Climate Associated Food Shortages Cause Huge Resurgence In Kitchen Counter Gardening!
Right now, food stores across the country have been facing shortages of different products caused by delivery chain problems, climate caused shortages, and lack of support to BIPOC farmers!
A great solution to this problem is to grow your own food. If you turned to gardening during the pandemic keep it going or if you live in an urban area and don’t think you have the space, we are here to tell you there are some great tried and true gardening concepts that can work for you. Plus, there is nothing as good as having fresh herbs and vegetables to eat! Kitchen countertop gardening has become more popular in the last few years. This is a miniature garden that you can do yourself, with a small amount of money or you can purchase an expensive one like a tower or wall unit that has ultra violet grow lights or a hydroponic setup.
Kitchen Minis are ready-grown potted vegetable plants you can purchase and place in a sunny windowsill, on a kitchen counter, or on a patio table. Each plant’s harvest lasts for several weeks. There are hot and sweet peppers, herbs, and tomato plants. There are several varieties of each plant. You can find many popular varieties online or at your local hardware/home Depot gardening center! Popular varieties like Siam Tomato will brighten up your windowsill or patio table, and provides deliciously sweet fruit for your recipes! With Siam, you’ll enjoy handfuls of cherry tomatoes over a few weeks. Deliciously sweet, thick-walled, vibrant yellow snack peppers taste great eaten right off the plant, chopped up in a salad, or even grilled. Also available in red and orange, these peppers make the perfect edible decor for any countertop or patio table!
If you have a little outdoor space of your own but not enough for a victory garden consider a small raised garden. Raised beds range in height, starting at about 6". In general, the more soil depth that's available to your plants, the more freely their roots will grow. More soil also holds more moisture, so a deeper raised bed will require less frequent watering.
It is possible to install a raised bed on poor or compacted soil, or even on concrete. If this is the situation you have, buy the deepest bed you can afford. A depth of 10-12" is preferable. Keep in mind that the deeper the bed, the more soil you'll need to fill it. Herbs, veggies, and annual flowers appreciate plenty of sun, so select a raised bed site that receives approximately 8 hours of sunlight per day. The more sun, the better. Live on the shady side of the street? Don't fret! There are plenty of plants that thrive in partial shade, including arugula, parsley, spearmint, chives, and violas (pansies). Take time to research individual plants and plant what will thrive in your microclimate. Raised beds need to drain well so your garden soil isn’t continuously soggy. Avoid those low, wet spots on the property.
A high-quality, nutrient-rich soil is a must for any and all gardens. Raised beds give you an immediate advantage over an in-ground garden, because when you fill your raised bed, you can fill it with a blend of soil that's superior to the native soil in your yard. If you are building your raised bed over grass or bare earth, you can gain additional soil depth by digging 6-12 inches down into the earth, removing any large rocks and debris, and mixing in some of your raised bed soil.Raised beds are meant to be planted intensively. Keeping plants close together helps to retain soil moisture and minimize open space for prospective weeds. The challenge is to grow as much food as possible while resisting the temptation to squeeze in too many plants. Overcrowded plants never reach their full potential because they're stressed by poor air circulation and competition for nutrients and root space.
In a perfect world, Mother Nature would provide an inch of rain each week to keep our vegetables and flowers perfectly happy. As an ever-changing climate makes it harder to predict seasonal rains, it's up to us to make sure our plants get the water they need to thrive! Raised bed soil doesn’t dry out quite as fast as in-ground garden soil; the sides of the bed help retain moisture and the closely planted plants shade the soil to reduce evaporation.
The best way to monitor soil moisture is with your hands. When you stick a finger down into the soil, it should feel lightly damp — like a sponge that has been wrung out. Don't just poke at the surface; get your fingers down to the root zone (3" deep or so) at least once a week.