A few years ago, I attended a class taught by Marta Waddell, a Master Gardener in Arizona. I’ve referred to my class notes over and over again, and decided they were good enough to pass along to you!
February isn’t too early to think about gardening! It’s the perfect time to start planning, especially since some plants need to be started inside weeks before the final frost.
1. Practice eating what’s in season locally. This will get your family used to eating seasonal produce, and, therefore, what you can grow in your own garden.
2. Learn what herbs might help your family’s health issues.
3. Marta recommends Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables From Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman.
4. If you’re worried about too much shade in your garden area, plant dwarf trees rather than full-size trees.
5. All heirloom plants are open pollinated, but not all open pollinated plants are heirloom.
6. Try more than one variety of each vegetable to see what gives you the best results.
7. Calorie crops, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, use much less space than grains.
8. For survival, study what the poorest farmers in third world countries grow: Sorghum, peanuts, and chickpeas are three such crops.
9. Another good book for those living in harsh desert climates is Extreme Gardening by David Owens.
10. High quality tools are a must. Keep a bucket filled with sand and a bit of motor oil mixed in to clean off dirty gardening tools.
Related Article: Starting a Garden ~ Dogma Garden Spot