particular summer.
How and when to get your lawn garden started
Using string and stakes, define the borders of the garden and pry out the particular sod after cutting it into 1-foot squares along with an edging tool or a spade. Use the sod to start a compost pile.
Start early enough in the season — say May 1 — so you can work just 15 or 20 minutes a day for any week or more to get all the grass out. That way you get in the particular habit associated with spending time in the backyard but don’t develop blisters or a good aching back. Gardening should be fun, not hard work. Still, it may give you a workout without going to the gym.
Your lawn garden will have two raised beds separated by a walkway. Once you have removed the sod, you can just mound up the soil to form mattresses — about 30 inches wide — with a walkway in the center and a 6-inch space between the yard and the particular beds all the way around the backyard. To do this, right after removing the sod, loosen the ground with a garden fork, shake out the particular soil plus then rake the dirt from the perimeter and the walkway onto the beds.
Then spread five bags of composted cow manure on each bed (each bag is usually labeled 30 quarts) plus work this into the particular loose garden soil with your garden fork or even favorite hand tool.
Alternatively, you can build wood-sided bedrooms using ordinary 6- or 8-inch-wide planks. For more years of service, 2-inch-thick lumber is even better. Gardener’s Supply ( gardeners. com ) sells a variety of brackets for building raised beds. I suppose other backyard supply stores do, too.
If a person build wood-sided beds you will have to buy more filler than if you’re using mounded beds. Most garden centers sell top soil and compost by the tractor scoop, which is usually two-thirds of a cubic yard of material. They’ll dump right into the back of your own pickup truck, or even deliver (for the price). I recommend a 50-50 mix associated with topsoil plus compost.
If you make wood-sided bed frames, you may place them right on the lawn without removing the particular sod, which saves a lot of labor. Just scalp the grass with the lawnmower and put a thick layer of newspapers over the lawn, then fill the box. Long carrots might hit the bottom the first year, but most other plants won’t be bothered.
A planting strategy for best results
Make a list of the particular vegetables you want to plant that you like best and that taste best when freshly picked. If a person plant tomatoes, dedicate at least 24 inches of a row in order to each plant. And buy those wire cages for your tomato vegetables, so they won’t flop over and shade out your celery or broccoli nearby.
I like to be able to plant lettuce seedlings all around typically the tomatoes in the beginning of the season while this tomatoes are still small. By often the time your plants get big, the exact lettuce may have been harvested and eaten. Run your rows north to south, and grow tomatoes (or any tall plants) on the north end of the garden so they will shade other plants less. Buy some bagged organic fertilizer plus stir a few in from planting time.
Oh, and about those weeds: the easiest way to prevent a problem is to mulch. Put down six sheets associated with newspaper in addition to cover it with straw, mulch hay or leaves from last fall. This will keep the soil dark, turning off the switch that weed seeds have to tell them when for you to germinate. Mulch also holds in the particular moisture during dry times. When a few weeds do turn up — and they will —– be sure to pull them before they obtain big and even make more seeds. That’s preventive maintenance.
Gardening is said to be a middle-aged sport. After almost all, what parent of three toddlers has time to marijuana? If you wish to reduce your food costs together with feed an individual family well, a garden is great. Done this way, you are able to maintain this in just a quarter-hour a day, We promise. Just keep with it daily, and you’ll be surprised and delighted at how good your garden looks, and additionally how much food you can grow — right in the middle of the yard!
Holly Homeyer’s blog appears twice a week at gardening-guy. com . Write to help him on P. O. Box 364, Cornish Flat, N. H. 03746. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you wish the mailed response. Or email henry. [email protected] net .