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June 24, 2008

Grow Your Own Food Part 4

Posted in: Budgeting

It has been a little while since the last time I gave yall an update regarding our garden and growing your own food. Well, our garden is in somewhat of a bittersweet state. We have squash and green beans coming up very well, but some of our other vegetables, like our onions, romaine lettuce, bell peppers, carrots and tomatoes are not doing as well. We do have some growth in all of the struggling vegetables (except for the onions, they just don’t seem to be coming up), but they just are nearly as strong as the squash and green beans. But before I show you the pictures, I wanted to give you a few pointers that you can use in your garden, that I think will help you to do better raising your own food:

  • Break Up the Soil Very, Very Well
    If you possibly can, I recommend going old school and using a spade fork to turn over the soil that you wish to sow. Go as deep down as possible, and turn over each mound of dirt. Then break it up into fine dirt clods, this will ensure maximum aeration for your new crop.
  • Use Good Fertilizer
    We have a 15 x 16 foot garden, and we have seen it struggle somewhat in its first year here. I did put a goodly number of dead leaves on the garden, and then spaded them under, however, I think the garden just wasn’t fertile enough this year. We tried to save money and not buy much garden soil, so we only put 3-6 cubic feet of garden soil on the top, just prior to sowing. Later, we put some of the pellet fertilizer into the garden, and we are waiting to see the results from that. Bottom line, make sure your soil is very fertile, add dead leaves in the off season, get some good bagged fertilizer from your local market, and you will be much more successful.
  • Water Early, and Often
    This one goes without saying. What we do here is water early in the morning, or late at night. We would like the plants t0 have as much time as possible to suck up the water, before it is evaporated away by the sun and heat. This has seemed to serve us well so far.
  • Make Sure You Give the Garden as Much Sun as Possible
    This again, is a no brainer. However it is not always simple to accomplish. Here, we have some many great trees, that finding a wide open spot to place the garden was difficult. Even with a lot of tree trimming, we still have a row on one side of the garden that ends up getting shaded in the afternoon through the evening. Not good when that is where we are trying to grow our tomatoes.

Squash And Green Beans Doing WellCheck Out the Tomato in the Front CornerSo those are just a few tips to getting the most out of your garden. So now to the pictures. But keep in mind, I really believe that the squash is doing better than the rest of the garden for two reasons: first, we made hills out of the garden soil, so the squash have nothing but super fertile soil to grow in; second, squash are better suited for the hot weather, and since we started the garden very late, I think some of the other vegetables are having a hard time with the warm weather.

If you are interested in the other articles in this series, here they are:

Grow Your Own Food, Save Money
Grow Your Own Food, Save Money Part 2

Grow Your Own Food Part 3

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