Planning Your Garden
Good planning is essential to a successful vegetable garden. Vegetables have specific requirements and you must choose your site carefully to ensure a bountiful harvest. Here are the basics you need to consider before you select your seeds.
Test Your Soil
Drainage is the soil’s ability to absorb moisture and let excess water drain away. You can test soil drainage by digging a hole a foot deep and a foot across. Fill the holes with water, and time how long it takes the water to drain away; two to three hours after the hole has emptied, refill it, and again time the interval it takes for it to empty. Then calculate the rate of drainage by dividing the total depth of the water (24 inches) by the total number of hours it took for the hole to empty two times.
An average rate of an inch of water lost per hour makes a “well-drained” soil, which is best for vegetable plants. A substantially faster rate is typical of a “sharply drained” soil, one that dries out quickly, and unless enriched with water-retaining compost, is suitable mainly for drought-tolerant plants. A drainage rate markedly slower than an inch per hour indicates poorly drained soil, which will probably drown the roots of most plants.
Well, the day has come…finally. I am the proud owner of another Troybilt Super Bronco garden tiller and I couldn’t wait to put it through its paces. The garden tiller arrived Saturday morning and after unpacking it, attaching the handle, and adding some fluids, it has been used to plow up two small garden plots. I had no issues with it at all and am proud to have a machine as well built as any tiller I have used in the past. Troybilt really knows how to build them.
So my wife and I are buying a new house, well, a foreclosure actually. But it will be new to us. The problem seems to be the time it has taken for this process to get completed. It’s still not completed and my patience is wearing thin, very thin. We started this process in October of LAST year and the seller (big bank) didn’t properly foreclose on the home so the deed wasn’t executed into their name properly. We have been waiting for them to sign the foreclosure deed (also known as an Executed DUP (deed under power of sale)) which was FINALLY signed last week and certified valid by their attorney. The problem is they did not send the deed and the paperwork for closing to my closing attorney yet like they said they would do last Thursday. It could be another couple weeks according to my mortgage company so another round of hurry up and wait is projected.
Now you are probably asking yourself “what does this have to do with gardening?” A lot! This new house will be MY house which means I can finally have my own garden. I’ve been renting for 3 years now a nice home from a good friend but I have been reluctant to dig up his yard for a garden. Instead, I built two 4×8 raised beds for my gardening needs. Although I have had good success with this setup, I really want to have a much larger garden so I can plant more varieties. I’m not sure what I will do with the two raised beds at this point. I will probably leave them for the next renter.
I’m so sick of waiting but waiting we must do it seems. Just think of the great posts I will have when we finally move into the new house. From garden prep to composting options to planting some asparagus for my wonderful wife to enjoy for years to come. Please pray for us but not for the house to close soon, but for patience. The house is an object that I doubt will interest the Lord Almighty into action but to pray for patience is just the thing that the Lord would grant. :)
How to Start Seeds
Some basic items that you will need to start your garden from seed are containers such as purchased pots, seed flat trays, peat pots, egg cartons or yogurt cups (eat the yogurt first of course). You can use just about anything that has good drainage and can hold soil as a container for starting your seeds. You should also use a good quality, soil-less mix, whether you mix this yourself or purchase it from the home goods store is up to you. You should also invest in some good quality labels (I use Popsicle sticks from a craft store) because without a label, you will easily forget what was planted. Trust me. I would also recommend some clear plastic bags or plastic covers to help hold in moisture and heat until the plants pop up through the soil. The obvious additional items needed would be water and a light source (the sun is great if you have a bright window or grow lights if you don’t). Finally, you will need some seeds. Read More…
It’s almost that time of year again. You know the time I speak of, right? Garden Time! As of this writing, we are about to close on our new house and I will need to break ground on a new garden. I have been researching garden tillers for about a month now but I haven’t found the perfect one yet. There are so many to choose from. I would appreciate any advice on which tiller to purchase.
The size of a garden usually helps to dictate the size of the garden tiller. In my case, I am planning on a modest 30×50 that gets plenty of sun and is not shaded except in late evening when the sun dips behind the house. Read More…