This Sunday, we begin planting our first seeds in preparation for spring. I have been getting a lot of questions lately about the how / when / what of our gardening know how. Its not much, but I thought I would share some (hopefully helpful) information.
If you begin it now, I would suggest starting in trays indoors, by your most lit window (If it tends to get cold there, leave the lids on the trays and it will act as a green house.
If you don't start until spring / March, I would recommend getting some sort of green house (Ours was $30 at Lowes) and placing it in a sunny spot outside. They grow super fast in a green house.
I would not recommend using all of the seeds in the package, most plants spread on their own, we still have at least half of our seeds from last year - the ones we just received will be planted in addition to what we liked last year.
I recommend boxes as oppose to plowing a plot in the ground. Our plot in the ground attracted bugs, which made our zucchini, cucumbers and watermelon useless. We grew cantaloupe in a box and it was amazing – and bug free! It spread around our other crops, but didn't bother them.
Zucchini and Cumbers grow well on wire arches, and are great at climbing (I know from our neighbor's garden.), I have also seen, via Pinterest, using the side of your house / shed for crops that climb. We will be putting arches from one box to another, creating a covered 'walkway'.
We used dirt to fill our garden box, and bought a pick-up truck load for $20.
*Tomatoes like to grow UP, and not hang down, and they get sunburned, so a partially shaded area is fine for them, or put a net over them at the hottest time of day. If you plant tomatoes, keep them separate for everything else, they spread like crazy!
*For strawberries I recommend a net as well, to keep away birds and other animals.
Through Bakers Creek (and maybe other sources) you can order a chart that tells you when to plant outside - for each crop.
We are trying a lot of different vegetables this year, and some repeats. Penelope is even starting her own garden. We have already made a map of her garden box, which will be full of purple carrots, yellow peppers, spinach, and strawberries. She is painting her box yellow. :)
If you have questions about a specific crop, method, or tool let me know.