This post is for gardening fans that move to new quarters in late spring or early summer but want to have some GARDEN FUN this year. If you move into a place where the previous tenant had a garden then….. BUT if you move to a place with a virgin lawn what are your options?
You are in luck if you live in a region with a nearby farmers market and/or a number of local CSA’s ( Community Supported Agriculture) to purchase a supply of seedlings for the garden late in the season. And have access to some expertise to ask a few questions as the season goes on.
If you do get a late start what ar your food options? The most popular summer plants are: tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplants. These are all great options for a new soil planting or straw bale gardens that are started in May or June.
What are these options:
- Purchase Top Soil/Garden Soil- 40# bags at garden center
- Place several sheets of newspaper/or a sheet of cardboard on grass and wet thoroughly
- Cut an x in back of bag place on paper/board
- Cut large hole or several smaller hole on the top side of soil bag and plant
- END OF SEASON- Prep for next year
- Lift bag and leave soil in place and add compost, manure, leaves cut grass to season in the winter for use next spring
HINTS/TIPS- Some plants may need deeper roots – so using a box cutter or spade to puncture the paper or cardboard may be necessary.
STRAW BALE GARDEN –
- Purchase several bales of straw and a few bags of garden soil or composted manure.
- Place in garden area on side(with open straw-string is usually along the other edges)
- For 3 days wet the bales thoroughly
- Days 4-10 add a mixture of water/liquid organic fertilizer(High Nitrogen)
- Days 11-14 add water and finally soil/manure
- Make holes and plant seedlings with appropriate spacing [i.e. a standard bale could support 4- 6 tomatoes/peppers….etc..
BAG OR SACK GARDENING –
This can be with commercially available planting sacks or “socks” or burlap bags commonly available from coffee roasters and other food processors.
Natural material bags are filed with planting medium – soil/compost/manure and are placed in garden area- wet thoroughly and plant. The prevent weeds and are easy to water and maintain.
#### LONG TERM CONCERNS and PLANS ( next year and after)
*** Testing the soil, Drainage, Tilth, Smell, Soil Life
- Soil Test- Can buy a kit or submit to local extension agent
- Drainage- dig a 1’ x1’ hole- Fill with water and time the drainage time .4-6 hours is too slow and needs organic matter to speed up and make it softer and ,2 hours it is too thin and needs more organic matter.
- Tilth – how firm is the soil- will it hold in a ball when wet, but break apart easily, or crumble with no resistance?
- Smell- Is your soil fresh, earthy or rotten and putrid? ( may need to learn THIS ONE)
- Soil Life- Shovel full of soil- How many worms and other visible organisms?