Backyard gardening on the west side of Ann Arbor
Kevin Dorn | Contributor
My basic style of gardening focuses on using organic amendments. Gardening is a passionate connection of mine that is rejuvenating and fruitful. I start my beds by removing the top layer of grass with a spade, double digging the beds with a shovel and garden fork and adding compost and manure for added water-holding capacity and nutrients. All in all, bed preparation is the most labor-intensive aspect of gardening.
You might think, “What garden work can be done now? There’s still three weeks before the frost free date.” Well my friend, this is the perfect time to start seeds indoors. All that you need is a full spectrum lamp, seed-starting tray, heating pads, a timer, power strip, soil, seeds and a place to grow. Here is a picture of my operation:
Indoor seed starting operation with full spectrum lamp, seed-starting tray, heating pads, a timer, power strip, soil, seeds and a place to grow
It is very important to take notes of where you plant what seeds for future reference. Also only plant a few seeds per section so each has ample room and resources to grow. All of the materials pictured above can be purchased at local garden and hardware stores. I’ve been gardening for about seven years and have built up my equipment over time. Don’t feel the need to go out and spend a lot. A simple pot of soil in the window with tomato seeds is a great way to build success at growing seeds indoors.
It is now a great time to order seeds online or buy them at numerous local distributors. An advantage of going to a local store to buy seeds is you can access the local knowledge of the proprietor. Buying your seeds now will give you good selection for the entire upcoming season. Yes, summer is coming! Days are getting longer and brighter. Crops such as English peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas can go in the ground as soon as the earth thaws. Other plants like tomatoes need nights above 50 degrees to flourish so do better off waiting indoors a while yet. Your individual seed packet will list temperature, light, moisture, nutrient and space requirements for each seed.
The most important thing I could say about gardening is: Enjoy yourself! Gardening is a great way to connect with nature, get some exercise and grow beautiful food and flowers. I leave you with some photos from my garden exploits. As this is the first blog entry, please comment on the direction you would like this blog to take. I am open to all gardening suggestions. Good luck!
This is the first entry of the garden blog; thank you for reading it. Look for updates every two weeks. I appreciate your comments. Kevin Dorn: http://facebook/kevin_dorn.