We’re officially one week into quarantine which means it’s time for me to post my first quarantine challenge. And I challenge my friends with the space and the tools to start a garden this year. Gardening has a ton of benefits and we’re right at the start of spring, so this is perfect timing. Not to mention for those who are worried about being stocked up on groceries, there’s nothing like having the security of your own homegrown produce available.
Not having my own place limits me in my garden making abilities, but fortunately, my roomie/landlord grows a fantastic garden every year and I plan on helping out where I can. That being said, if you don’t have the space or the funds, consider being a helping hand to somebody else, or try your luck with container gardening. Here are a few guidelines for those of you interested in having your own garden.
- Decide what you want to grow (vegetables, flowers, both) make sure the plants you choose can grow well in the region you live in. You can check verify the best plants for your location here: https://www.burpee.com/findgrowzon
- Start composting! If you haven’t already, compost is great for a garden. It’ll need to break down over a long period of time, so if you haven’t already started a compost bin, you probably won’t be able to use those scraps right away. Here are some guidelines for composting: https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/all-about-composting/5061.html
- Choose a location that gets at least 5 hours of direct sunlight and consider building garden beds in order to retain water and better manage your crops.
- AVOID PESTICIDES!!! Why would you dump toxins on something you intend on eating? Look into natural pest control options. I’ve tried many and they work great. Toy snakes for instance keep the rabbits out. Pest Control
- Get creative! If you’re without work anyways, you might as well see what kind of structures you can build for you garden. Are you going to incorporate a trellis or vertical gardening system? Use the resources you already have and see how you can transform your yard.
6. Borrow tools if you don’t have any yourself. We’ve lost the art of borrowing. And since we need to avoid large stores like Lowe’s and other places consider asking a friend or neighbor if you can have some seeds or borrow some tools.
7. Join a community. There are many gardening communities out there. Join one for tips and feedback to help you.
8. Use good soil. Good soil with plenty of fertilizer or compost is a must if you want to have a healthy garden. If you must venture to the store to buy what you need, practice good sanitation and try to avoid crowds.
9. Research your crops. We’re currently still in March, so it might be too early to plant certain seeds. Make sure you’ve thoroughly done your research on any plants you intend to have in your garden.
10. Ask the experts! In addition to joining communities, there are resources available to you to assist your gardening adventure! Ask for help when you’re not sure or having trouble. Here are some online resources I found helpful: