Whether you have gardened before or have decided to try growing more of your own food, now is the time to start planning your summer garden. If you start at the right time in the season, you get more out of your garden. We’ve collected some of our favorite tips here for you.
Pick the right location
You need a sunny location that gets about six hours of sunlight every day. You also need to make sure you have good dirt that is dark and breaks apart easily. You may need to add in compost, peat moss or some moisture control soil for potted gardens. The location also needs to have stable moisture – not too wet, not too dry, but just right. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a water source nearby for the dry months.
Pick the right size
The biggest mistake that first-time gardeners make is that they plant too much. The recommended size of a garden for a family of four is 16×10 feet. This should accommodate 11 rows that are 10 feet long. For optimal sun, the rows should run north and south. If you are limited on space, planting in container gardens on a porch or running plants vertically up a wall can also give you the space you need. If you want extra assistance in planning your garden, check out this online Garden Planner from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Pick the right plants
The best thing about gardening is that you can choose the vegetables your family will eat the most. The top vegetables for gardening include: tomatoes, zucchini squash, peppers, cabbage and bush beans. These are relatively easy to grow and a few plants can yield a good crop. Marigolds are also great additions to a garden to ward off pests and add some color.
Pick the right time to plant
The Farmer’s Almanac is a great resource for knowing when to plant no matter where you live. In Knoxville, April/May is the right time to plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, leeks, onions, peas and spinach. Plants for later in May/June include: beans, celery, eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, and watermelon. Some plants like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and radishes go through a constant planting and harvesting cycle throughout the summer. For a complete and more detailed planting guide, check out this Planting Calendar online.
Planting a garden has a lot of benefits like creating a better diet and getting outside more often. Now all you need is a great outdoor kitchen to cook all those healthy, homegrown vegetables. At Friedman’s, we have exactly what you are looking for. Let us help you make it a great summer!