Now that I’ve finally gotten the garden planted (I finished it yesterday), I thought I’d share how I did it this year. Since we added another section to it I did it a bit differently than I have in the past. I wanted to make sure I make good use of every last inch!
I know gardening isn’t everyone’s thing, but being able to eat food that I’ve grown myself in the backyard feels pretty great. Not only is it a lot cheaper to buy seeds than produce, but I know exactly how fresh it is when I eat it. I’ve probably spent about $15 on seeds this year, and I’m sure I’m going to be getting 4 or 5 times that much produce this summer. Not to mention the fact that tomatoes freshly picked the day after it rains are incredibly juice. Or that the zucchini is 2 or 3 times the size of the ones in the grocery store. I’m also 100% in control of how it’s grown. I don’t use any fertilizers or pesticides.
Before I even got out into the garden I went through the seeds I had and pulled out everything that I wanted to plant. This is always a tough step for me because ideally I’d like to plant everything. Once I narrowed it down I decided to make a map. This helped me visualize how much room I had to work with as well as how much room the different plants take up. I’ve never done this before, but I ended up finding it really helpful. I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing this every year from now on.
Once I had everything placed in the garden on the map, I used popsicle sticks to write tags to label all the seeds. I got them from the dollar store ($1.25 for 100) and wrote on them with a sharpie so I’d still be able to read them in a few months with all the rain and sun. It was much easier to make the tags before I went outside to plant. Having a table to write on makes all the difference.
Once the seeds were all planted I added in the plants that I’d started from seed indoors back in the spring (tomatoes and zucchini). We ended up “cheating” with the basil and bought that at a garden center. As usual, I was pretty generous with the seeds when I planted them. It’s much easier to thin them once they germinate than not plant enough in the first place and have to plant more a second time. The seeds we planted this were were: 4 different kinds of greens, radishes, carrots, onions, leek, celery, and broccoli. I haven’t had the greatest luck with celery or broccoli so I’m hoping that they turn out better this year.
As for the seeds, I got them from Baker Creek. I’ve bought from them from the last 5 or 6 years now and I have nothing but good things to say about them. They have a great variety of seed, so I’m always able to find a kind that will grow in our short growing seasons here. As for the tomato seed I always get it from Casey’s Heirloom Tomatoes. He gets all the seed from the tomato plants he grows in his yard just north of the city. Because they’re grown so close I know that they’ll do well here in Calgary.
Do you have a garden? Leave me a comment telling me about it.