Simple Steps to an Edible Garden

Your summer garden survival guide.

1. Healthy Soil. The first step to gardening is having healthy soil. This allows your plants to start off and grow their roots in a thriving environment. The ideal soil for vegetables is about 18″ deep and drains well. However, if you are just wanting to grow greens, you only need about 4″ of soil because their roots are shallow. Your soil should hold moisture like a sponge, have about 1/3 high organic matter, and the neutral pH should be about 6 to 7.

2.  Healthy Starts.

Many people like to use seeds, but they can be unpredictable. Transplanting baby plants gives you a higher success rate as well as an understanding of what a plant looks like when it sprouts. When you are picking plants for successful starts you want to avoid visible roots, root-bound plants, yellowed or damaged plants. In general, anything the plant will have to recover from first before thriving delays its production.

3. Healthy Routine 

Having a healthy system or routine can be a moving meditation for you. Avoid binge gardening. Instead, give yourself a daily routine to transform the energy of the day into a wholesome, peaceful creation. There are four things you need to include in your daily routine. An example of a healthy routine is harvest for 15 minutes, prep for 15 minutes, plant for 15 minutes, care for 15 minutes. If you only want to garden once a week, you could schedule two hours a week and do each of the steps above for 30 minutes instead of 15. Whichever you choose, be sure it’s a solid routine.

By following these three simple steps regularly over the course of just a few weeks' time, you will have a dependable harvest depending on how often you schedule to work in your garden. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and your garden will provide you with an abundance of produce.

Justin Rohner

Founder of Agriscaping.com and Co-Founder of the Queen Creek Botanical Gardens

Justin Rohner has been helping people around the world grow their own healthy, fresh foods at home for more than 25 years. He is a passionate educator, artist, and entrepreneur with an engineering mind who only recently started sharing his sustainable gardening secrets. His professional enthusiasm centers around improving Self-reliance, Sustainable Food, and Family, and was named one of Arizona’s Top 35 Entrepreneurs by The Arizona Republic and AZCentral.com for his work improving local food access & sustainability through Agriscaping.com. He earned his BA from Arizona State University and Master’s from the University of Santa Monica. Justin lives in Queen Creek, Arizona with his wife Britney, 4 kids and a beautiful landscape full of food.

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