And now that I took my COG class, I am a certified organic gardener (or at least I received a certificate).
I'm hoping that the skills I learned in this class will help me grow food and save a few bucks on fresh veggies, but also to have food on our table that is free of chemicals, genetic modifications and as safe as possible. AND gardening is such great exercise. I'm actually surprised how much I am loving being out in my garden. I think it helps that I actually feel like I have a clue what I'm doing, whereas last year I was more like-let me throw some random seeds out in the dirt and maybe water it when I'm outside for something else.
One class was spent on seedlings and they showed us how to make biodegradable planters from newspaper! I had no idea you could do this, but I will be repeating in the very near future - why pay for planters ever??
|You can use a tuna can and a tomato paste can to make these - I'll demonstrate later this month.|
|Note the yogurt containers - and here I've been throwing these away all this time??|
Another interesting way to garden, if you don't have a lot of space to devote and don't want to have to do a lot of work-is hay bale gardening. You just add a fat layer of compost material on the top of a hale bale - and plant your seeds! DONE! The hay bale breaks down and you can either add another layer of compost and replant or use the leftover hay as compost for other areas. It's really interesting - fun for kids and if you don't want to have to squat down to garden all the time, this is great.
If you haven't started yet - you should be getting your garden ready!
Here's one of my beds - I didn't know I was supposed to cover the soil all winter, so unfortunately it has been exposed to the elements. It was full of a bunch of randomness, so I spent about 2 hours cleaning out the two beds and getting them a bit more ready.
|Add a good 3-6 inches for a good layer. I kept mine in a lump in the middle as I'm not planning on planting anywhere near the edge of the raised bed. It was already in place when I moved in and I'm not sure if the wood is untreated/safe.|
And then once I got the compost down, mixed in some organic veggie fertilizer, I covered it all up so it wouldn't be exposed to the elements. I used a hoop frame (cost about $15 for materials) for one bed and burlap bags for the other (free from the local coffee grinder!). The covers will keep the soil warmer by at least two degrees, maybe up to four! Four degrees will make a big difference to your seedlings!
|I'm only gardening for harvest in half of the bed on the left. There's a small section to the right of the hoop frame that also has a burlap bag cover and I excluded it from the frame for a few reasons.|
K, there you have it .... go start gardening!