The garden is a Memorial Garden, a garden of benevolence, garden of love. It is a gift to our community from the God of Love, Jesus the Christ. The first “seeds” for our garden have come from members of the congregation and a designation from the congregation’s memorial funds. These seeds have brought us to the beginning of a journey that will last for many years. Guided by the Holy Spirit we will plow forth until row upon row of our work is accomplished and our community is better nourished. The Lord invites you all to be part of His work on earth strengthening and feeding His children. The garden is made possible by generous donations from the community, a Domestic Hunger Grant from the ELCA World Hunger, generous support by the congregation of Lutheran Church of Hope, and support from the Alaska Synod of the ELCA.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

"Building" a Garden part 2

Now that you have the soil amended and the pH adjusted you will have to decide what to plant. Plant what you like to eat. If you don't like peas, don't plant them. If you are not sure about something, plant a little. See if you like it. You can plant more even in the middle of a season if it's something like kale, cabbage, lettuce, radishes.

Carrots, Kale, Collards, Parsnips
You will need to figure out how much of something you will eat. If you put in two zucchini plants that will be more than enough to keep a family of 4 in zucchini for the whole summer. You will probably even have some to share with the neighbors.

Once you have decided what to plant you will have to figure out where to plant it. Zucchini takes a lot of room. Radishes take a small amount of space and can be planted probably three times over the summer. You can also plant things like radishes and leaf lettuce in staggered plantings. Plant some right away then plant more in a week, the two weeks, etc. When you harvest the first ones you planted plant more in the same space and keep going all summer. You will then be able to harvest a few radishes all summer long instead of a whole bunch all at once.

Rows should probably run south to north, if you use rows. You might want to check the book, The Square Foot Gardener by Mel Bartholomew, for tips on other ways to plant instead of rows. You can get a copy at your favorite book store or online book retailer.

Potato Patch
There is software out there to help you plan your garden. They often include space layout to scale, and icons for different types of veggies. They also include planting info, harvest info, and will send you a reminder when it's time to plant specific cultivars you have selected. The cheapest one I found that's comprehensive is about $29 a year. There are free ones but they all leave something out. Pencil and paper work just as well you can ever put planting reminders in your phone. If you do, your phone will tell you when you should plant. If you don't have a smart phone put it in your email calendar and tell it to remind you when it's time to do something in the garden.

For the first timer, plant things that will surely reach harvest. Plan for success. Peas and radishes will generally grow even when neglected. Remember big plants, cabbage, broccoli, squash and the like take a lot of space. Carrots, radishes, and peas not so much space. Even a small garden can produce a lot of wonderful things to eat if you plan. The most important thing to remember is full sun for as long as possible, plant what you like to eat, and an inch of water a week.

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