The spring planting season is right around the corner. Time to stock up on garden supplies and get your plan ready for some edible gardening. Need extra motivation? Close your eyes and fantasize about the sweet aroma of fresh herbs. Imagine the intoxicating taste of juicy tomatoes, crunchy lettuce and fiery peppers. Stomach rumbling much?
To start edible gardening, the formula is pretty simple. Plant seeds, water regularly, provide light, collect veggies. But there are a few tips and tricks that can maximize your yields. Let’s take a look at some of the unexpected things you need to start a vegetable garden.
Critter Fencing and Crop Cages
Depending on your garden’s location, it might be prone to theft from furry friends. Rabbits, moles, raccoons, deer and numerous other pests can wreak havoc. If local wildlife is snacking on your crops, try critter fencing or crop cages. Fencing can be built from sturdy plastic or metal poles surrounded by a soft polyethylene mesh. If you’re battling deer, make sure to leave a generous gap between the fence and your garden. You don’t want those long deer necks stretching over and gobbling down your lettuce. Crop cages completely enclose the plant, keeping it pest-free.
Made from translucent fabric, insect barriers keep hungry bugs from munching on your crops. They’re inexpensive and can be cut to any size. Insect barriers are made from breathable fabric that causes almost no heat build-up. And they’re designed to transmit at least 95% of the sun’s light to your growing plants. Insect barriers are an inexpensive way to keep six-legged pests at bay.
Fabric Raised Beds & Containers
While we’re on the subject of pest control, fabric raised beds do a fantastic job of fending off burrowing pests. Ground squirrels, gophers, voles, moles and chipmunks can do a number on your plants. The Big Bag Bed® or Smart Pot® discourages burrowing pests from nibbling on delicate roots and shoots.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Fabric containers are excellent for edible gardening. They provide superior drainage to prevent root rot, and they’re proven to promote explosive root growth. That’s super-important, because larger root masses translate to larger harvests. When it comes to vegetable yields, fabric containers blow clay and plastic pots clean out of the water. And if you’re into organic farming, you’re in luck. Smart Pots and Big Bag Beds are 100% BPA-free. So they’ll never leach harmful BPA into your soil. It’s reassuring to know your crops will be free of this endocrine disrupting chemical.
Soaker Hose with Timer
Vegetable crops best thrive in fabric containers. And if you’re opting for fabric, do yourself a favor. Add a soaker hose and timer to your list of garden supplies. The Bed Wetters™ Soaker Hose is a great choice. Designed specifically for raised beds, it conserves up to 70% more water than traditional methods. Allowing water to slowly drip into the soil, it keeps your plants’ foliage dry. Wet foliage is a major source of disease transmission. Keeping those leaves high and dry will reduce plant pathogens. And if you add a programmable timer, watering is literally effortless.
Cloches are essentially mini-greenhouses that can be placed over the tops of your plants. They can be purchased inexpensively at your local nursery or made from household materials like milk jugs. In spring, cloches create a micro-climate, keeping newly planted seeds warm and moist. That means you can plant seeds earlier and get a jump on the growing season. Cloches protect seedlings from spring frost, hail and heavy rains. In the fall, use cloches to keep plants warm, extending your growing season by a month or more.
So there you have it. Five edible gardening contraptions you never knew you couldn’t live without. Use these products with a premium mix, organic fertilizer and all-natural pest repellant for appetizing results. And if you just can’t help yourself, add some beneficial mycorrhizae to the mix. With a green thumb and the best garden supplies at your disposal, it’s gonna be a tasty summer — and fall!