Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time To Start Your Garden

I haven't been doing a lot of "prepper" stuff on this blog lately. With all the things going on in America and around the world these days I should be screaming from the rafters PREPARE NOW!!!!  Things are getting scary and for some reason, now that things are starting to fall apart, I feel almost frozen in place.  Which happens occasionally.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I believe we are living in what will be looked back upon as historic times.  Take notes boys and girls, this will be one to tell your grandchildren about.  Let's just hope we can tell them while still living in a Free America and not just about "the good old days" when we lived in a place we used to call America, the Beautiful.

Ok, now that I have identified the reason for my "dismal mood" and realize that my general outlook has been sucking... (sucking? I'm pretty sure that's not really the word I was looking for but it certainly fits)  It is now time to pull up my proverbial "big girl panties" and get on with it.  After all, spring is right around the corner and there are things we can be doing to get ready for what is sure to be an "interesting" summer.

One of the things we CAN do about getting ourselves more prepared for the inevitable higher prices we are going to see in the grocery stores this year is to plant a garden. Even if you have never tried growing one it's really  not that hard to do.  There is no time to waste.  This is the year you MUST start growing your own foods.

So lets talk about some gardening!  After spending most of the winter looking out the window and wishing for warmer weather, nothing makes a person feel better than to start planning your garden.
 You will first have to figure out just what you have to work with. No excuses either!  Even if you live in an apartment you can grow something.  Container gardening can produce lots of vegetables in small amount of space. You just need a few containers, some good dirt, and some seeds.  Heck, this year, instead of planting those seasonal flowers in your flower bed, how about using that space to grow edible plants!  You would be amazed at how many vegetables are not only good to eat but are pretty to look at!

You can use most any kind of containers as long as they have a way to let the water drain off the soil.  Even old 5 gallon buckets will work.  Just drill some holes in the bottom and you will be ready to go.  Your choice of containers is only as limited as your imagination.   You can easily grow tomato's, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, etc in containers.

I am a big advocate for shopping local and your local nursery is no exception.  You can pick up most everything you need there as well as your seeds.  You can also purchase some vegetable starter plants at your local nursery.  They are a great resource for information about planting in your area.   If you don't have a nursery near you then even your "big box" stores will usually carry starter plants and seeds.  I personally would rather not shop there but if there isn't another option for now then by all means go for it.  Planting something is much better than not planting at all!

If you still have time to do it, then another option for purchasing your seeds is to  shop online for them.  Places like Baker Creek Seeds, Seeds of Change and the Seed Savers Exchange  all carry heirloom and open pollinated seeds.  There are many other places that carry heirloom seeds as well. Just be sure that they are truly not Genetically Modified seeds.  And be sure to ask if they are affiliated in ANY way with Monsanto.  Those seeds are a big no no in my personal opinion.

With that being said I personally think that most plants are just as easy to start from seed, but if you are more comfortable starting out with seedlings then go with that!  Remember, this is your garden and it is supposed to be fun and lots of us find it pretty relaxing too! So don't let the little things stress you out.  Find a  spot somewhere that gets maximum  sunlight. Some morning or afternoon shade is ok but you will want to have at least 6 hours or so of direct sunlight. 

  Do you have a garden spot already? Then it's time to get your dirt turned over and tilled up. Now would be a good time to take a soil sample to your local County Extension Agency. Some of them still offer this service for free or at a really nominal rate. They can tell you what, if anything, your soil might be needing.  They are also a great source for information about what AND when to plant in your specific area.  And now is a great time to do that.

Here is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map. Click here to find out what zone you are in.  Most vegetables can be planted between April 15th and June 1st, depending on the zone you are in. The Vegetable Garden is a super website  that lists the planting schedules and extension agencies for your area.  The information there is invaluable to both the new gardener and those with more hands on experience as well.

Planting a garden of any kind can be lots of fun. Make a summer kids garden while you are at it.  Teach your children gardening this year and create a lifetime of memories.  And face it, there isn't anything much better that fresh, right out of the garden vegetables on your dinner table.  You will be amazed at what you can do.   With food prices out of control in the stores, you can save a ton of money this summer.  So get out there and get started.  The only thing stopping you is you!


  1. Good post, Sci! I have been encouraging friends and neighbors to garden as much as possible. With all the tumult in the middle east, I fear that the price on oil will skyrocket and then that will be reflected in transportation costs which in turn will give everyone sticker shock when they go grocery shopping!
    The more people that garden and get more self-sufficient, the less people will have to depend on the gov't. and others!

  2. Great post! I'm going to start my seeds tomorrow.

    A friend of ours has a few truckloads of compost they're going to give us, and I've got to lime our garden area this year (acidic GA soil).

    I did my first "real" garden last year, and now my husband wants to at least triple its size, and he's going to have a hand in assisting.

    I'm saving up for a pressure canner, too! One more thing to learn...

  3. Thanks for sharing. Everyone needs to be doing something,trouble is at the door! My seeds are up and growing. I have been trying to prepare,but feel like I should have done so much more. Blessings jane