Mar 142011
 

Sounds serious, eh?

I’ve never “gardened”.

Houseplants, yes. Water the lawn and mow it, yes.

“Garden”, no.

But if we’re going to make Contentment (see our explanation page, and posts about it) a reality, it’s going to take quite a bit of farm know-how.

So I figure I better work on knowing how, now.

I’m starting with the most-recommended book in my informal survey of gardening friends:

I have to make a few decisions such as -

  • Where to put the garden in the yard
  • How big to make it (in this case, how many “squares” to create)
  • Dig into the ground only, or build raised beds on top?
  • How best to make a fertile plot of of this horrible, sandy soil (what needs to be added)

All before we even get to the fun questions, such as choosing which crops to grow!

I sent for the Free Catalog from Gardens Alive, which includes a $25 coupon (not a sponsored endorsement, just sharing a deal!). Using it, I got their 10 pack of seeds, since they meet my primary requirement of being open-pollinated / heirloom varieties. I may not be saving any seeds this year, but I know that that is part of our future.

I want to eat the food the way God designed it, and I want it to reproduce itself self-sufficiently – also the way God designed it.

Their 10-pack includes:

  • Blue Lake 274 Bush Bean
  • Detroit Dark Red Beet
  • Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
  • Cal Wonder Pepper
  • Cherry Belle Radish
  • Danvers 126 Carrot
  • Bloomsdale Spinach
  • Early Summer Crookneck Squash
  • Brandywine Red Tomato
  • Sweet Burpless Cucumber Hybrid

We will probably not grow the beet or the radish, but will use the other eight as our first experiments with each of those vegetables.

Important things we’re considering adding include Corn, Blackeyed Peas, Pole Beans, Winter Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Onion, and some friendly and edible plants like Nasturtium and Marigold.

Some things I’m anxious to grow we won’t start until we move up to the land, since they’re not annuals: Asparagus, Blueberries, etc.

And how do Strawberries grow in Mississippi? In Florida they’re an annual crop, since there’s no winter to speak of to create the dormancy period which would signal them to produce again… So, here, can I keep them going?

I plan to grow a few little trees in containers – like Clementines. Not sure whether I should start those now, or would the trip still traumatize them too much?

Yes, I’m totally overwhelmed. Likely I will end up throwing myself on the mercy of the garden department staff at Lowes….

  4 Responses to “Preparing to Try Gardening”

  1. I’m with you on this little adventure…I’ve gardened before but in Ohio. This will be my first year growing edible things in Arizona…I’m going with container gardening (we’re renting)…I have some heirloom/organic seeds I bought last year so I’m just testing things out with some of those (so far I’ve chosen snow peas, chives, bell peppers, broccoli, and some lettuce…I’m debating tomatoes and corn). I need to relearn canning soon too!

  2. We are also trying to get a garden established and it has been suggested to do a soil sample and send it to the Extension Office to know what to add to condidtion our soil. Some folks make gardening look so easy. I had one tell me once that you could throw strawberry plants up in the air and wherever they landed they would grow. ha! I am eager to follow your experiences this spring and summer.
    I have blueberries which are proving to be my best adventure yet. I have two varieties and after three years they put out fruit! I got a lot of great information from the folks at the Herb and Garden Festival in Ocean Springs which should be in about two weekends from now.

    • I’ve heard you can also buy simple soil test kits at garden centers and such… I guess time will tell as I start shopping!

      I’ll have to check out that Festival… Thanks for the tip!

  3. This is a wonderful dream Tiffany..

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