Gardening Extravaganza 2014: Pre-Planning and Research

2.19.14 / gardening notes + planning
Despite the fact that it’s currently snowing and the roads are covered in a solid layer of white outside my office window, I’m starting to plan my garden for the year. I’m kind of in the pre-planning stage at the moment, deciding how I want to attack the actual planning. I have books for reference, a brand new Pinterest board, and the “homesteading” and “gardening” tags on tumblr saved–not to mention the wishlist of books I have on Amazon.

So what resources have I collected so far?

Pinterest + tumblr. / These ones are purely visual indulgence. I could probably get by without them, but I love being able to look at what others have done with their own home gardens, see how grand they’ve made them even on small plots, and get some creative storage ideas. I have a pinterest board you can follow if you’re interested, and although tumblr really isn’t as useful, it can be fun just to browse the tags.

You Grow Girl and Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail + The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan. / These are my first books on gardening, and I thoroughly enjoy them. I mentioned a couple when I posted about the library book sale, but I want to get a little more into them now. So far, You Grow Girl seems like “book one” and Grow Great Grub is “book two” of my Gayla Trail mini-collection. YGG has all the basics: composting, choosing containers, learning about zones. You name it, there’s probably at least a little bit about it in there, which is impressive as it’s not exactly a gigantic book, like The Backyard Homestead is. That just arrived last night, and I first just skimmed through it for a half hour or so and about died; I’m so excited about how thorough it looks and all the fun, fascinating information in it. One thing I particularly love about all these books is how they focus on small spaces, from apartment fire escapes to a half acre of land. I can’t have the acres of farm I want right now, so these are perfect for what I have to work with.
2.19.14 / gardening books

Recycled and reused containers. / I plan to at least start growing inside and maybe transplanting outdoors later on. We’ll see. So what I’m doing for now is collecting old soup cans (Progresso, because they’re bigger), and I’ll either poke holes in the bottom or line them with rocks to help the water drain. I also have some actual store-bought containers that I’ll use too, but I want to focus more on using found or saved objects than going out to Target and buying new ones. And actually Etsy has some cute vintage planters that would be nice, and it of course wouldn’t hurt to check locally for some used ones either.

Websites. / I’ve recently started reading Mother Earth News, which is definitely more in-depth than I’m prepared to be, but it’s inspiring and lets me dream far (far) into the future. There are always such interesting, educational articles, and while I occasionally get overwhelmed because I open ten or fifteen tabs at once when I find a bunch of articles I want to read, it’s just intriguing. I also like reading through the articles on You Grow Girl, Gayla Trail’s site. Both sites have proven really useful, especially when I don’t feel like getting offline, but I want to make sure I do something productive.

I know a few people mentioned on my last post that they’re hoping to do a garden this year, so I’m wondering where you’ve been looking or where you’re planning to look for information. Do you have any books you recommend? Any ideas for containers I could reuse? Websites? Anything?

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3 thoughts on “Gardening Extravaganza 2014: Pre-Planning and Research

  1. I am behind and haven’t started much planning yet! Last year we did a small container garden which was super successful. Almost too successful – my tomato plants grew out of control big and kept tipping over! We had to anchor them to the house! For this year, I want to plan an outdoor garden. We have the room, I just need to figure out how to utilize it. Unfortunately, we’re in an apt. building with a shared yard, so I can’t do anything drastic to the yard.
    As for my resources, I definitely use Pinterest, and I think I’m going to check out You Grow Girl now! Also, I totally hit up my grandmother who has been gardening her whole life. She taught me bunches last year about what to start when, sunlight needs, and what she’s found to work best. It was an excellent resource!

  2. Pingback: Gardening Extravaganza 2014: A Sprout Update | Sonya Cheney

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