Have you thought about growing a vegetable garden this year? There is a growing trend toward organic gardens. Organic gardening has become a popular aspect of landscape design in recent years with more and more Tulsa residents wanting a healthier lifestyle and a more sustainable landscape design.
In the American Society of Landscape Architects’ annual survey, “Slightly more than three quarters of respondents noted food and vegetable gardens, including orchards and vineyards, will be in demand this year.” The ASLA noted that growing food gardens can be a low maintenance, sustainable alternative to growing turf in your yard.
How can you have a successful organic garden, even if you’re a beginner?
Plan well and start small. Often beginning gardeners will plant more than they can handle or even eat. You’ll need to plan out where you will plant your garden, whether in an in-ground, containers or a raised garden bed. Vegetables will need a lot of sunlight, at least 6 or more hours of sunlight a day, so carefully plan the placement of your garden. Gardens planted near a tree may lose too many nutrients to the tree while also gaining too much shade, The Old Farmer’s Almanac noted.
Check the soil. Make sure the soil is healthy and has enough nutrients to sustain vegetables growing. Compost can often help with this, but it’s also good to do a test of the soil’s pH levels. Leaves leftover from the fall can be used as mulch, the ASLA said, and grass clippings make an excellent weed suppressant.
Pick hardy plants. Perennial plants that return every year are often low-maintenance, the ASLA said. They recommended perennials like asparagus (purple-passion variety), blueberry bushes, rhubarb, and blackberries. Herbs, the ASLA also noted, can be very sustainable in even hot and dry areas with sage, tarragon, and chives returning year after year.
“A great idea is to explore the many varieties of mint like chocolate, marshmallow, and fruit salad, which carry flavors that match their names,” ASLA said.
Check the local frost dates to see when the best times to plant different varieties are.
Water well. As The Old Farmer’s Almanac noted, vegetables will need a great deal of water, at least one inch a week. There is a helpful vegetable watering table on the Almanac website that shows how much water is needed for different vegetables and when.
For more information on planting a successful veggie garden, contact the Tulsa landscaping and gardening specialists at Oklahoma Landscape.