Now is the time to begin planning your heirloom garden. For those of you who have not gardened before, I recommend that you begin this year. Even a small organic garden will teach you a lot. It is most rewarding to harvest fresh organic beans or carrots or tomatoes for your table.
I recommend that you don’t overdo your first planting. When the sun gets hot, the first year can be overwhelming. But the reward is so worth the labor. Start with a plot between 10 x 16 feet and 20 x 20 feet. This can feed a family of 4 for the summer. With good planning, you don’t need to spend but a few hours/ week maintaining the garden.
You can use our heirloom seeds, or keep them in the freezer for future emergencies. Buy vegetable seed at your local store. Farm stores tend to carry more heirlooms than most chain department stores. If you can’t find heirloom seed, grow hybrids. Get some experience. Growing an heirloom broccoli is no different than growing a hybrid broccoli. No, you can’t save seed, but you can still gain a lot of experience. Here are some crops that are generally very easy to grow: green beans, carrots, radishes, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. Most of these can be seeded directly into your garden. Tomatoes and peppers are usually transplanted in the garden rather than direct seeding.
In my next posts, I hope to cover other aspects of garden planning; location, irrigation, raised beds or flat, fertility, when to plant, etc.