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How to plant self-sustaining garden

7/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

A self-sufficient garden is a garden that sustains itself through proper planning and execution. Such gardens can almost take care of themselves as long as the soil is healthy, the seeds are reused and organic material is produced. When planting your own self-sustaining garden, consider the following tips.

  • Start with soil. Healthy soil is essential to a thriving garden. The soil must have the right pH, correct texture and composition, and be full of nutrients. Very often the native soil in yards is not adequate to keep a garden thriving. In such instances, the soil needs to be improved. Adding compost — which can be produced in the yard as well — to the soil will enrich the soil with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
  • Maintain proper soil consistency. The ideal ratio is 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt and 20 percent clay. Having the right balance can secure root formation and promote proper drainage.
  • Test the pH. Certain plants need a specific pH in order to grow. A neutral pH range is typically ideal for growing vegetables. A pH tester can be purchased from a gardening center. Amend the soil accordingly to get the soil to its correct level.
  • Know the growing season. Vegetables should be planted during the season in which they will thrive. Peas, beets and cabbage, for example, are cold-temperature vegetables, while cucumbers, squash and melons thrive in warm climates. Plant accordingly so they will have the best chances for success.
  • Purchase quality seeds. Use fresh seeds, particularly ones that have been harvested from your own garden the year before, to have the best chances for germination. Or buy seeds from a reputable source, like a garden center or an online retailer who specializes in vegetable seeds.
  • Start seedlings indoors. You might want to work with seedlings indoors so that you can monitor growth and care for them more easily. Then transplant the seedlings outside when they are stable enough for the elements.


This information was provided courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection.

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