Momma knew what she was talking about when she told us to eat our veggies! Growing your own vegetables can be equally as beneficial. It is not nearly as hard as we make it, and it is so rewarding come harvest time.
Spring rains have given way to flourishing foliage in the summer garden. The crops of early spring are now past their prime. Veggies like spinach, cilantro, peas, beets and more are all considered ‘cold crops’ and love the coolness of early spring soil. Now we are really cooking with Crisco, because summer, warm-season crops are the bulk of what vegetable gardening is all about.
Warm season growers are the primetime players in the Indiana vegetable garden. These will be able to thrive in your garden until late September. So let’s get planting. Beans, tomatoes, melon, eggplant and corn, just to name a few. Do not forget to plant peppers of all kinds and BASIL, BASIL and more BASIL!
Success in the veggie garden comes from two main components — eight hours of sunshine and great organic soil. I grow my veggies in the front yard of our suburban home out by Geist and use what is called a natural raised bed. This is where you dig the soil from left to right to make a long mounding row of dirt in which you plant your crops into. I have not built a wooden raised bed, but if you do choose to do so make sure you do not use treated wood. I feel this seeps into the soil. Your soil should be healthy and well nourished with compost and have great drainage. I love mushroom compost for my edibles.
The vegetables take up what is in the soil and we consume its contents.
This is why the other two most important things, for consumption purposes, to remember are never use soil with any enhancements like ‘moisture control’ or ‘fertilizer pellets’ and always choose organic soil to put in the garden. Also, keep grass fertilizer and herbicides away from the edge of any garden from which you will eat what you grow. Not good. Also, I like to remind folks really stretch before you get out there and work. I had a very serious back injury this spring and could not continue cutting in my new bed or mulching. Big shout out to Property Pros who came to help me. Josh Springer, CEO and all around good dude, had his crew out to my gardens and helped me so much. You can reach them at 317-436-8529.
No room for a big farm garden? No worries. All crops do very well in containers. As long as those patio pots get eight hours of sun you are good to go. Lettuce does great on the deck, so do cherry tomatoes and herbs. Try some container gardens this summer too and see which method you like best.
Every growing season I pick one thing that I have never grown, this helps me ‘grow’ as a gardener. This year’s unknown in my garden is going to be Pumpkin!
Yes, I know, you would think when the children were younger we would have already tried this happy little gourd. But I must have been too busy working and mothering. I have always been so intimidated to grow them, so this summer I am facing my fears. Gardening should not be intimidating as a hobby. Start small and grow each year.
Experts from Properly Rooted suggest you mulch your veggies and keep them well watered twice a week. Don’t water the foliage, this creates disease, so water around the base carefully so not to splash soil up onto the foliage. More disease. Keep weeding, this keeps moisture thieves away from the root systems of our veggies. Weeds are notorious criminals when it comes to stealing water.
And finally, for those pesky critters, you know I love a product called Shake Away. It is coyote pellets of urine (sorry, gross I know!) but it works so well if applied properly. Read all labels. You don’t want to guess on any type of applications.
Get going with your growing. And as always, I hope this has helped contribute to teaching you all, “How to Grow a More Beautiful Life!”