Hi everyone, I decided to write this article because for me, gardening can be a great source of relaxation and way of dealing with stress. And…..of course, you get the benefit of eating what you grow ☺. Since I was a young child, I have always enjoyed being outside, the fresh air and sunshine. Well, living in Southern California, we definitely have both of those, especially where I live in Ventura California. It has a Mediterranean climate, sunny most of the year yet there is a good breeze that comes in from the ocean to keep it from getting too hot, most of the time.
For most people, the type and size of garden is a decision based on many different factors i.e. do you have a lot of space in your yard or limited to a smaller apartment style garden; what do you like to eat, because that’s probably what you should grow and finally, what is the climate like around your area. Once you have figured out the answers to these questions, you are basically ready to go. Last but not least, before I begin, remember, it’s “your” garden, so have fun, get your hands dirty and enjoy the fresh air.
When preparing for your garden, of course you must do a good job getting rid of weeks, turning the soil over and if necessary, adding fertilizer etc. Here in our yard, the soil is already very rich, so needed no extra treatment. This area is about 15 feet by 25 feet.
Intruder Alert ☺
Also, very, very, very important. If you have a dog, such as our dog Blue, and you want to see your vegetables survive beyond the first day after you planted them, put a fence around the garden area. In our case, he still jumped over the fence after the first day to chase a butterfly, but I have not seen him do it again.
2. Choosing your vegetables.
This can be expensive part. For me, even though I would like to start from seeds, it seems much easier to get the seedlings or young vegetable plants. Of course, it is also more expensive, about 2.00USD per plant, compared to a package of seeds for the same price. I planted tomatoes, peppers, squash and green beans/snow peas.
Now for me, I like to “stage” the plants around the area I am going to use, to make sure each type of plant has the right environment to grow. For example, verticle plants should be in one area, plants that have vines and like to grow alongside fences etc, should have an area. Then there are the plants that need room horizontally, because they grow out along the ground.
Okay, so this is what you have been waiting for, the part where you get to get your hands dirty and have fun. First, dig a hole so that when you transplant the seedling the surface of the soil with the seedling is just below the surface of the ground you are planting it in. Once you have transplanted it, fill in the gaps around it with soil, and firmly place soil around the top. Proper planting means not digging too deep, and not digging too shallow. Remember, the roots are the most important part of the plant.
5. The Most Important Part
Okay, so now that you’ve got your plants in the ground, you feel like you’re done, right? Wrong. Unless you have installed an automated drip system or other irrigation system, you will need to dig irrigation canals to make sure your plants get the water they need. In my case, I dug some irrigation canals running through the rows, with the idea that after the initial soaking each plant received, I would use the canals to do watering a couple of times a week.
6. Final Words
We’re done, right? Well, not really, growing a garden takes a lot of work, not just planting it, but maintaining it. Cleaning out weeds, checking to make sure the plants are getting enough water, and hopefully, when the blossoms come, checking them for vegetables. I will be posting photo updates every two weeks so you can see how my garden grows. I hope you enjoyed this, and healthy eating!!!