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Grow A Spring Vegetable Garden




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Connect to your garden

Sit in your garden 5 minutes each day and notice what you notice. Use all your senses. Enter the same reality with your plants.


Seeds and Transplants

Store seeds somewhere cool and dry. A freezer is best. Read seed packet labels for information on how to grow them best. Consider starting plants from seed. Many vegetables don't like to be transplanted, some are okay with it. For example, tomatoes transplant well, while squashes (and other plants with taproots) do not. Start seeds using the soil block technique, developed by Eliot Coleman. A recipe for a basic seed mix could include sand, perlite, water, compost, peat moss, soil, trace minerals (kelp and/or azomite).


Tools

There are various types of hoes available. Invest in quality tools in the beginning, and you will save time, money, and your back, in the long run. When hoeing, carry a file with you and use it every 30 minutes of hoeing, or whenever your hoe is dull.


Soil

When purchasing materials like compost, soil, and potting mixes, keep in mind that "you get what you pay for."


Nutrients

Offer nutrients to your plants when you want to stimulate leafy growth. Consider using your own urine diluted in water to fertilize - it's free, nitrogen-rich, and works great. Strive to keep all nutrients on-site, and allow them to flow through your garden, rather than exporting them off-site. Similarly, use what's available on-site. Make your own compost, worm bins, compost teas etc. to avoid importing nutrients and other materials from off-site.


Resources


Web

  • Seattle Tilth, www.tilthalliance.org - They sell "Maritime Northwest Gardening Guide" which is a hepful month-by-month resource for gardeners in our climate. They have a good free online month-by-month planting and harvesting calendar (http://www.tilthalliance.org/planting-and-harvesting-calendar).

  • Hawthorn Farm, www.hawthornfarm.org - The community teaching farm that Alexia Allen hails from.


Books

  • Elliot Coleman - Has many resources for the year-round gardener. Is the author of many gardening and farming books, and developer of the soil blocking technique.

  • Steve Solomon - "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades"

  • Carol Deppe - "The Resilient Gardener"


Audio

  • Cafe Racer Radio, www.caferacerradio.com - A radio show, every Sunday with Cindy Ann, you can find Alexia sharing garden/homestead info for 20 minutes.

  • Search for episodes of a new podcast called "How To Hawthorn Farm" available on most platforms.


Video

  • "Garden Planning for Soil Health - Homesteading at Hawthorn Farm, soil video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH1NWID1iYY&feature=




This content has been adapted from our "Grow A Spring Vegetable Garden" workshop with Alexia Allen of Hawthorn Farm

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