As the weather is warming up and creating great circumstances for weekend gardening, I wanted to provide a few resources that I have used in the past year for farming, gardening and growing plants!
Things you need to be productive and efficient in a garden space:
If you don’t have access to a greenhouse or cold frame and growing your own starts isn’t an option, buying plant starts (young vegetable plants about 6 weeks mature) is a great option. Make sure the plant looks healthy and alert with no yellowing leaves. An unhealthy young plant means it will continue to struggle as a mature plant. Check out these local nurseries:
- Green Acres Nursery and Supply - 8501 Jackson Rd, Sacramento
- The Plant Foundry Nursery & Store - 3500 Broadway, Sacramento
- Talini’s Nursery - 5601 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento
Some plants can be sown directly in the ground and thrive better that way. These plants include carrots, beets, beans, cilantro, parsley, cut and come again lettuces, any greens (kales, mustards), turnips and radishes. Seed packs are inexpensive and can give you a lot of plantings. In addition to the above nurseries I also like to buy organic seeds from:
- High Mowing Seeds (free shipping!)
- Ace Hardware
In addition to basic organic matter in your soil, you are going to want to add in some nutrients for plant health. The most common application is compost, either animal or vegetable based. You can make compost yourself (see below, or purchase it at a nursery.
Installing a simple drip tape irrigation system (connected to a water spicket or hose) is the easiest and most efficient way to water. The release is slow, consistent and doesn’t allow for much runoff. There are kits available for easy installation, and spending one day setting it up is worth the time and money you will save in the long run. We even have the garden drip tape set up on timers for more ease!
To help with germination (for direct seeded crops) it is also helpful to have a hose with a gentle shower head or some type of rotating sprinkler. When seeds are small they refer constant misty moisture instead of large drops which drip irrigation provides.
- Clippers for harvest
- Fork, rake, and shovel for prepping beds
Here are a couple books and websites that I have found helpful in my path towards learning to grow food:
- How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
- The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook by Jean-Martin Fortier
- www.MotherEarthNews.com (organic gardening, DIY, homesteading, natural health)
Happy spring gardening!
Submitted by: Griffin Cassara, SFBFS' Garden Coordinator