By: Ashley Foutty, Keep Akron Beautiful Intern
A self-sufficient garden takes proper planning and execution in order to be successful. The great part about this? A garden can practically take care of itself as long as the soil is healthy, the seeds are reused, and organic material is produced. Gardening can be very time consuming, and with a busy schedule, it can seem impossible!
Here are some helpful tips for planting a self-sustaining garden:
1. Start with soil. Healthy soil is key. The soil must have a proper pH level, correct texture and composition, and be full of nutrients. Adding compost will enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
2. Maintain proper soil consistency. The ideal ratio is 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. This perfect balance can help proper root formation and promote better drainage.
3. Test the pH. A neutral pH level is typically ideal for growing vegetables. You can buy a pH tester from a gardening center to see where your garden pH level stands.
4. Know the growing season. Vegetables should be planted during the season in which they thrive. For example, peas, beets, and cabbage are cold temperature veggies.
5. Purchase quality seeds. Use fresh seeds, parcticularly ones that have been harvested from your own garden the previous year. If this is not the case, purchase seeds online from a retailer who specialized in vegetable seeds, or go to your nearest garden center.
6. Start seedlings indoors. Work with your seeds inside in order to monitor their growth and care for them more easily. Once they are stable enough for the elements, carefully transport them outside.