Friday, June 11, 2010

It's not too late...

To start a garden that is!

With a good 2 and a half months (or more!) left of full-fledged summer months, you still have time to open a pack of seeds, put them into the ground, water and watch food grow!

We started some of our food garden plants a few months ago. Ordering seeds from seed catalogs is probably the easiest part of growing a garden. There are so many companies around. Our favorite is also a "local" company, Territorial Seed Company, near Cottage Grove, Oregon.

In years past, and this year, we started some of our seeds early in a mini-greenhouse. It's quite easy... buy some seed-starting mix, put it in a tray, and plant rows of seeds to transplant later into larger pots. Since we're new to Eastern Oregon though, we didn't quite anticipate some of the cold snaps and fierce wind storms that we get here, so we had a few set-backs. All in all though we had some success, but also used our "back-up plan".... buying established plants from a local nursery.
Soil preparation is key to growing a good garden, and in our case, protecting young plants from deer and birds proved essential too. But hey, if we can do it, you can too. One of our favorite books on the subject of planning a garden is "The Square Foot Gardening", by Mel Bartholomew. There's also a website of these techniques.

We had to plant and replant, as it's been an unusually cold and wet Spring here. Don't let a few dead plants discourage you. It's not rocket science. They're just plants, and a packet of seeds doesn't really cost that much!
And the rewards are incredible! It feels so good to watch a plant grow from seeds, flower and produce something yummy to eat. My kids love to help, and enjoy eating food right from the vine or plant. We love to teach them this valuable skill. It's local, it's environmentally friendly, it's healthy, cheap and just plain nourishes the souls along with the body.

Besides sun, water and good soil, the plants need little else, besides weeding. But I must admit that weeding is my least favorite part of gardening. I've tried ways to minimize weeds, and refuse to use chemicals. Bottom line is that you just got to do it. But even if you don't, you'll still be able to harvest some food among the weeds. Just maybe not as much, or as easily.

But DO give it a try..... It's not too late to start!

1 comment:

Beth said...

I love a food garden!!! Last year I mixed some food plants into my landscaping. Tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers. The zuccini is about the only one that survived my long absence last summer. I planted it because I wanted young small zuccini... not giant huge ones.

They were delicious.