Tips for Successful Edible Gardening by The Conscious Garden
In Southern California we love to eat healthy food and there is no fresher, tastier or more nutrient dense foods than those that you pick from your own garden or that you buy from the farmers market. It is important to know that your food is free of chemicals, organic and full of nutrients, so what better way to know what is in your plants than growing it yourself? I want to share with you some of the main things to remember when setting up an edible garden, and whether you have a yard or not, it IS possible!
I have been growing food since I was a kid, and one of the things I have learned, is that plants will grow in anything. So, what ever you have to grow food in, whether it is a raised bed, beautiful container or just a simple plastic drum, you too can have edible vegetables right at your home.
Tips for a Successful Edible Gardening
The key to having good nutrients in your food is in the soil and that is also the advantage of growing at home: you can truly know if it is organic and what’s in it as you plant. Use a premium potting soil to begin with. If you have a large garden, use a mixture of different composts such as manure and worm castings. The soil provides the nutrients to the plants and allows them to be strong.
Edible plants require a little bit of water often and if you add a drip system, it will ensure the plants are getting water directly to their roots where it is required and it makes the garden more water efficient. This is especially important in container gardening, and it will make life SO much easier.
When you decide to plant, choose seedlings from a good organic local supplier, providing bio-dynamic organic seedlings. This will ensure that the roots are strong and will stand up to transplanting and our current drought conditions, giving the plants a good start to their edible nutrient supplying journey. It is also time efficient.
Be ready for providing pest control – and keep it organic, non-toxic. Sluggo for snails, Organocide for bugs and Serenade for diseases. I find that if you notice bugs attacking a particular plant, leave one of those plants free of pest control and the bugs will eat that one plant and leave the rest alone. (Periodically remove the bug-plant and destroy it removing the bugs and disease).
Remember plants need food too! Fish and kelp as the master formula is great. Or you can use an organic food with mycorrhizae. The numbers on the pack of organic fertilizer should not be higher than 5-5-5, which are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a low balanced form.
Just remember, take care of your edibles and they will take care of you. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at an edible garden. If you see something you would like to plant, try a handful of plants and see how it goes. Plants are sustaining and will grow for you if you just give them a chance.
I am available for consultations or garden support to fulfill your edible garden desires.