If you are planning your first garden there are many elements to consider:
Test your soil before you plant so amendments can be added before you plant. You can have your soil tested any time during the year. Go to the extension office at 2500 Main Ave. (Fairgrounds). They have bags for your soil with instructions printed on the bag. You collect soil in the bag and mail it to the address given on the bag. There is an 800 number on the bag if you have any questions. The cost per bag runs about $28.
We carry organic products to amend your soil and will be happy to help you choose the products you need. (go to the Soil Amendment page for more info on what we carry)
The next step is to decided what you want to plant and designate the areas in your garden. Plant sun-living plants such as corn, tomatoes, peppers etc. where they will have full sun. Cool-temperature plants such as your salad greens and cabbage family can take some shade. Salad greens and the cabbage family can be planted early in the season. Tomatoes and peppers are subject to early freezes and need protection such as water-walls if they are planted before June. Next you need to decide which to plant from seed and which to are grown from plants. Directions are found on seed packs which will give you all the information as to when, where and how deep to plant seeds and whether they should be started indoors.
Other ideas to consider for your garden are:
Companion planting: Companion plants provide natural pest control, others live happily together and some plants need to be kept away from each other.
Flowers in your garden add beauty and act as a natural pest control. Plant marigolds throughout your garden and with beans to keep the bean beetles away. Other plants attract beneficial insects. Black-eyed susans and asters attract hover-flies and lacewings which eat aphids. Sunflowers attract pirate bugs which dine on white flies. You can purchase ladybugs and lacewings at Native Roots. Release these in your garden.
Edible flowers are the new rage in haute cuisine as whatscookingamerica.net proclaims. Once you have all the zucchini you can eat, feel free to eat the blossoms. This site has a chart of edible flowers, their flavor, and how they are used. When harvesting flowers be sure of your identification, do not use flowers that have been sprayed with a pesticide, and if you are allergy-prone, it’s probably best to forego consumption of flowers.
Check out our herbs & vegetables. Our herbs and vegetables are grown pesticide-free at our nursery in Bayfield.