Monday, February 9, 2009

A Few Gardening Tips

Thought I would share a few tidbits of knowledge with my fellow aspiring urban gardeners.

When planting from seed, it's a good idea to cover the area with garden cloth draped over some gopher wire or stakes,anchored to the ground with some stones. Not only does this discourage snails from eating tender young leaves, but it also creates a slightly warmer microclimate which protects against wind.

Make effective use of all your plot. This one seems obvious enough, but it bears emphasis. In our case, we have a shady portion of the plot due to some heavy tree cover overhead. We did not have luck growing a few plants over the summer in this corner, and let the clover and weeds take over. Until recently, that is, when we transported some baby mustard plants which were growing in the walkway. The mustards were growing in the walkway because they were doing quite well last summer, went to seed, and the seeds spread.

Which brings to mind one last piece of advice. Note which plants do well in your plot, as well as neighboring ones, and then grow the shit out of them. This is what we intend to do with the mustards, as well as garlic, which already has come up and started growing rapidly in a few short weeks. Fava beans as well, which seem to really thrive in our community garden.

If you're not already experimenting with growing some food, there is no reason not to. For a small partial day project followed by a minimal amount of regular upkeep, it is worth the effort for the food and knowledge you will gain in the process.