Conscious Comments December 2012 - Page 13

Your Garden

you can plant directly in the ground or raised bed you have prepared. Similarly, if you don't have yard space, you'll be putting them in a large container to place on a porch or balcony. 5-gallon painting buckets work well for this (always make drainage holes).

The key to getting the best results from your garden is paying close attention to it everyday, and most importantly, watering! Do not overwater. As you did with your seedlings, pay attention to the soil moisture. If it feels dry, water. If it feels wet, skip a day of watering. This strengthens the roots and creates more robust flavor in your end product. Use compost to amend the soil before planting. Mix it thoroughly with soil so the nitrogen in the compost doesn't burn the tender roots of the young seedlings. In a few months, once the plants are well-established, the plants may need a little boost before producing their fruit, you can put some compost around the base of the plant, always making sure the compost does not come in direct contact with the plant base to avoid burning. Pull weeds as necessary and enjoy watching the fruits of your labor bloom!

Some of my favorite things I grew this summer were: spaghetti squash (which I am still enjoying thanks to their long term storing ability), lemon cucumbers, Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes, and Romano beans.

RESOURCES

Golden Gate Gardening by Pamela Peirce

The Sunset Western Garden Book

Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemingway

Kelsey Howard is a professional trombone player with a passion for plants. He recently earned his permaculture design certificate and is eager to spread these principles with other passionate individuals.

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