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Gardening Information Earth Day Vendor/Demo Form
While planning for the placement of your new garden, ask yourself these questions:
- Has the property been treated with harsh chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc.)?
- Where would my garden get the most sunlight?
- What is the soil like on the property (sandy, loamy, clay, rocky)?
- Does the soil drain well after precipitation?
- Where is the best soil on the property?
- What pests do I need to control for (deer, rabbits, slugs, insects)?
- Is there poision oak, ivy, or sumac on the property?
- Is there anything on the property that would be harmful to my garden (e.g., Black Walnut trees, Hawthorn trees and White Pine trees)?
Preparing your Garden
- Choose a location that get’s as much sunlight as possible (5-6 hours minimum)
- Warms the soil earlier in the season, stays warm, and provides better drainage for healthier plant roots.
- Control the soil better by added new soil, additional nutrients, and compost
- Saves weeding
- Soil is less compact = better drainage and more oxygen to roots
Raised bed soil prep
- Add soil, compost, peat moss, manure
- Amend soil when it’s dry so it’s easier to work with
- If using fertilizer, follow directions to avoid “fertilizer burn”
- Soil testing contact MSU extension or get a soil kit from local garden center
- The pH level of your soil should be between 6 and 7.
- If less than 6 add limestone, if more than 7 add soil sulfur
Advantages of container gardening
- Good option for those with limited space for gardening since you can grow just about anything in a container that you can grow in a garden
- Mobility – move to locations with optimal sunlight or away from harsh weather conditions
- Less expensive
- Less time consuming
Container soil prep
- Choose an appropriate size container depending on the plant and how big it will get
- Make sure the container has a hole in the bottom for water to drain
- Bagged potting mix works better than soil from your yard which may be too heavy
- Consider going with one of the pre-fertilized varieties, and if you get one that includes vermiculite, your soil will hold moisture better.
Indoor container gardening
- South facing window is best, but any sunny window that gets a lot of direct sunlight will do.
- Grow lights
- Layer the bottom of the container with gravel
- mix packaged potting soil with sand and a bit of lime to give your herbs the best start possible
- Whenever possible, use plants/seeds that are heirlooms and organic
- When starting seeds plant extra as not all seeds will grow, and not all seed that do grow will survive.
- Keep soil moist, but not saturated
There is a science to how to arrange garden plants for a more productive garden that creates less work. The way in which plants are arranged can amend the soil, repel pests, support and attract beneficial insects and animals (e.g., bees for pollination, birds to eat pests, etc.), suppress weeds, and optimize space.
Check out the following website on companion planting to know what plants do and don’t work well together.
For more useful tips and “how to” information, go the the Gardening Information page.
Planting Dates for Wexford County
Wexford Conservation District has a list of suggested planting dates for Wexford County: