We’re into April, gardeners, and our gardens are closer on the horizon! Have you planned out what you’re going to plant this year? You probably have your favorites, and I hope we all include some new plants, just for fun!
Last time you and I chatted, I mentioned an interesting little article that I saw in an old McFayden seed catalogue. It was called “A Beginner’s Garden.” I’ll tell you about it because I know there are many novice gardeners who are eager to try a garden, but lack the confidence to just “go for it” when it comes to buying seeds. I also have heard people say “is it worth it to plant a garden”, and I say yes, of course it is, especially if you have yard space sitting unused anyway. And it is great if you have kiddies. This handy little article said that a good starter garden is about ten feet by sixteen feet. The article said that a garden like this, with a basic selection of seeds, can feed a family of four for one summer. And, depending on the weather and the care and attention that you give to this little garden, you might even have some left over for your freezer. What a great thing! Another great thing is that a garden this size is not too difficult to maintain.
This starter garden is based on planting ten foot rows, six inches apart. Plant the rows north to south so that you obtain maximum sun. Are you wondering what the seed selection is for this garden? Here it is: beans, lettuce, beets, carrots, spinach, radishes, a row of marigolds for pest control, six pepper plants, five tomato plants, and four zucchini plants. Remember to leave growing space around the tomatoes and the zucchini. You’d be surprised how much produce a garden like this can deliver to your table, all with the added benefit of growing it right in your own back yard.
I’m a very strong advocate of even a small garden for families with children. Not only do you spend precious family time together in the garden, creating priceless memories with your kids, but even the most finicky little eater might “eat their veggies” if they picked them out of their own garden! How many of us remember the joy of standing in the pea patch, picking fresh peas and eating them right there! That’s something kids will never forget; someone told me the other day that a lot of kids don’t know where vegetables come from (besides the store) and I found that alarming and sad. We don’t want to become so disconnected from the earth that children don’t have a chance to see growing things. Children need sunshine and fresh air and fresh flavors!
There, that’s my soapbox for this time! But if you are looking at a patch of ground in your back yard, consider putting in a little garden, and even if all you do is eat fresh salads over the summer, I know you will enjoy them immensely!
The next meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society is on Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Sunshine Room, SIGN on North Street. Our special guest will be Marie Saretsky from Burr, Saskatchewan, speaking to us about “Planting, Gardening, Fertilizing, Pruning according to Moon Phases.” This is a gentle approach to working with nature. Certain moon phases are suited to different garden activities, and Marie will explain it all to us. That’s Wednesday, April 18.
There isn’t time for me to tell you about Gardenscape, so that will be for a future visit. Happy Easter, and have a great week!