This year, I was fortunate enough to learn about an urban plot. It has been a challenge as I have to practice organic gardening and no chemical pesticides. However I have stumbled across a few tips already that makes the process efficient:
Companion Gardening: There are a lot of tips and advice online around companion gardening. It is really neat to see that the plants you grow next to each other can work together and potentially make a big yield; according to many sources I’ve read. Long story short, I find my planning seems to center around:
Putting the same family of vegetables together: Such as nightshade ( tomatoes, peppers) and cabbage and squash related veggies.
Using flowers to deter pests: Nasturtiums and Marigolds help with squash bugs. Petunias can help with tomato horn worm. These flowers seem to also help with many other pests as well and can attract necessary pollinators.
Using herbs: Garlic you can pretty much grow anywhere and works great! Also trying oregano to deter cabbage flies.
Feeding your plants with compost: Compost can be made from scraps but make sure to balance it out and use coffee grounds to make the compost produce faster. Some scraps I’m using is my guinea pigs waste, they are herbivores so this is acceptable. Animals that are not herbivores are not recommended for compost. I’m also using fruit and veggie scraps.
Suggestions for planning your garden:
- Using a notebook to make notes, there is a lot to learn!
- Making a visual of what space you have and what the plants you want to grow require. The last thing you want is skinny looking plants or ones that don’t grow at all. Measurements and square foot calculations help here.
- Making sure your targeting pests such as squash bugs when your planning what to put where.
- Small space? get creative with vertical gardening or growing plants that don’t need to be pollinated on a windowsill.
- Using a calendar and using dates of what to start when and when to rotate. You can rotate different crops! just make sure your growing them in the right climate. I plan on growing broccoli later on in the fall because it likes colder climates.
- Paying attention to the growing instructions on the seed package or the plant tag before you plant and using a ruler to space out plants.
Hopefully this helps some people or gets people talking. I’m not a pro, but I’ve been pretty focused on this for a month or so and planning to learn more. Thanks for reading!