With prices on just about everything heading skyward, many people are starting to look to their backyard to provide some of the food for their family. I remember when I was a kid that my mom had a big garden that we got tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, squash, etc. from – you name the vegetable and at some point she was growing it in the garden. Over the years the garden got less and less use as our lives got busier, but I sure wish I had learned more about gardening when I got older, as I have to learn it from scratch now! From figuring out the growing season, learning when to plant what, and how to maintain the plants, it can all be very confusing. Luckily I came across an article at Sunset Magazine that had a “how-to” and a growing schedule for all regions west of the Mississippi in the USA, which is going to come in very handy as we start putting together our garden. (Here is another page with more charts for a few more regions) Here is what the guide says for my region, the Rocky Mountains:
Harvest all warm-season crops (corn, cucumbers, melons, squash, zucchini)
Note: Pick everything that is ready before killing frost is expected; for light frost, protect chiles and tomatoes with floating row covers.
“¢ Add compost & fertilizer
“¢ Onions (sets)
“¢ Hop vines
“¢ Hardy rosemary (‘Arp’ is the most cold-tolerant; it overwinters if temps don’t go below -10Â°)
Plant, after danger of frost is past:
“¢ Basil (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Chiles (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Corn (from seed)
“¢ Cucumbers (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Edamame (seed; mid-May through early Jun)
“¢ Lemongrass (seed)
“¢ Marjoram (through Jun)
“¢ Melons (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Squash (seedlings; through)
“¢ Tomatoes (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Zucchini (seedlings; through Jun)
“¢ Eureka lemon in container (bring inside during winter)
“¢ Lemongrass (divisions)
“¢ Early warm-season crops (beans, cucumbers, early tomatoes)
“¢ Barley (early Aug)
“¢ Hops (late Aug through early Sep)
* May be planted any time of year
How convenient is that? That list will be taped in the garage and on the refrigerator right away so I can be sure to be ready for our raised bed garden I am building. Sure, we might have to uproot everything at some point if we end up buying a house, but I am willing to take that risk – after all, we still have to live our lives as usual. We already have a tomato plant growing in the front yard that is providing beautiful tomatoes every week for our salad. It doesn’t seem to be that difficult to grow them, but I imagine with many different plants thing will get a little more complicated. So glad I found that list, and make sure you go check out your region’s growing list and schedule!
Looking for more inspiration and ideas for growing your own food at home? Check out these personal finance bloggers who are doing just that!
@ That One Caveman – Frugally Grow Vegetables in a Small Space with Your Container Garden.
@ Frugal Dad – How to Build a Square Foot Garden.
@ Blueprint For Financial Prosperity – Garden Progress Update (Plus Bonus Video!)
@ Being Frugal – My Square-Foot Garden Overfloweth
@ Remodeling This Life – Picking Fruit
Photo by D&J Huber