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68. Start Small | Jackie Marie Beyer’s Garden Starting Success Tips

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Here’s some tips I’ve learned over the years that I would like to offer to someone starting a garden from scratch. The biggest tip is to start small.

START SMALL

If I started a garden from scratch this is what I would do.

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Build some raised beds in a sunny spot outside my kitchen.

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And build a compost bin as well.

Compost Bin
I would make my raised beds just high enough to sit on the edge comfortably.
My favorites are made out of 8″x6″ beams i think.
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I would then fill the beds with the best dirt i could get my hands on.
Compost if i had it – made of grass clippings, lots of coffee grounds, eggshells, leftover fruit and produce, etc
Maybe some manure from chickens or sheep etc
Possibly some straw or leaves
I would build a trellis for the peas to climb

The seeds I would plant in the early spring would include:

  • Black Seeded Simpson lettuce
  • Lots of spinach to freeze
  • Maybe some arugula or spring mix
  • Possibly some radishes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Sugar snap peas**
I would buy some brocolli and tomato plants probably 1-2 cherries and a larger slicing tomato
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Then I might plant a zucchini or a squash as much for the flowers as for the veggies.
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One secret I can share is I like to cut my zukes when they are tiny and slice them on just about everything pasta, sandwiches, salads, but esp grilled cheese
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Also, I would plant lots of herbs:

  • chives (mostly for looks and to feed the bees)
  • oregano
  • tarragon
  • rosemary
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • thyme
Echinacea
Possibly lots of basil but mostly basil for my window because it freezes so easy

Flowers I would plant include:

  • marigolds
  • nasturtiums
  • Cosmos?
  • Butterfly flower
  • Calendula
  • Zinnias
  • Snapdragons
  • Sunflowers
Also, I would try to find someone with some raspberry starts I can transplant and build a 8×4 bed for them. If i could i would also try to find some strawberries to transplant.

Pots and containers

You might want to stay away from pots. I myself would stay away from pots. Pots dry out super fast so not only do they require a lot of attention they use more water I think.

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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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