Make it Homegrown – Alternate Gardening Tips
Hopefully you’ve made it over to our Homegrown Resource Page for some great gardening tips, such as our Spring Produce Guide which outlines everything you need to know about planting and picking your own fresh produce!
But what about those people who don’t have a backyard large enough for a full-sized garden? We’re glad you asked – we didn’t forget about you! Read on for some great space-saving gardening methods such as small-plot and container gardening, plus some great new recipes for you to try with your new “green thumb!”
Raised Garden Beds
Planting in raised beds is a great strategy for those with limited space, as in many urban areas. This method can also be utilized if you do not have the proper type of soil for gardening. These beds can be made with anything from wood, to rocks or concrete. They are then filled with a mixture of good quality soil and compost.
Another type of this is a “Square Foot Garden,” where you build a small raised bed and plant your crops according to a grid based on how much room various plants need to grow. Test out this method by creating a 4×4-foot “Salsa Garden” like the one found here: https://bonnieplants.com/library/planting-plan-for-homemade-4-x-4-foot-salsa-garden/.
Then use your new garden to make fresh salsa, or “Pico de Gallo” to use in the recipes below!
This delicious homemade salsa, used commonly in Mexican cooking, incorporates fresh garden ingredients like onion, garlic, lime, jalapeño, tomatoes, and cilantro. Add a little salt and you have a great dip for chips, or a topping for a variety of fun recipes like the two below.
This tex-mex inspired burger uses an all-beef patty seasoned with spices like oregano, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. It’s then topped with cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, avocado slices, jalapeños, cilantro, sour cream, and crumbled tortilla chips.
This bacon-wrapped hot dog topped with pico de gallo, avocado, and mayonnaise might just become your new family-favorite!
Read more about salsa gardens here: http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/how-grow-salsa-garden-spicy-summer-snacking.html
Another convenient method for growing herbs and veggies is in containers. Make sure to select a container that is large enough for your plants and place it in an area that gets around 4-6 hours of sunlight per day. Get more tips about container gardening here: http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/urban-gardening-with-vegetables
Container gardening is especially great for apartment living, as you can house the potted plants on patios, porches, or even windowsills. Explore Pinterest for more creative gardening techniques! A fun twist on container gardening is to stack pots of different sizes on top of one another to create a tiered garden.
Plant your own container garden using tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Then use your freshly grown produce to make delicious bruschetta using the below recipe!
You can enjoy this fresh spread all summer long with your homegrown veggies and herbs. Just mix together tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let the flavors meld together for a few minutes, then serve on freshly toasted Martin’s Potato Bread for a delicious treat.
Fun tip: Did you know that tomato and basil are companion plants? This means that they mutually benefit each other when they are planted together! Use a guide like this one to see which of your favorite produce should be planted together.
Alternative Gardening Techniques
There are plenty of ways to gardening while saving some space. Check out this article at Apartment Therapy for some more ideas, including “vertical gardening” using pallets, jars, or other wall-hanging techniques.
You can also use a combination of techniques for whatever suits your space. Try a raised garden bed with an added trellis to help your plants grow vertically and save more room on the ground. With so many creative gardening methods, there’s no excuse not to try – no matter the space!
Test out your new homegrown knowledge by planting some beets using one of the methods shown above. Then make this flavorful hummus recipe using beets, chickpeas, lemon, salt, pepper, garlic, tahini, and olive oil. Serve it with fresh veggies and toasted Martin’s Potato Bread!
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