Thursday, August 6, 2009

Four Weeks to a New Garden - Week One

Vegetable gardening is all the rage – but not in a trendy sense. It has become a must-have for many people who are concerned with food security and safety. Today’s vegetables are often harvested before they are ripened and shipped across the country, even the world, ripening along the way. In fact many fruits and vegetables come from seed that have been genetically modified. The seeds have been altered to produce fruit or vegetables that will withstand the early harvesting and transportation.

Today people are growing their own so they know how the food has been nurtured. Starting a garden might seem like a daunting task, but tackling the work over several weekends makes the work load lighter.

September marks the beginning of the fall/winter planting season here in Phoenix. Not sure what to plant? Download a free Phoenix Planting Calendar at the Phoenix Permaculture Guilds website.

I’ll be sharing a week-by-week plan each Friday that even novice gardeners can follow to get their gardens ready to plant between now and the end of August, just in time for getting those seeds into the ground.

Week one:

Determine what you want to grow. Vegetables, flowers, or both? There are many vegetables that do well in our fall/winter/spring planting season. Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, all lettuces, peas, radishes and spinach can all be started by seed. Flowers can be started by seed or from transplants available at nurseries. Some of my favorites are carnation, hollyhock, nasturtium, pansy, petunia, snapdragon, sweet pea, verbena and viola.

  • What kind of garden do you want. Raised beds, pots, or in-ground? Square, rectangular, spiral, key hole (u-shaped)? Each one has it's pros and cons. The available space will usually determine the shape. A spiral is good for small spaces since there is more vertical planting surface. Whatever you choose for an in-ground or above groung bed, make sure you can reach all area of the bedding area without walking on any of the soil. There are many possibilities.

  • For hard ground, raised beds may be an easier option. Check out an easy way to get more garden in small spaces above ground with a concept called Square Foot Gardening.

  • If you rent or live in an apartment with a sunny balcony, pots can be moved with you so consider a container garden.

  • Make sure that the chosen spot has a convenient source of water and that your plants will get the light they need. Vegetables need lots of sunlight, at least six hours a day. A flower garden may need full or partial sun, or shade.

  • If part of your yard is crushed granite or dirt, you may want to plant a wildflower garden to add color to an otherwise drab area. Wildflowers do well in full sun.

  • Consider the full size of the plants you will grow and the amount of space they need. make the bed large enough so don’t overcrowd them when planting. Check out my blog post on August 6, 2009 for a cool garden design planning tool.

  • Mark the borders of your garden using natural items like river rock, bricks, or trendy Urbanite (broken up concrete sidewalks) .

  • Break ground if you like, turn the earth over, pulling out the weeds and grass and then take a break until next weekend rolls around.

If you are overwhelmed and need someone to guide you don’t forget to consult a Garden Coach like me!

Remember next Friday will be Week Two where I cover amending or building up the soil!

Happy Digging,

Doreen Pollack aka the Garden Goddess



AZ vegetable gardens (12) arizona gardening (12) compost (10) Garden Goddess (9) Down 2 Earth Gardens (8) Phoenix (7) permaculture (6) vegetable Gardens (6) AZ (5) bermuda grass removal (5) community garden consultant (5) edible gardens (5) gardens (5) monsoon rains (5) Garden planning (4) seed saving (4) Community Gardens (3) Companion planting (3) Garden design (3) Soil (3) apple trees (3) beets (3) computer garden design tools (3) desert (3) fall planting (3) herbs (3) low desert gardening (3) low desert winter gardens (3) mosquitoes (3) mulching (3) rain harvesting (3) Garden Maintenance (2) Gardening tips (2) Master Gardeners (2) Rain barrels (2) Squash Bugs (2) Swiss Chard (2) Three sisters garden (2) amending soil (2) apple (2) basil (2) bats (2) citrus (2) design (2) earth day (2) edible (2) flowers (2) gardening (2) green peppers (2) mint (2) nematodes (2) pruning (2) rain guage (2) rosemary (2) soil secrets (2) sustainable gardens (2) tomatoes (2) tree (2) "Bill McDorman" (1) ARMLS (1) African marigolds (1) Blossom End Rot (1) Christmas Cactus (1) Clay (1) Coirn (1) Companion planting. (1) Contest (1) Cornville (1) Corriander seed (1) Deswrt gardening (1) Doreen Pollack (1) Double digging (1) Fall garden clean up (1) Fall gardens (1) Gambusia (1) Garden Tools (1) Garden books (1) Garden workshops (1) Grden Journals (1) Healing Gardens (1) Heirloom seeds (1) Home Staging (1) Humus (1) Japanese beetles (1) Johnny Jump-ups (1) Kohlrabi (1) Loam (1) Mesquite Flour (1) Microorganisms (1) Phoeniz (1) Pole Beans (1) Red amaranth (1) Sand (1) Sierra Club (1) Slow Food Phoenix (1) Soil Food Web (1) Squash (1) Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes (1) Toby Hemenway (1) Tree Pruning (1) Wildlife habitats (1) amaranth (1) artichoke seeds (1) bachelor button (1) bermudal grass removal (1) bird netting (1) bok choy (1) broccoli rabe (1) brussel sprouts (1) bugs (1) cilantro (1) compost. bugs (1) corn cups (1) cutworms (1) dandelion greens (1) digging (1) dirt (1) earthworks (1) eating from the garden (1) edible cactus (1) edible container garden (1) feeding fruit trees (1) fertilizer (1) fleas (1) flies (1) flower gardens (1) food (1) frost (1) fruit trees (1) garden (1) garden bed preparation (1) garden coaching (1) garden disease control (1) garden journal (1) gardening quiz (1) grass (1) green (1) green beans (1) green features (1) green gift giving (1) grren beans (1) harvesting (1) heirloom (1) holloyhocks (1) home selling (1) how much to plant (1) infections (1) injury in the garden (1) ladybird (1) ladybud (1) lavender (1) leafy greens (1) leaves (1) lettuce (1) mosquities (1) mosquito control (1) mycorrhizae (1) native foods (1) native seeds (1) natural mosquito repellant (1) natural mosquitoe repellant (1) new garden (1) olive trees (1) on-line garden club (1) oregano (1) palo verd tree (1) pansies (1) peach (1) peach trees (1) peaches (1) permaculture design (1) permaculture design course (1) pest control (1) pesticides (1) plastic (1) poor drainage (1) praying mantis (1) prickly pear (1) professional gardener (1) protecting fruit trees from birds (1) radicchio (1) radishes (1) rain water (1) rain water harvesting (1) ratoons (1) recycle (1) root rot (1) second crop (1) soil building (1) soil secrets. nitrogen (1) soil testing (1) southwest vegetable gardens (1) spinach (1) squash vines (1) stock (1) summer (1) sunflower (1) sunflowers (1) surface water (1) sustainability (1) sweet peppers (1) tilling (1) tomato (1) transplant (1) trash (1) trees (1) vegetable (1) vegetablvegetable Gardens (1) violas (1) water use (1) waterharvesting (1) watering a garden (1) weather (1) wildflowers (1) wind (1) xeriscape plant (1) year-round gardening (1)