Its that time of year! Its cold outside and spring feels like a long time away.
But time moves quick and we have lots of work to do to get ready to start sowing seeds and growing plants.
The first question to ask yourself is "What style of gardening will work for me?" Will you till up a space in the yard and garden on the flat? Will you construction a few raised beds, fill them with growing medium and plant your vegetables? Or are you like me and plan to fill up pots to place by your backdoor and give a try at container gardening?
There is no wrong or right way to grow food for your family! Its all up to the amount of work you can do and how much time you want to invest into your garden.
For me, I am slammed busy all spring and I elect the route of container gardening because its super easy and inexpensive to get started. Three things you need to consider, what look do you want for your yard and home, how hard do you want to work, and how big a harvest are you planning for?
GARDENING ON THE FLAT: This is where you till up a plat of land to place your garden. While this is the way my granddad grew his vegetables, its very labor intense. With rows between your plants, water evaporates quickly making it a project to keep everything hydrated, you must keep up with weeds but you can grow lots of food. Plan on lots of work just keeping up with the weeds! Costs to plan on is a tiller or lots of dig time each spring.
RAISED BED/SQUARE FOOT GARDENING: This is where you build a box, most the time its a 4x4 foot or a 4x8 foot space. When I built my raised beds, I used a 5x5 foot bed so I could slip in 4 foot cattle panels for my vertical growing needs. Any larger and its really hard to work on the interior of each box. Some of the benefits are less weeds, so less work. With a controlled space, its easier to keep each plant watered. Most costs are the initial cost of the boxes and soil to fill them.
CONTAINER GARDENING: Buy a few containers (I use 14 inch wide square pots so I can line them up side by side), fill with potting mix and get started!