Ok, if you’re like me you really want to be part of this grow your own/go green movement, but you may be a little intimidated and not know exactly how to get started, especially when it comes to growing your own backyard veggies. In order to give you accurate and up to date info, I enlisted the help of Sweet Peas owner Jon Culver to give us the scoop on easy care, easy grow fall and winter vegetables so that we can all become planet-saving savvy locavores!
So here’s the breakdown of my conversation with Jon. First, he says we will need a place to plant our veggies that gets at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. You can plant directly in the ground, but Jon suggests renting a tiller to break up our often clay-packed soil if you choose this route. Another option is an above ground gardening bed. There are many attractive options for raised beds out there that are easy to put together, or you can use an old sand box, leftover bricks, stone, build it out of lumber yourself or have a landscaper build one for you.
Next you will need gloves, a small shovel and seeds or seedlings to plant. According to Jon, it is best to buy plants that are grown locally to avoid transplant shock or plants that are accustomed to a different environment. Many of the large chain retailers get their plants from other regions, which means they may not produce as well and may have labels that give instructions for a different zone.
The best time to plant is from mid-September to mid-October when the high temperatures of summer are behind us. Fall vegetables that are great to plant are head and leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, arugula, kale (not ornamental, if you plan to eat it!) and chard.
Herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, chives, parsley, cilantro and dill are all hearty enough to thrive throughout the fall and winter.
Fertilizers and pest control are needed to maintain a healthy garden. Jon says the primary pests to watch out for around here are snails, slugs, caterpillars and aphids.
I plan to roll up my sleeves, get my hands in the dirt and start living off the land or at least get a salad or two on the table this season. For more inspiration, check out Martha’s vegetable garden.
Thanks for all your insight, Jon!
For more information about Sweet Peas Garden Shop, visit the website: www.sweetpeasgardenshop.com
I’d love to hear about your gardening successes (or failures) in the comments below!