Ready, Set, Garden! 5 things to remember when planting your vegetable garden.
With the Denver weather still trying to choose between winter and spring, we are still excited to start planting season! Here are some helpful tips to get your garden growing this Spring:
A garden needs sun. This means your garden should be on the south or east side of your home. Western sun is the hottest and often can be too intense for veggies. If possible you should also place your garden in an area you are likely to walk by everyday. Passing your garden daily is a great way to remember to water, pull weeds, and pick those ready to eat fruits and veggies.
Adding a layer of compost to your soil is a great way to provide nutrients to you plants without chemical fertilizers and it helps the planet. Compost has been shown to increase the carbon storage of your soil. You can find compost at any local gardening store, you can make your own (this does take a few months), or ask around your neighborhood. Also, the city of Denver will soon be making the city compost available for purchase.
Mulching your garden helps the soil retain moisture, will reduce water usage, and help stop weeds from growing. Mulch should be made of organic materials: like raked leaves, shredded wood, or straw. We do not recommend wood shavings or sawdust from carpentry projects as the wood could have been treated with chemicals that will leach into the soil. While grass clippings are also ok to use, keep in mind clippings can have grass and other seeds you may have to pull later.
Plant what you love!
We tend to care for gardens more when we are excited to eat what we plant. Plant interesting varieties of the foods you love to eat often. Our favorites include lemon boy tomatoes, edible flowers like nasturtiums, baby eggplant, zucchini, strawberries, and a variety of miro-greens. We recommend no more than two zucchini plants because they are prolific producers and while a couple zucchini make happy neighbors a couple dozen doesn’t!
Don’t forget to share
Gardening is a great way to foster community. Plants like tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant can produce more than a few people could eat before getting too large or turning. Share your bounty with friends, family, and neighbors or offer them to a local charity. You can also freeze them or use extra to collect next year’s seeds. Simply remove the seeds, clean well with water and set them out dry. Once bone dry, store seed in a cool dry place.