Sunday, February 4, 2018

Make edible gardening easy

Lettuces from plants in the garden

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Having a vegetable garden seems like it would be a lot of work, right?  We remember stories of our grandparents working from dusk to dawn, raising all of their own food.  It really doesn't have to be a lot of work.  Here are tips to make it as easy as a flower garden.

1.  Plant in your mulched flower garden.  Add edibles to your already mulched flower garden.  No need to go through the effort of a separate garden spot.   Get the most from your space-plant intensively!  

2.  Plant in pots.  You don't even need a garden bed to grow a bevy of edible fruits and veggies these days.  There are so many varieties made for pots and small spaces.  Just look for "container", "compact", "small space", or "dwarf" on the packet of seeds or description of the plant.  Decorative container gardening for edibles

3.  Buy plants and don't start from seed.  It is a breeze to buy the 6 pack of plants and just pop them in the  flower bed or pots on the porch or patio.  Add flowers to make them look great too.  How do you decide what to grow?  10 easy veggie crops to grow

4.  Plant perennials once and they keep giving every year.  Yes, there really are perennial veggies and let's not forget fruits.  Examples include sorrel, cultivated dandelions, salad burnet, multiplier onions, strawberries, figs, blueberries, and many more.  Midwest Perennial Vegetable Garden

5.  Plant self-sowers and let one go to seed.  Examples are lettuce, celery, beets, carrots, turnips, cultivated dandelions, tomatoes, tomatillo, chard, broccoli raab, mustards, and many more.  Self-seeding crops, plant once and forget 'em

6.  Pick the crops that give you the most per plant and don't worry about the rest.  Optimize your space and time.  Crops that give a lot per plant are greens (you can harvest the outer leaves and the plant keeps growing new inner leaves), the smaller pepper plants, sprouting broccoli (you can continuously harvest the leaves and the florets), Egyptian walking onions (spread underground and tops), tomato plants (grow compact varieties in pots).  How to decide what to plant for small spaces?

7.  The easiest edibles to grow are herbs.  Most of them are perennials as well.  They like to be ignored, not fertilized or watered for the best flavor.  Start a kitchen herb garden!

8.  If you do want to expand your garden bed, here is a way to make it as quick and painless as possible.  Put in a new garden bed the easy way-really

9.  To make watering a breeze, do a couple of things.  First mulch your flower beds and pots to keep the moisture in soil.  Second, use soaker hoses in the garden bed.  Then all you need to do is turn on the water and let it water itself!  

10.  Make your garden bed or pots as productive as possible to get the most from each plant.  5 Tips for a More Productive Garden

11.  Grow vertically!  Veggies like peas, beans, cucumbers and squash can all be grown on a stake or trellis in the garden or pot, using much less space and making it a breeze to pick the vegetable when ripe.  Quick tip-Grow Up!

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