As you’ve probably figured out, my newest passion is gardening. I love the satisfaction of making a meal out of food I’ve grown myself. And nothing tastes better than a tomato, pea or cucumber right off the vine.
So how can you plant some veggies of your own?
- 3′x3′ or larger piece of land
- Enough compost or fertilizer to cover the land at a 1″ thickness**
- Seeds of whatever you want to plant
- Gardening gloves (optional)
Remove any grass or weeds, then dig into the soil about 1′ deep to loosen it. Spread the compost/fertilizer evenly over the space and use the shovel to mix it with the soil.
Use the trowel to trace an even line across the plot, close to the edge. The depth will need to be between 1/4″ and 2″, depending on what you are planting. Plant the seeds as directed on the package, and loosely cover them with soil so that they are at the appropriate depth.
Edited to note: Make sure you water the area lightly right after planting!
Create and plant as many rows as you can fit in your space. You can use the spacing suggested on the seed package, but I’ve been experimenting with planting them closer. My research has told me that
If you are using a small space (and therefore don’t need to be able to walk between the rows in order to harvest), you can plant them at about half the distance called for on the package.
If you alternate a row of one plant (say, spinach) with a row of another (say, peas or beans), you can plant the rows even closer. Just make you check that the plants are compatible with each other…you don’t want them killing each other off!
Staggering the rows means you can put them closer together!
**Savvy Tip: Contact a local farm to see if they have any compost or fertilizer that you could take off their hands. That’s how we got our gardening compost for free!
I wish I could give more specifics, but it really depends on what you are planting. I can show you what I’ve done with some of mine, though, using my high-end, super-fancy Powerpoint pictures!
- Green circles = peppers, staggered rows 8″ apart
- Green triangles = basil
- Red circles = tomatoes, staggered rows 1′ apart
- Green circles = cucumbers, staggered rows 8″ apart, but I think this is too close
- Purple triangles = Thai basil, 6″ from cucumbers
- Green triangles = Genovese basil, 8″ from Thai basil
- Red diamond = cilantro
- Blue lines = spinach, rows 10″ apart, but I think they could be closer
Have you tried your hand at gardening? Do you have a ‘green thumb’ or ‘black thumb’?