New to gardening, wanting to increase your garden? Follow this new series that NRP is starting on gardening This is going to be awsome and I thank him so much for this. I am looking forward to learning a lot from this. He is going to cover from the very start to the end. Everything you will need to learn how to grow a garden
Guest Article by NRP & Blue March 19, 2022.
I wanted to start a little summer-long series on Gardening in addition to my normal Ranting, Rambling, and Deep Pantry Stuff So, let’s have some FUN!!!! HAHAHA
So before I get started I want to take a few minutes and offer many MANY thanks to the Farmers and Ranchers out there. Most people have ZERO idea how hard you all work, and what it really takes to “make it”.
Thank You, seriously Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
On the flip side, I do want to add, I heard someone say once “Why do we need Farms and Ranches, all the food comes from the Stores”, seriously I actually heard them say that, OMG!!!! I about had a heart attack right there.
If you are one of those, please, stop reading right now, because you are wasting your time if you have no clue.
Sorry about that, Rant over folks.
Now I know full well there are a million videos and hundreds of millions of sites out there on the Net that cover every aspect of Gardening usually someone displaying their beautiful Garden and them telling you how to do this or that..
I’m going to try something a little differently.
I want to start from the very beginning, from a hunk of ground that grows and breeds rocks by the millions and has absolutely ZERO chance of maintaining a Garden, all alone a prosperous one.
Throughout the next couple of weeks/months I will go through what I did to make my Garden something I’m very proud of and honestly, it produces more than enough for me for a year, or more, in Vegetables and Herbs, and yes I will get into preserving the produce later.
OK, one more thing, maybe two things.
If you intend this Garden to be your only source of food and you’re just now starting to learn how…. PLEASE stock up on a LOT of food right now!!! (Deep Pantry) For a Garden is not going to magically produce, hundreds of bushels of food the first year, sorry to sink your boat, but it’s just the facts.
With that said, you have made the first very big step, you have decided to start a new adventure in Gardening..
Next, you need to make a decision; Is this Garden going to be a Job, a Chore that you drudgingly do each and every day? Or are you going to approach this as a Hobby, an act of Love & Caring, as something you actually enjoy doing?
I have been Gardening almost my whole life, my Father was, in my view, a Master Gardener, or so it seemed. Unfortunately, I did not learn as much as I should have from him. But I’m trying to make him Prowd.
I will tell you right off that I don’t know everything there is, I don’t have that piece of paper on the wall telling me that I’m smart, BUT I can say with honestly I LOVE the HOBBY of being a Gardener and truly do enjoy the reward from my efforts.
Make A Plan:
Ok, enough of the Introduction and My Ranting-on HAHAHAHA
Where are you going to start? Well as with anything worth doing; make a plan as to what you want from your Gardening experience.
Do you want to supplement the food you buy? (BTW, once you eat Home Grown, you’ll not want that ‘stuff’ from the store anymore).
Do you want to grow 90%, plus, of the Vegetables you eat?
Is this Garden just a whim, an OMG I have to do something because you hear bad things on the TV n Radio?
How much do you really want to get involved in the Garden and Preserving?
Do you want to just get some ‘stuff’ in a few pots that sit inside by a window?
PS: I have some of those all winter when it’s snowing outside. Let me tell you, a Homegrown Cherry Tomato when the snow is flying and 10 degrees outside is WONDERFUL!!!
Are you a Prepper and know/think ‘If/When’, and you’ll need a way of producing food for your Family.
Ya really need to think on those things before you start, because they will determine how large of an endeavor you’re willing to make.
A suggestion, start out a little smaller and grow the Garden as you progress, you don’t want to get Burned Out by starting a 5 Acer Garden and possibly having it fail.
Do a little math, figure out how much you want to grow, do some research on what will produce how much. Take Tomatoes, do you want to make Salsa, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup, So-On? You will need to figure out how many tomato plants to plant….. Get the Idea?
PLEASE, Make a Plan don’t just jump in thinking, as Mikel Bloomberg had said of farmers in 2016: “I could teach anybody … to be a farmer. … You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn.”
Let me tell ya, it AIN’T that easy.
Ok, let’s get started with a Plan:
First, you need to find an area where you can completely destroy the fancy yard you have planted. I would suggest you put it a little hidden from the Road and Neighbors for security reasons.
Second, you probably will need to figure out Fencing in the area, make sure you can drive that Pickup into the Garden, for you will probably be adding a LOT of Nutrients to the Soil, Manure, Fertilizer, and the like.
Next: you need to make sure you have room to expand the Garden, for I will guarantee you, once you eat Homegrown, you’ll HATE that Store Bought “Stuff” (I don’t call it produce from the store anymore, it’s just literally junk).
Next: do a quick layout of where in the Garden you would plant certain stuff. Think about where you would put tomatoes and climbing stuff like Beans and Peas (or plant Bush Beans/Peas), decide where you would put those Leaf Greens (Swish Chard, Mustard Greens, Spinach).
Do you want to plant some permanent things in the Garden, like Rhubarb Berry Bushes and the likes?
Next think about if you have Trees that will shade the Garden, Gardens like full sun BTW.
How far is Water from the Garden, do you have Irrigation Water that you can use (I use caution using Irrigation water in the Garden, watch out for weed seeds in the water).
Are you going to do Raised Beds for your Garden, I do, see that first picture? There was no way I could use “In-Ground” Planting. Do you have good soil? If so you probably will plant ‘Most’ things in the ground, and plant some stuff in containers (will explain why later).
One of the most important things you need to think about and Plan, What vegetables do you eat? I don’t care for Turnips, so guess what???? I don’t grow Turnips, HAHAHA, fairly simple huh? LOL
Another thing you need to Plan for, is your time, seriously, how much time are you willing to spend in the Garden? There are many times that require a bit of time:
Soil building and enhancement
Thinning of started seedlings
Weeding and weeding more
Bug Control AGAIN
Harvesting and Preserving
And the most important, EATING WONDERFUL VEGETABLES.
You need to seriously think if you can make the time for a Garden, honestly it’s NOT going to take all of your time, BUT, it will take a good bit. BTW, one of my favorite places to “Get Away” and just relax, sitting in a comfortable chair in the Garden.
Ok Folks, Let’s wrap this up; I got some Seeds to get started.
The next segment will be on Seeds, Store Bought starter plants, Root Starters.
I thought I would show Y-all a couple of photos of my Garden to show you that you really can take a Pile of Rocks and have a successful Garden.
Here’s what I started with, this is actually 10 feet outside my Garden, can you say ROCKS?
See that Photo below, Yeppers that’s where I started from, a rock pile on the side of a hill in the middle of the Desert.
Here is my Raised Bed Garden;
Here is a shot from some of last year’s Garden
Gardening Page One.
There is no reason you can’t grow a Garden, even if simple a Patio Garden. (I WILL get into that also)
SO, let’s get busy and start with the Series
AND Let’s make this FUN!!!!!!!!!
Ahhh for crying out loud Blue, take a bath before coming into the house, Lazy Mutt.… HAHAHAHA