Okay, first a rant. Why isn’t any local “gardening business” blogging about gardening? I’m serious, we have nurseries, lawn and garden stores, CSA’s (community supported farmers) everywhere and I can’t find a blog that’s worth anything.
Seriously, go, start a blog about gardening in Boise (and do yourself a favor and get paid by some local nursery to do it) and I’ll talk about you on this blog all the time. I can’t promise you’ll become rich and famous but I’ll be your best friend.
Killer Garden: March
I love gardening. Mostly because its fun to grow things and then eat them. But also because you get to play outside in the dirt and no one cares. Now, I should say up front, I really know nothing about gardening. The following is simply what I’m planning on doing this weekend! And I’ll try to post about this every month.
I should also say, that if fresh vegetables and fruits is important to you, and you aren’t much of a gardener either, you should join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I’m apart of a local Boise CSA called EvenStar Farm. Basically I buy a share (or a half share actually) and I get fresh vegetables every week. A box of it. Its fantastic.
Okay… drum roll please… your 3 steps (this weekend) to a killer garden!
1. Prepare your soil this weekend
Its going to be 62 degrees this weekend. Perfect. Dust off your rototiller (or borrow a friends or even rent one) and get your garden space all ’tilled up. Its super fun if this has been a garden space for many years–it’ll be less fun otherwise. Either way, you’ll feel you’ve accomplished something in a short period of time and have the dirt stains to prove it.
Next you need to test your soil. You can have someone do this for you (from a local nursery or even some lawn care companies) but you can also go to your favorite garden store and buy a do-it-yourself soil test kit. You’ll likely test for four important things: pH, nitrogen, phosphorous and potash. You don’t even really need to know what these things are; you just want to make sure your soil is in good shape.
pH is basically a measure of the soil’s acidicy. You want something between a 6 and 7 pH (or at least I do and since I’m writing this that’s going to be gospel truth). If your pH is higher than 7 (alkaline) you’ll want to add some compost. If its too low, under 5 lets say, you’ll want to add some lime to the garden.
Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (potash) are the nutrients your little plants need to grow. Nitrogen for the green stuff, Phosphorous for the underground staff and Potassium for the plant’s health. These all need to be in good supply and balance. When you buy plant fertilizer at the store and see those 3 numbers on the bag, this is what those 3 numbers are talking about.
2. Plant some food
The whole point of gardening is to get
away from the screaming kids in the house some tasty food on your dinner plate! But its only March, so what, if anything should you be planting now? Good question. Honestly, I don’t know for sure. But what I plant are those hardier cooler weather plants:
- Kale (only because these health nuts keep telling me to eat it)
- Beets (I make a killer beet martini, ask anyone)
So yes, you’ll have to ’till up your garden, add whatever needs to be added to the soil AND rake up some rows for planting. But other than the Kale, what’s not to like here?
3. Start your, um… starts
That’s right. Its also time to start growing those little plants that you’ll eventually want to plant but can’t because the nasty weather will kill them. Again, I don’t have an exhaustive list here for you, but I know what I’m starting this weekend:
- Peppers of all kinds
- Cucumber and anything like one
Now, obviously, you can just buy starts too. But that’s not as fun. Especially if you have little kids who need to discover the joys of biology.
Okay, good luck!
And as always, tell me what I’ve missed!!