I am happy to introduce LaManda Joy, author of the edible gardening blog TheYarden.com and founder of The Peterson Garden Project (which by the way we are raffling off two open bar tickets to their next event) which is a revival Victory Garden in Chicago’s 40th ward.
She wants everyone she meets to grow their own food… seriously. This movement is quickly growing and even moving beyond the residential sector. Rick Bayless uses a rooftop garden for Frontera Grill. There is ongoing discussion about local grocers selling produce grown from their rooftops/backyards; this would be in addition to the continued growth of farmer’s markets throughout the city.
With garden space becoming an integral part of people’s home, I decided to invite LaManda to come by and give some helpful information to all of you which I hope you find helpful as you get your backyards, rooftops and whatever available space ready this spring.
Spring Edible Gardening Tips
for New and Seasoned Gardeners
Most veggies need 6+ hours of sun a day. While lettuce,
chard and some other greens like a little shade in the summer,
tomatoes, eggplants and peppers like it hot. Keep this in mind
when selecting a spot for your garden.
If you want to dig up your lawn, you’ll need to get your
soil tested. You can do this through the local extension service OR,
to save yourself the hassle and have a good start with healthy soil,
build a raised bed on top of your lawn and buy your soil instead.
Organic of course!
Hopefully your sunny spot is also near a watering
source. Schlepping watering cans or buckets can get tiring.
If your sunny spot near the water source is also in
a heavily trafficked spot even better! If you see the garden frequently
during the day you’re more apt to tend it. Out of sight, out of mind
does not make for a good gardening relationship.
If you are limited in space, consider growing vertically.
Sides of garages, deck railings and chain link fence are all great
vertical gardening opportunities.
What do you like to eat? Pick a few things your
family really enjoys eating and try them the first year. By starting
small, and being excited about what you’re growing, you are more
likely to have a positive experience.
If you don’t heed this advice to start small, you’ll have
extra food to share. Check out AmpleHarvest.org for a food pantry
Gardening is a wonderful activity that provides the best
tasting veggies possible, promotes mental well being and is a great
form of exercise.