With summer finally here, I’m reminded of how this time of year is one of my very favorite times to entertain. I adore summer entertaining and I’m hoping as current gathering restrictions continue to ease, it will be perfect timing to entertain.
The very best part is actually incorporating some of my own home-grown garden goodies into the meal. For a dinner party in my backyard, I might prepare homemade fettuccine with lemons from my lemon tree, shrimp, basil from the garden, and lemon tarts with fraises des bois for dessert.
Creating your own farm to table garden doesn’t have to be complicated and really is so much easier than it seems. Whether you live in the city or on a nice piece of property you can grow your own herbs and veggies and entertain from your own garden!
Here are some very basic tips so you can become a vegetable gardener extraordinaire:
Do you have enough sun exposure? Vegetables love the sun. They need at least 6 hours of full sun every day, and preferably 8.
Know your soil. Most soil can be enriched with compost and be fine for planting, but some soil needs more help. Vegetables must have good, loamy, well-drained soil. Check with your local nursery about free soil test kits so that you can assess your soil type.
(Side note: Coffee grounds can be good soil enrichment. Your local coffee shop may give you their used grounds for free if you ask them)
Placement is everything. Avoid planting too near a tree, which will steal nutrients and shade the garden. In addition, a garden too close to the house will help to discourage wild animals from nibbling away your potential harvest.
Decide between pots and a raised bed. If you have poor soil or a bad back, a raised bed built with non-pressure-treated wood offers many benefits.
Vegetables need lots of water, at least 1 inch of water a week.
You’ll need tools. Here are the essentials: Garden fork, soaking hose, hoe, hand weeder, bucket for moving around mulch or soil, gloves, hats, and a cute pair of garden boots. It’s worth paying a bit extra for quality tools that will last!
If it seems like a lot to start your garden, take it step by step and just get started!! The reward comes when you can enjoy those goodies you grew yourself!