Tips for Growing Lettuce in the Spring Garden

Lettuce is an easy crop for new gardeners to grow, and a staple for experienced ones. It sprouts quickly, and gives a surge of hope in the early spring garden. Types of lettuce: There are four main types of lettuce: * Loose-leaf has fluffy, open leaves, and does not grow in heads; * Butterheads produce small heads of lettuce; * Romaine has elongated leaves with stiff midribs; * Crisphead lettuce is what you would see in the grocery store as iceberg lettuce. I usually grow loose-leaf varieties as well as Romaine lettuce. I don’t have any experience with head lettuce.[…]

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Planning and Planting Your Spring Garden

How to Get a Jump on Your Spring Garden Planning and Planting

It is not too early to start your spring garden planning and planting. I know this is the end of December and beginning of January. But in Zone 9, with year-round gardening, vegetables are still growing from the fall garden, and crops can be readied for spring planting in a few weeks. Pros and Cons of early spring planting Early spring planting has its advantages: * Many cool-weather crops are able to stand a frost or light freeze that would kill other seedlings. * Early spring plantings avoid insect pests that come out later in the spring. You can begin[…]

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How to Create Good Soil for your Garden

Planning Your 2017 Garden, Part 4 – How to Create Good Soil for Your Garden

Good soil is foundational to gardening. With good soil, your crops will thrive. Without it, your crops will be weak, and prone to disease and insect attacks. Good soil is not just a hit or miss proposition–it can be made, and each year, your soil can get richer and better. Follow this post to create good soil for your garden. 3 types of soil: There are basically 3 types of soil: clay, sand and silt. Clay is very heavy, sticks together and doesn’t allow water to percolate through. Sand is very loose, granular and allows water to flow through readily.[…]

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Planning your 2017 Garden, part 3 - What type of garden to plant?

Planning Your 2017 Garden, Part 3 – the Pros and Cons of 4 Garden Types

What type of garden? A garden is a garden, you say. Yes, but there are all types of gardens. Here I will list four common garden types and some pros and cons of each to aid you in your garden planning. Container Garden A container garden is ideal for gardeners that can only devote small spaces to gardening. Balconies of apartments, or townhomes with limited backyards come to mind. Someone with no garden space, but a large patio might use container gardening. In container gardening, plants are grown in containers of various sizes, depending on the root structure of the[…]

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Planning your 2017 Garden-What and How much to Plant

Planning Your 2017 Garden, part 2 – What and How Much to Grow

Okay, so you have your garden spot picked out and surveyed, now you’ve got to go on to planning your 2017 garden. What to plant, and how much to plant. This decision is up to each individual or family. There are only two rules here: 1) Plant what you will eat. 2) Plant enough of what you will eat. Then a corollary: Don’t plant anything else, unless you have a good reason for it. That’s the end of this blog post. Short and sweet, huh? Planning the Crops: The rest of the post is stories about how my wife and[…]

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Planning the Garden - the site plan

Planning Your 2017 Garden, part 1 – The Site Plan

It is time to begin planning your 2017 garden! You may have already been looking over catalogs, and have an idea of what you want to plant. Hold on there! First, you should look at where your garden is going to be. Near the kitchen, of course, but not too far away to be “out of sight, out of mind.” A possibility, if you have a large area, is a small kitchen garden for spices and herbs near the door, and a larger garden for fruits and vegetables further away. If you don’t have much space, think about planning a[…]

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