Recipe for a Successful Edible Garden

Growing Edibles in a Ground Bed

There are three main types of vegetable gardens: container garden, raised bed, and the traditional ground bed. There are also 3 edible gardening seasons: spring/cool season, summer/warm season, and fall/cool season. For fresh, homegrown, and healthy vegetable crops from spring to late fall, select a suitable style garden for your space and appropriate crops for each season.

When preparing the soil for a traditional ground bed for the first time, remove all weeds and grass then cultivate the existing soil to a depth of 4 inches. Add approximately 1 inch of fully composted organic matter to the soil surface and incorporate. Once the amendments are well mixed, rake the area level and remove any large pieces or debris. You will need to add composted organic matter to the garden each year to maintain a healthy growing environment. For tips on edible container gardening and raised beds, please see our corresponding info sheets.

Now you are ready to prepare your row for seeding. The seed size determines the size of the channel in the row- refer to your seed packet for specific instructions. Place the seeds in the channel at the distance recommended and gently place the excavated soil back over the seeds. For small seeds, like lettuce, place the seeds in the crevice of a folded piece of paper and tap the paper gently as you move down the row. This helps spread the small seeds out evenly.

Once the seeds are planted, gently water the rows to settle the soil. Water seeds and transplants regularly as the soil dries and continue watering as needed while the crop grows.

Prepare your garden plan for each growing season with crops that you will enjoy eating when ripe. Note on your calendar when seeding or transplanting each crop and project forward by the number of days to harvest listed on the seed packet or transplant tag. Mark your harvest date on your calendar. This helps alert you when harvesting can begin to insure full production and ample harvest.

Where rabbits are a pest, surround your garden with a rabbit proof fence and have this fence built and functioning as the seeds begin to germinate. Rabbits can wipe out all your rows of lettuce, broccoli, and cabbage in one night, leaving you to start all over. Where deer are a problem a substantially taller fence will be necessary and/or choose from several organic deer repellents available at The Plant Kingdom.

For the most success, check out our info sheets on appropriate crops for each edible gardening season and fertilizing your edible garden. You can also visit the Renees Garden website (our favorite seed company) for a full calendar of what and when to plant in your edible garden.

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