Starting Out

2003_SU_Class_BellevueTheory is fascinating stuff, but it doesn’t grow good vegetables because it doesn’t get its hands dirty; it concentrates on the general at the expense of the specific, while gardens are really communities of specifics.  We’ve got some basic principles, but then we have to put them in the context of the particulars of your own garden so that they apply to your own situation, in your own town, in your own garden plot. 

Beyond the soil, which is foundation on which a garden is based, the essentials that any garden must have are water, nutrients, and light. They are the basic ingredients with which the plants create themselves as they grow, and so, whether you are starting a new garden, or trying to improve one you have already, these must be the starting points.

Light is both the most and the least controllable of these, and how you site your garden, how you orient the structures, and how you lay out the beds and paths within it can have a significant positive or negative effect on the garden’s productivity, and how long you can stretch your food production season. In most parts of the USA it is possible to have something coming out of the garden nearly year round.

You will find pages here on the Seed2Table site dealing with how to provide water for the garden, and what equipment you will need to do that, as well as how to deal with sites that have too much water.

You will also find pages dealing with building (or restoring) the natural fertility of the soil, whether it be with manure, compost, cover crops and green manures, or with the judicious use of organic fertilizers. We also have pages about why you should be using organic methods rather than synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Finally, you’ll find pages about which tools and what kinds of equipment we have found most useful over 30+ years of high intensity vegetable production. So let’s get started!


ShepherdStarting Out

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