How is that green thumb of yours growing? Is it raring to go? Lucky for us Californians, the growing season isn’t over yet! In fact, we can grow year-round, as our AHO box has proven to us. Last post, I shared resources for growing your own green thumb. Now that we have those tools in our gardening tote, let’s ask some questions to figure out how to tailor-grow a garden that you’ll love harvesting from (and that won’t give you too many items already received from the box).
What does your family love to eat?
This is a very basic question, but it is the most important question to answer before you start a garden. Sure, radishes grow quickly and easily, but if no one in your house is going to eat them, why grow them? I am all about challenging and developing our taste buds, but I’d prefer to leave that job up to the one or two unusual items in the box. Do you love cucumbers? Grow those. Can’t get enough kale? Save a spot in your garden for a few plants. Do sweet potatoes make you swoon? Save a few organic ones and learn how to grow new plants from them. If you are growing what you love and happen to get a couple more of it in your box, it won’t be a bummer, right? Right. Love what you grow!
What grows in each season?
Set yourself up for success by making sure you plant what will thrive during each time of year for your specific area. My two go-to places to find this information are the fruit and veggie seasonal chart right here on the AHO site and Smart Gardener. I use AHO’s chart as a general reference to see when everything is harvested and then I fine-tune exactly which week each plant I want to grow should go in the ground, whether it’s a seed or a start. Also, if you don’t know what USDA hardiness zone you live in, find out here (it’s will tell you your first and last frost dates and other really important gardening info).
Where can you find good seeds?
If you are an AHO customer, you probably want to avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). The easiest way to avoid GMO seed is only using organic and/or heirloom. I have had great success with seeds from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds, Baker Creek, and Urban Farmer. Be sure to choose varieties that grow well in your area. You can quickly find this information out as you set up your Smart Gardener Plan and are at the point of selecting seeds for your garden. If your selected seed isn’t a good choice for your area, Smart Gardener will alert you and then you can choose a different variety.
Once you have answered these three simple questions, you are on your way to a beautiful, delicious little patch of heaven. Next time we will chat about simple, safe trouble-shooting when it comes to pests and bugs. Now get out there and start your fall garden. It’s not too late!