I know summer doesn't technically begin until June 21, but if you work at a university, you know that after graduation, summer (aka "me time") is on. Time to plant a garden!
It's fortunate that, at least in Florida, spring commencement coincides with some pretty gorgeous weather. I celebrate by drinking my first cup of coffee in our kooky little garden, where I can check on all the plant babies before heading to work. This year, my son got a jump on planting season with a bunch of broccoli, basil, tomato, and green bean seeds. I guess the teepee gardens that we built when he was a kid worked to instill those good ol' farming values in him 20 years later.
Not sure where to begin with your own garden? One, two, three, four, baby...
- Get the dirt ready: I like raised beds, especially in Florida, where we have either a feast of water or a famine. They're easy to start up, and easier to keep watered than wide open sandy spaces. Funky Chicken Farm has instructions for making grow boxes (see mine on Flickr). Tomatofest also has a set of instructions for buiding an EarthTainer -- I skip to Chapter Three for soil mixture instructions.
- Get some learnin': If you live in the US, you can look up your hardiness zone on the USDA website, and view a nice list of all the zones at Seeds of Change.
- Get some seeds: This is the fun part! I get organic and heirloom seeds from Seeds of Change, Eden Organic Nursery Services, or Baker Creek Heirlooms. Why organic? Because I like food in my food!
- Get out there: Find information about taking care of your plants in your seed catalogs, from your old farmer neighbor, from the National Gardening Association, or from your library!
Now what to do while your garden grows? Read The Seasons on Henry's Farm, my favorite book! And then get La Petite Jardin from Crush for your desk, you know, to remind all the folks who drop by to plant their own lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes.
Happy planting, happy eating, and happy (early) summer!