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Edible Garden Planning 2023


Edible Garden Planning 2023

Like many gardeners, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of those glossy, colorful and enjoyable seed catalogs that will be arriving via mail in the next several months. It is quite easy to become completely enamored of the many new varieties of seeds and plants that will inevitably be featured in the catalogs. It would be prudent however, to preplan your garden before purchasing seeds and plants to save time, effort and money.

There are many considerations to make before actually creating new gardens or making additions to existing spaces but the most import is pre-planning your upcoming garden. Advanced planning is absolutely essential to ensure successful productivity of any edible garden is lighting, water, location and spacing (for instance, edibles such as pumpkins, watermelons and zucchini which require significant growing space because of their long, sprawling vines and vigorous growing habits. A few other things to consider are as follows:

Garden Site:  Location is important for the success of any garden type but particularly edible gardens. The right sunlight exposure will be essential to growing and maintaining healthy, productive plants (Six to 8 hours of direct sunlight is recommended). Warm season vegetables such as corn, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, squash, melons and cucumbers are examples of plants that require at least 8 hours of direct sunlight. However, cool season vegetables such as broccoli, radish, onions, cabbage, peas and celery can easily survive with 6 hours of sunlight.  An open, well-draining site away from existing trees or shrubs will ensure no competition for nutrients or water from other plants. The site would also benefit from an easily accessible watering source.

Garden Size:  If you are new at gardening or growing edibles for a limited amount of people (1-2), starting off will a smaller area and utilizing containers or a raised garden bed system to grow a few selected plants would be a helpful and low maintenance way to introduce yourself to the newfound joys of gardening.  Again, adequate spacing will still have to be considered as most vegetable, fruit and herb varieties require room to grow and depending on the amount of people who will be benefiting from your edible garden, the appropriate garden size is essential.

What to Grow: Think about what edibles you and your family enjoy eating and what would be the most cost-effective food to grow. Commonly purchased fresh vegetables and fruit such as artichoke, asparagus, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, corn, okra, peppers, raspberries, spinach and tomatoes (cherry and grape) can be quite expensive to purchase at stores so growing them in your home garden will save you a fair amount of money and also give you the added satisfaction and pride knowing where your food came from.

Additional Tips For Beginning Gardeners:

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