According to Janice Parker, principal of Janice Parker Landscape Architects in Greenwich, Conn, everybody can have much control over their own environment in their garden if they fear Covid-19 and going to grocery stores.
The good news is that you can start creating your own pandemic victory garden at any size and anywhere. Here are ways to get your pandemic victory garden off the ground.
Determine Potential Spots For Your Garden
It’s a god-bless if you live in the countryside where most houses have a deck, front yard, or back yard and these areas usually have good natural light conditions.
But don’t quickly be disappointed if you are an urban gardener.
Windowsills, balconies, and porches are some ideal places for your garden.
If these areas are occupied and the available spots in your house are full-shade, don’t worry, you can grow some plants under growing lights – which are easy to buy online and energy-efficient.
In a nutshell, anywhere around your home is possible for a pandemic victory garden as long as you provide enough lighting, water, and nutrients for it.
Watch The Sun Move Across The Desired Places For Your Garden
As stated above, lighting is one of the most important elements in building a garden – whether indoors or outdoors.
So, after picking the right place for your garden, it is recommended to spend a day watching how the sun moves across it and to determine how many sun-exposure hours it receives.
These two factors will help you choose the right plants for each spot around the house or for each corner in your backyard.
For example, herbs (such as beets greens, spinach, parsley, and mint) and lettuce require at least 4 hours of sunlight a day, which is suited for growing in shady places.
Plants like potatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini, kale, and tomatoes require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day to get a good yield.
Choose Your Garden Style
There are two common garden styles:
Raised container beds or roof garden
The choice is up to the space where you intend to grow a garden. In-ground garden beds are perfect for people who have a backyard and the soil is lead-free.
On the contrary, roof gardens or raised container beds are ideal for apartment owners or suburban homeowners whose soil, unfortunately, is lead-contaminant.
Raised container beds come in a wide range of size options to fit in specific space areas.
For balconies, a 5- to 15-gallon container capacity is enough.
You can recycle half wine barrels, or buy glazed pots or black plastic nursery containers depending on your budget and aesthetics requirements.
For windowsills, smaller-sized containers are a better choice. 4” pots are the shiniest contender.
If your space area is enough for large-sized containers, then why not?
Galvanized metal trash cans, stock tanks, and redwood or solid wood containers are some good ideas. Make sure they are at least 18” deep.
In fact, three overlapping growing seasons are possible in many parts of the United States:
- Fall growing season is from August to November
- Spring growing season is from March to June
- Summer growing season is from May to September
As long as the soil is warm enough and the weather isn’t frozen or frost-bite, it is possible to grow plants.
To get the most of your garden, consider wise plant choices – which depend on many factors.
They mostly are the correlation between the environment and the plant requirements in lighting, soil type and nutrients, watering, and weather conditions. Besides, it depends on the plant’s mature size and the timespan between planting and harvest.
You should combine different groups of plants due to the timespan between planting and harvest.
A typical example is combining annual plants that allow for various crops all year round and the most productive seasonal plants.
- Some shiny contenders as all-year-round plants to grow are bunching onions, herbs, lettuces, or/and greens. For early spring crops, choose hardy herbs, root vegetables, and leafy greens.
- For late spring crops, basil, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes are perfect options.
- Sweet potato slips, okra, and sweet corn are optional choices if you have extra space.
- Mesclun, arugula, and carrots mixes, turnips, collards, kale, Asian greens, etc. are some good picks for mid-to late-summer.
- Beans are my pick for autumn crops. They are also a great succession plant: plant first seeds in April, another patch in May, and the last crop in August.
There are some plant varieties giving more abundant crops than others. For instance, Chinese cabbages grow faster than traditional heading cabbages.
My advice: As you’re growing a pandemic victory garden, focus more on short-term to annual plants rather than perennial plants.
Prioritize growing plants (vegetables and fruits) that can help you reap calories and provide vitamins and minerals.
Choose easy-to-grow plants if you’re a newbie, such as potatoes, microgreens, and carrots.
Choose plants that allow you to save their seeds.
Look into your local seed bank and buy seeds online. Be flexible in your choices of plant seeds. For example, if you can’t find standard-shape zucchini seeds, it’s still okay to switch to patty pan zucchini.
That’s all for this post. I hope you’ve got more ways to get your pandemic victory garden off the ground from now. Thanks for reading!