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How to Start a Garden

March 9, 2012 - GrowOrganic
How to Start a Garden Growing Carrots Mushroom Plugs Grasshoppers Tomato Hornworm Growing Broccoli Kefir Growing Peas Espalier Deer Resistant Plants Herb Spiral Birdhouses Square Foot Gardening Kombucha Growing Herbs Indoors How to Do a Soil Survey

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Ready to start your first vegetable garden? The three essentials for an easy vegetable garden are: Full sun Convenient water supply Good soil Add some basic supplies and you’ll be off and growing. X MARKS THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SPOT Ideally, prepare your garden bed in full sun (minimum of 6 hours of direct sunshine in the spring and summer). Just because a garden spot gets strong sun at noon it might not get 6 hours worth. Good soil is the source of nutrients for your plants. Now is the time…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener. Organic vegetable gardening is very rewarding and whether you live in the countryside, in the city or in the suburbs you can enjoy home-grown vegetables.

Today I'm at my friend Autumn's house and we're gonna start a brand new garden. If this is your first garden I recommended that you start small the worst thing that can happen is that you bite off more than you can chew. Autumn has chosen this twenty-by-twenty space but if you only have five by ten that's fine too. Site selection is important you need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day for vegetables and preferably more. If you're not sure how much sun you get you can use one of these SunCalc sunlight calculators and be sure you've chosen the right spot. Avoid snuggling your site up against tall trees their roots can affect the vegetable growth and if you do have trees be sure that you have a clear southern exposure.

A very important consideration is your water source a hose bib or some other way to connect your irrigation close by to your site. A major part of organic gardening is healthy rich soil. In order to know how to build your soil a soil test is critical. A soil test is going to tell you exactly what your garden already has and what it needs check our video on soil tests to learn how to take a good soil sample. The next step is soil preparation and you can prepare the soil by either using a tiller, a broad fork or a digging fork. If you're soil is less compacted broad forking or using a digging fork can be substituted for tilling. It really only needs to be done initially once you've tilled or worked the soil with a fork it's time to add some good ol organic compost which is teaming with beneficial microbes. Next I'm going to build my soil beds by digging out the dirt from the pathways and putting it on the bed until the bed is about six to eight inches in height.

The next step is to grade the bed and if you want to add some fertilizer per the soil test results now's the time to do it. Three to four foot wide beds are a better use of a home gardeners space to narrow rows like you would see on a farm in addition wide beds give your plants roots more room to spread out. To prevent weeds from growing in the pathways you can put down cardboard or newspaper just put it down in the pathways and water it so it gets real heavy. Make sure that the pieces of cardboard overlap after wetting down your cardboard just add about a two to three-inch layer of straw water the whole garden area thoroughly. We've disturbed the soil so much that the weed seeds are gonna come to the surface and germinate. While you're waiting for the weeds to germinate you can start setting up your drip irrigation system. A couple of days later comeback using either the Hori-Hori weeder rooter, a stirrup hoe or a collinear hoe take out any young weeds repeat this process a couple more times before you plant. if you have deer, rabbits or other wildlife i highly recommend a dear fence otherwise all your hard work is going to be a donation to the local wildlife. This deer fencing is relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

It's finally time to plant the certified organic vegetable starts and seeds. I'm planting these peas and they grow really tall so I'm going to stake them with the bamboo and i'm planting them to the north of the garden so that they don't shade out the other lower growing plants like the radishes I'm going to plant from seed. Liquid fish and kelp are great fertilizers to help your little plants thrive. They're often applied as a foliar spray so make sure you have a good sprayer with a fine tip nozzle. So enjoy your little garden and grow organic for life!

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Frank Says:
Mar 24th, 2013 at 9:10 am

Trenching to build up beds distroys the most valuable resource in the garden, the top soil. My beds shift a little from year to year. Its like robbing peter to pay paul. I love building up the soil naturally over time. Healing of earth is extremely rewarding as it seems to heal the gardener as well. I treat the entire space as the garden not just the beds. The erosion and degradation of life in the soil can be devastating.

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