Have you started your vegetable garden yet? I haven’t. Every year I swear I’m going to start the seedlings indoors during the month of January, thereby ensuring a good crop and variety of vegetables. Here it is almost the end of March and all I have are a packet of radishes and bell peppers…still in the pack.
|I hope these work. I got them from the Dollar Store.|
If you’ve ever done any gardening by seed, I’m sure you’ve looked at the back of the package for planting instructions. All seed packs come with a little colored map of the United States with outdoor planting dates for different zones. Montana is in the yellow – Zone 4, which means you may start planting May – June.
|What zone are you in?|
That’s all fine and dandy, except for the fact that it may be too late. But any sooner than that and it may be too early. So, what’s a girl to do? Ask the experienced folks at Hooper’s. Don’t plant while there is still snow on the mountains, they say. Good rule of thumb but it’s not a sure thing. After hoeing and sowing and fertilizing your little heart out, you may still end up with only a handful of tomatoes and bell peppers the size of a half dollar.
One day we will get that greenhouse that David has been wanting. His green thumb has been calling him for years. When he seriously gets back into gardening, I’m sure his green house will bring success to our garden efforts.
I am pleased as punch to see the strawberries that have over-wintered…the patch keeps spreading and spreading every year. The parsley and basil are a sight for sore eyes too. And the mint that I dug up and re-potted last fall has been adding flavor to freshly brewed tea.
Now, I want to share something with you about Victory Gardens. During World War l and World War ll, individuals were encouraged to plant a home garden as part of the war effort. Hence the term Victory Garden. It was thought that this would lessen the demand on the food supply, plus be a morale booster as a garden was considered a contribution to the war effort. Also, it was encouraged as being a rewarding experience to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables.
|One of our good apple harvest years.|
I do agree that fruit and vegetable gardening is quite satisfying. If you’ve never tried vegetable gardening, now is a good time to start. First, check with your local extension service to find out what grows best in your area.
Here are some good reasons why you should start your own Victory Garden:
- Home grown simply tastes better. Fruits and vegetables grown in your backyard are more robust and flavorful than the grocery store kind.
- Economy – prices are rising all the time. Grow a crop of tomatoes, beans, or carrots. Then home – can to preserve them. It may require a bit of effort but you’ll save money in the long run. I haven’t bought apple sauce in about 18 months, thanks to my apple trees and the preserves I put up.
- Become self-sufficient and feel a sense of independence from the mega food suppliers. Who isn’t getting sick and tired of produce from Mexico.
- Grow it the way youwant – with pesticides or without. You are the one in charge. Know what you are putting on your family’s table.
- Digging in the garden is good therapy for the mind and body. On occasion, overturning some earth has calmed my nerves and lifted my spirits.
- Get the kids involved. It builds character. Have them pick out favorite vegetables and help with the planting. They will learn how to start a project, watch it grow and feel the sense of accomplishment upon harvest.
|A link to Amazon|
I hope this has inspired you to start your Victory Garden today!
Happy Planting! ~Marlene