How to Start a Vegetable Garden at a New House – Planning

John from visits a friends who just moved into a new rental house and shares his ideas on how to best start growing an edible vegetable garden. In this episode, John will give his friend a garden consult and planning session. First, he will walk the property and share with you some of the resources already existing on the property and how they can be best used to grow edible food crops. You will discover some of the edible weeds and fruit trees already growing and how to exploit them for your benefit. You will learn about some of the free materials on the property that can be used to build raised beds and how John would do it. You will also learn about some pre-existing trellis structures that can be used to grow food as well as how John would put in an irrigation system. You will also hear how John would transform an inactive, fly infested compost pile into an active pile to start breaking down food waste to return nutrients back into the garden.

After watching this episode, you will have some ideas that you can use on your own property to start growing food today.

Steve’s 2013 Garden 1
East Bethesda, Maryland, Late August, 2013. In the garden every year is different (except for the sign by John Sharbach…). This was a great year! Last August I was harvesting around 80-100 Sun Gold cherry tomatoes almost every day from late June through September. This year I’m getting only 8-10. I got a blast of BIG heirloom tomatoes in July; Mortgage Lifter, Cosmonaut Volkov, Neves, Argentine, ugly but delicious Vorlon from Bulgaria and the star of the show Amana Orange (by far the tastiest big one I’ve ever grown…). Last year Early Girl was a sugar bomb, this year a bore as were the highly touted Bloody Butcher variety; what works one year in one garden may manifest itself very differently in another place, another time. Other highlights this year were yellow summer squash, lemon thyme, lemon verbana, one precious Savoy cabbage, sweet red Texas Torpedo onions, yellow cippolini onions, Rioja Spanish garlic, "cheese" (shaped) sweet red roasting peppers, red and orange mini bell peppers, hot "fish" peppers from the Chesapeake region, Thai Dragon red peppers (not just hot but very flavorful…), Mammoth dill from California, crazy good oregano from Sicily and over 20 varieties of delicious lettuces (Little Gem, Red Sails, Outredgeous, Gentilina, Oak Leaf, Flame, Red Velvet, Rubin, Speckles, Flame, Sunset, Tango, Bon Jardin, Butter Crunch, etc.). Growing flavorful basil in Maryland is about as difficult as finding a cheap cold glass of beer in Baltimore Town. I grew (and mostly gave away…) Boloso, Genovese, Large Leaf from California, purple Violetto, Classico, Ararat from Armenia and a very unique and wonderful lemon flavored gem from Iran given to me as seed by a neighbor in ‘the Chelsea". Flops included radicchio (last year awesome, this year hardly any that didn’t bolt…), cilantro (quickly went to seed and turned purple/black yikes!), Mammoth yellow peppers (never turned yellow nor grew Mammonth but fell off the plant limp and green…), Jimmy Nardello peppers, Bordeaux Spinich, cute but weakly flavored "greek" bush basil, mostly sour strawberries, delicious but out of control mint and cucumbers (some kind of beetle infestation…). Still, we grew an incredible amount and variety of delicious produce in a small ‘shark tooth’ pattern garden 25 feet wide at the back, around 30 feet long tapering down to a blunted point in the front. It sure makes me think about how we use our yards and other land, public and private, in our society. My front yard organic (no factory fertilzers or pesticides, no GMO seeds…) farm "store" (everything is free…) was a success in terms of doing the hang with our way cool neighbors and assorted folks traveling down our street. We’ve been rewarded with many new friends, thumbs up, right ons, travel tips, countless recipes, "marketing" advice, many bottles of good red wine, home grown produce, dinner invitations, gardening hints, political commentary, personal histories, memories of musical performances, neighborhood news, delicious homemade pesto, delicious summer squash soup, fiery hot pepper ketchup and more. Better still there’s a sizable contingent of neighbors who have started growing their own vegetables and herbs including some things I never thought of planting.
By Stephen D. Melkisethian on 2013-08-15 16:03:15