At some point, most of us have had the thought, “I would love a garden with herbs and vegetables.” Usually it’s triggered by eating at a farm-to-table restaurant or watching a friend pick his or her own herb and throw it in a pot right before our eyes.
Procrastinate no more. We’re going to provide an easy step-by- step guide to growing your own edibles. Be ready to join the “in” crowd when it comes to organic eating. Growing your own garden can be fun, healthy and save you money!
- Raised garden beds or containers (our recommendation)
- Vegetable/ herb seeds
- Natural compost (to fertilizer soil)
- Determine which vegetables/herbs taste best fresh and are appropriate for the season (let’s focus on warm weather crops)
- Choose the location of your garden based on sunlight exposure, proximity to a water source and ability to be protected from strong winds and other elements. Make sure the location is easy to reach from an dooir closest to the kitchen.
- Clear all debris from the area
- Pick your garden style – raised beds, traditional rows or square footage gardens. We recommend raised beds this makes it .easier to manage. Be sure not to OVERCROWD.
- Use organically fertilized soil to increase the natural benefits of your edibles. *Always check the pH level of soil, it should approach neutral, pH 5.5-6.5 is good. Soil in the Hudson Valley tends to be acidic, 3-5. To sweeten the soil, add gypsum, compost, lime and peat moss. It’s a must for a flourishing garden.
- The best way to do this is to spread these amendments on top of the ground and then rototill them in or simply turn over the ground mixing these items into the soil thoroughly. The deeper you dig the more successful your garden will be. You should also remove the larger stones you find. Stones larger than 21/2 inches should be removed.
- I also prefer to add fertilizer to the soil that I will be planting in and mixing it with the other amendments as I turn over the soil in the garden. All of the steps described above are appropriate for organic gardens as well as non organic gardens. The more thoroughly you prepare the ground the more successful your garden will be.
- Rake the ground to smooth the surface and you are ready to plant!
- Purchase your favorite seeds from your local gardening center. Ask the experts any questions that come to mind. *Note: If this is your first time planting a garden, use easy to grow seeds, tomatoes and peppers are easy and provide great yields!
If you’d like to get a head start— plant your seeds indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before the growing season begins; make sure the containers you use have an outlet for drainage. Once in season, transplant the plants to your outside garden. Follow guidelines on seed packet for seed depth, sunlight and water requirements.
- Nurture and enjoy!
*Note* If using containers, make sure that there is enough space. Ask our staff for recommendations!