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Posted by Dina-Marie Oswald on

With spring around the corner, it is time to begin thinking about your vagetable garden. Are you ready?

Until we moved to Texas, I had never been fond of gardening. Whether it was lack of need, lack of experience  or lack of success, I am not sure, maybe a combination. But, with our lifestyle change from the corporate world to farm life came a new love for gardening. The first year here in west Texas, our garden did well, yielding enough produce to eat, as well as, some to freeze. Last year, with greater forethought and planning, it was a huge success. The Lord blessed our garden produce so that we were able to fill three chest freezers!

Planning a garden takes a little more time, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series on planning your garden and hopefully give you ideas which will lead to a successful one.

One of the first considerations should be the location of the garden. The location should be easily accessible, have good soil and water access. Once the location is determined you will have a better idea of how large a space is available for planting. The size will determine what and how much of each vegetable will be planted. Thankfully, we had a large space available so we planted a large amount in a wide variety of vegetables. If you do not have the luxury of a large space, think about what your family enjoys eating.

Investigate the different types of gardens. The traditional gardening method is a grouping of like plants together in a specified area. Most of us choose this method for convenience and ease.  Container gardening makes use of containers or pots to grow plants in. This is especially good for city and apartment dwellers. Raised bed gardening has gained popularity in the past as an answer to minimal space availability and as a way to have total control over the soil. Raised beds are built and filled with a mix of soil including compost and manure. They drain well and are especially good for the elderly and disabled as they can sit comfortably while gardening. Hydroponic gardening is another technique used to grow a wide variety of plants. In hydroponic gardening the nutrients are in the water fed to the plants rather than primarily in the soil. There are several different watering systems  available for this type of gardening.

There is nothing like eating fresh vegetables from your own garden. If you are new to gardening there are many resources available to help you get started. In addition to books on the subject, do not overlook the people around  you. Ask questions, get advise and get started!

Further reading about garden planning: Garden Time! Part 2, Garden Time! Part 3, Gardening With Children