Starter Vegetable Gardens
Recently one of my sisters, who in the past has never had any interest in food gardening, decided it was time to put a portion of her large backyard to work with a vegetable garden to help lower her food bills. But as a complete novice, she wasn't sure how to begin. To help her out, I presented her with Barbara Pleasant's latest book, Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens (Storey Publishing, 2010, $ 19.95). For each plan there are step-by-step instructions and illustrations that tell exactly what you need (including tools, soil amendments, plant supports, seeds and plants), along with a detailed planting and care calendar that follows through several years. Also included are sections on choosing varieties, growing from seed, watering, mulching, fertilizing, dealing with insects and disease, and extending the season. One clever plan is a easy-care bag garden that starts off with bags of topsoil laid directly on the ground into which seeds and plants are sown; the bags smother the grass beneath them over the course of the summer and turn into permanent beds the second season with no digging, while more bags continue to expand the garden. There are plans for areas with short, cool summers and long, hot ones, even a little "marinara medley" plan if homemade spaghetti sauce is your thing. This book is the next best thing to having an experienced gardener out in the vegetable plot with you.
Shows & Events
Mass Hort Garden Photography Workshop
Learn the basics or hone your skills in garden photography at a workshop on Tuesday, July 27 from 12-5 pm at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley, MA. Instructor Rich Pomerantz, a professional photographer whose work has appeared in many publications, including Garden Design, Horticulture and Organic Gardening, will discuss camera workings and functions, light, composition and more, and will critique the work done by participants during the afternoon. Cost of the workshop is $95 for members, $ 125 non-members, with an optional $10 lunch. For more information or to register online, go to http://www.masshort.org/Adult-Education/ or call 617-933-4995. For directions to Mass Hort's Elm Bank Horticulture Center, go to http://www.masshort.org/Directions.