It’s not too late to get started for a bountiful fruit and vegetable harvest from your home gardens…
Our vegetable garden is off to a late start this year. Although I’ve had several tomato, bell pepper, zucchini and cucumber plantlings for weeks (or has it already been a month, already?) I’ve kept them alive and well, but didn’t actually “plant” them.
The intro image above of the beautiful serranos, Anaheim peppers, yellow and red cherry tomatoes are a sampling of a harvest from two years ago. I was so happy and proud of my beginner vegetable garden thumb, that I had my treasures pose for images.
Part of the reason for the late start this year with the vegetables is that Hubbs built us another three planter boxes! Ta-Dah!
I still need to apply stain on the outsides of one planter box and add more soil, but they’re ready now. The plan is to also lay landscape fabric around the planter boxes and add small rock/gravel to keep it clean and easier to maintain from weeds.
Last year, I went a bit overboard with too many tomato plants and discovered more about the varieties I care for and those I can do without. My all time favorites are Roma and cherry tomatoes. This year I was excited to find a San Marzano plantling and fingers crossed that it will do well!
There’s so much more to learn and experience with our fruits, herbs, and vegetable gardening endeavors. It’s personally very gratifying and rewarding to bring in from garden-to-table the results of much TLC and knowing where this food comes from and how it was handled.
So when the opportunity presented itself to review Karen Newcomb’s The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden: Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers (← affiliate link) newer and completely revised book, I jumped at it hoping to learn more about and apply space efficient methods to achieve better/healthier growth results from our edible plants.
I went into vegetable gardening rather blindly and enjoyed early on success and failures with what and how I grew my plants. I looked forward to this book as a guide to get me more on track for a healthier, better maintained and efficient system for our vegetable garden. The author’s book has become a classic gardening bestseller that was first published more than 40 years ago and has sold over 500,000 copies. This newer edition has been revised for today’s gardeners, like me, and includes updated information for those interested in heirloom vegetables using postage stamp gardening methods.
The postage stamp method of gardening was groundbreaking when it first came out and is based on ecological principles of maintaining a balance of nature and restoring what we take from it. They are smaller and designed for minimal additional work to encourage results of a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables with the proper soil preparation and efficient watering methods. The technique is about planting in beds instead of in rows and positioning of trailing/vine plants to do what they do best, grow vertically to free up space. Crop-stretching methods such as intercropping, succession planting and vertical gardening are designed to get as many vegetables growing in limited spaces and still produce healthy, high-yield harvests.
It’s a straight-forward guide that gets you started from planning & prepping, soil mixes, timing of planting, watering efficiently, heirloom vegetables and herbs, companion planting, pests and diseases to consider, and composting. It’s not an encyclopedia or laden with photographs. In fact, there are no photographs in this book, but there are diagrams and illustrations that get their point across clearly. I especially liked the diagrams included for the planning stage of the vegetable garden, as it is suggestive as to effective companion planting which I am very interested in learning more about.
A good portion of the book is dedicated to heirloom vegetables and herbs and touches on specific vegetable varieties, crop stretching, keeping the lines pure, harvesting, storage & growing tips, and typical problems with that type plant.
Whether your garden space is limited or not, and whether you’re a beginner or seasoned gardener, there’s something of value for most all levels of experience. It’s a resourceful book and one I’m looking forward to having at my fingertips for my own gardening needs.