It is prime gardening time here in Zone 5 and I have been so busy in the gardens and with the new chicks arriving on the farm I haven’t found time to post new recipes. So, I thought I would share my sustainable garden plans with those of you who have thought of putting in a garden but do not know where to start.
If this is your first garden, start small. My first garden was a salad garden. A salad garden involves planting those plants you would use in a garden: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and peppers. Every night I went out and picked my salad and enjoyed a healthy dinner. The plus to first time gardeners is it is small and consists of easy to grow plants.
If you don’t have room for a sustainable garden, but you would like to add some freshness to your cooking. Try planting herbs around your flower beds. Herbs will add a touch of green beauty to your flowers. Another way to enjoy fresh herbs is putting up a herb wall using old pallets. This can be easily attached to your garage or a side wall on your house.
Plants that grow well in containers are: basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, parsley, and lemon balm. Choose containers with adequate drainage and water daily. Too much sun will dry herbs quickly.
If you have plenty of room and would like to start a sustainable garden keep reading.
What is a Sustainable Garden?
Sustainable gardening is organic gardening taken a step further. It is a way to give back to the ground, add to the landscape, and nourish your family. At the same time, it reduces our environmental footprint, by increasing carbon storage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to plant and animal biodiversity
Best practices include:
- Composting: Composting yard and garden wastes means less material going to the landfill. It can be as simple as raking leaves over your garden in the fall or as specific as adding compost bins. Learn more about composting HERE.
- Garden Care: Bring out the hoe! Never use chemical herbicides and toxic pesticides that extract a toll on the environment and potentially your health. Instead, get down on your hands and knees and pull those weed. Hoe between plants to rid the garden of plant chocking weeds and help aerate the soil.
- Native Plants: Sow plants that are native to your area. Check with local garden experts for plants that do well in your zone and can tolerate your climate. My 2019 garden for zone 5 includes:
- Save Seeds: I do this more with my flowers which involves saving the dead petals in baggies and replanting them in the spring. Some of the easier vegetable seeds that do well are: peas, beans, peppers, and tomatoes. Dry out the seeds and store in baggies. I will use the greenhouse and start plants in late February.
- Garden Design: It is important to practice crop-rotating, water-conserving, and soil protective. Every year I design a new layout that involves dividing the garden into sections, and planting a different plant family in each section every year.
No matter what size garden you end up with I wish you happy gardening. And when I get all these spring chores done I owe you some delicious recipes!