01 February 2014

Know Before You Grow

Creating a successful garden takes a significant amount of planning. Therefore, choosing what seeds we want to plant for the upcoming growing season is no small ordeal.

Where to begin?

Because there is such a large selection of great vegetables out there, picking only a handful to grow is going to be no easy task. Here are some things you will want to consider while selecting your seeds:

1) Begin to create a mental (or physical if you want to get fancy) timeline for your garden plot. It is essential to know the lifespan of your potential plants. For some of us being a gardener and a full-time college student is a bit of a struggle (albeit a totally worthwhile one!). For example, if you don't live in Philly, your growing season will end when your semester does. If you know the average amount of time it takes for a plant to mature, you'll be able to select plants that fit with your personal time constraints.

2) Another complication to being student gardeners is that sometimes you just get too busy. If you are hesitant about starting a garden plot because you know that your free time is limited, don't give up hope. Sure, there are some plants that need constant monitoring and care, but there are others that are totally low maintenance. Also, don't forget that you are always welcome in the garden to help out in the community beds even if you don't have enough time to manage your on plot.

3) Remember that we are growing in containers this season. This calls for some forethought as space is limited. Look into plants that don't need excessive amounts of space to grow.

4) It is important to be cognizant of any special needs a plant might have. For example, be aware of how much sunlight a plant may need or what temperature it likes best. If a plant needs lots of sun and hot weather to grow, it's probably not best to plant it at the very beginning of the spring season. Unless it has a long maturation period! In that case, you would need to start your seeds early. See, this is why planning is so important!

Of course, there are other things to consider as well. For example, do you want something challenging or are you just trying to stock up on the basics?

The list goes on and on, but the main idea we are trying to get across is that gardens are an investment. If you plan ahead, you will achieve better results.

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Main Garden:
Diamond & Carlisle St.

Sonia Sanchez Garden:
Diamond & Carlisle St.
(across the street)