How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
(A good reference book for backyard gardens. Lots of charts, tables, how-to advice and good illustrations. Mine is well-used)
The New Seed Starters Handbook by Nancy Bubel
(A good book for how to start your own seedlings and a general understanding of how vegetable, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees grow.)
Some of Lonna's favorite Garden Seed Catalogs:
- Johnny's Selected Seeds
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Sand Hill Preservation Center
- Pinetree Garden Seeds
Tips for starting your very first garden:
- Start small
- Grow what you like to eat
Sun availability (at least 8 hours a day)
If your backyard is shady, consider finding a sunny spot in a neighboring backyard or community garden. Or grow in movable pots outside your back door. Sun access is most important and hard to change.
- Soil - plants like a friendly and healthy home. Improve the soil with digging, compost and mulch
- Water - hoses, drip systems and watering cans can bring moisture to your garden. Don't depend on rainfall in our changing climate conditions. Gardens need, generally about and inch a week.
- Site your garden for your lifestyle
- Make your garden something you want to visit, or at least look at once a day. Just outside your door or between your house and garage is a good place. Add a bench or a piece of artwork. You should be able to visit your garden with your morning coffee cup, in your slippers to snip herbs for your breakfast omelet.
- Animals- be prepared for vegetable loving wildlife that love vegetables just as much as you do. Plan for fencing.
Enjoy yourself......Start small...listen to the plants. They can teach us much if we learn to pay attention. Happy spring.