Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Start Planning Next Years Veggie Garden Now!!

In many parts of the country the weather is cold, the leaves are starting to fall and the length of day light we have is beginning to change. Fall is upon us and shortly thereafter winter will sneak up on us. This is is the time that many of us Urban Gardeners and Gardeners in general start looking for items that we can use for next year. Another mans trash could have not looked so much better. Many homes are clearing there homes before the full onset of winter pulls in and this is the perfect time to locate garden tools, shelves, and planter boxes. You may have to think outside of the box a bit, but pretty much anything with some aesthetic attributes can be used in the garden. Giving some thought to what your garden will look like is the toughest job. But with some careful planning anyone can come up with a good solid plan.
The alarm bells have also been ringing; the USDA has announced that next year food produce will jump from 1.8% to 2.5% all the way up to 3.5%. If you spend $300.00 a month on groceries; at a 3% increase that's an extra $108 a year you will pay for food. You can take that $108 and purchase seeds at $3 a packet (on the high end) and purchase roughly 36 packets of seeds more than you ever will need. Some places that I purchase my seeds from and have produced some great products are:

If your thinking about starting a garden this year and you don't have space for a garden try your hand at container gardening. Infact even if you do have space and you don't want to take on the responsibility of a full fledge garden I recommend you start with container gardening. Container gardening is so efficient and everyone can do it, unless your in jail locked up away in solitaire or something. But the point is anyway can start a garden. Give your kids a project to see who can grow the biggest, juiciest, sweetest tomatoes in a container. Let them do the research on how to prepare soil, what does it mean to fertilize and what types of tomatoes to grow. Of course you have to reward the winner with something but at least you can the creative juices to flow and when your kids are on their off time they will (willingly research how to grow veggies in a container) You never know what seeds you may plant with that one.

Compost-If your on the fence about starting a garden next year it is very important that you think about your composting needs. Plants need nutrients to produce good quality fruit and veggies. Starting your compost now will put you in a great position to feed those hungry jokers next year. With fall upon us, the leaves from several trees can be gathered up and started with compost. There are a few trees that are not good for compost like black walnut. You will need to identify the trees in your area to see if the leaves can be used for compost. For the most part most trees especially oak trees can be used for compost.


Sue said...

I find it scary when a branch of the government says food prices will rise 3.5%. In 2007, prices rose "6%". Um. Yea. Eggs went from $1 to $1.50. Peanut butter jumped from $1.66 to $1.99 (AND the package shrunk TWO ounces). Where I went to school that's a WHOLE LOT more than 6 percent.
All the more reason to garden garden garden!!!
(As if we need an excuse!!)
Have a great week

ATW said...

Sue- Alot of people take for granted that the extra few cents will add up over the long run. I never paid attention to this stuff, it was only when I bought my firt home and and made an honest effort to eat healthy. I quickly realized that staying healthy costs alot of money. So gardening was the only answer to this issue.

Anonymous said...

My SO bought our very first home and we move in at the end of December, and I finally have the opportunity to have a real garden. I feel very overwhelmed by all the 'rules' of nature working against me - some plants don't do well together, some do, the trouble with pests, disease, soil... It's all very daunting. Do you have tips or resources for someone like me who has never gardened before?

Jon jackson said...

Anonymous- apologies for getting back to you so late on this question.

First and foremost you want to make sure that you find a space on your property that gets adequate sun. There are a lot of rules but rules are made to be broken. However... there are certain laws and you must follow those.

I woild like for you to really just worry about a few things.. which are:

Sun- An area that recieves adequate sunlight at least 6hrs of the day.

Soil- You need to do a soil test and see what type of soil you are working with. Start reading on soil types and you can pick up a soil test kit on Amazon for cheap. Bottom line if your soil is weak... so will your veggies. But remember pretty much all soils can be amended.

Compost- Any serious gardener has to set aside an area where they can compost organic matter. Again rules are made to be broken but there are certain laws that you have to follow with composting.

Gardening Zone-- you need to determine your gardening zone. to see when and how long your growing season is.

Send me any questions my email urbanselfsufficientist@gmail.com or look me up on facebook and join the discussion at Urban Self-Sufficientist

Good luck and happy Gardening;)