It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, the dormant flowers and trees are budding and the days are getting longer (slowly, but longer nonetheless). With all of this, there is that itch to get outside and weed and plant. The weeding is never ending. That’s a whole ‘nother topic to tackle later. Today it’s all about the vegetable garden. I love having fresh herbs and veggies. Nothing better than a grilled lamb steak covered in fresh chives, rosemary and garlic with salt, pepper and olive oil. Served with grilled homegrown zuchini and squash and a fabulous cucumber salad.
How do you start your garden? You definitely have to pick the location…first and foremost. Will the sprinklers cover that spot? Can you easily water…if you have to do by hand? Will there be enough space to allow you to plant all that you want? Enough sunlight? Protected from animals? All things to think about.
Next step…make a list of all those thing you want to plant. Some are better to plant early on, while others are better if planted later in the year. An example…Brussels sprouts, in zone 9 (Houston area) grow best when planted in September. You should ask your local Garden stores, look at the back of the seed packets, review the Gardener’s Almanac, or visit websites such as Easy Vegetable Gardening. If you are a first timer, you should start small and then grow it each year. Decide on the few things that you love the most. I think I originally started with just herbs (and only the main ones such as basil, chives and rosemary) and tomatoes. Of course this year has a lot more variety. But I have been planting for several years now. Each year has been a bit larger than the last. So take your time and start small. I promise…you will have more success.
Now that you have your list…start thinking of the design. While its important to star thinking of the design…I think your design will be ever changing. And the design of this year, does not have to be the design of next year. There are so many options. You can use pots, have raised beds, use galvanized tubs, surround with a fence, make a pathway, have a mixture of all or some of these….limitless. Will spend some extra time on this in a later posting.
You now have a location, a plan, some thoughts about design and now it’s time to either buy plants or seeds. Depending on how early you start…you may not find all that you want right away. Continue to check with your local garden centers for availability. But you can always work with seeds.
Starting with seeds has always been hit or miss with me. This year I am planting the seeds in different growing methods.
1. Using the greenhouse method
2. Using my Aerogarden
3. Planting out in open
Lets see which method works best. Follow the process with me.
Your challenge: Choose your favorite few herbs and vegetables. Find out when to plant. And start planning away.