kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, squash,
sweet potato, tomatoes and turnips.
Flower gardens are the most common
plantings in urban and suburban communities; everyone wants a beautiful ;ower
container at their entryway or a window
box that is overflowing with annuals.
Another reason to plant a ;ower garden is
to support local pollinators such as bees
Pollinator gardens often need full
sun, but some shady ;owers work. Native
plants are best, as they typically have
nectar- and pollen-rich ;owers; be sure
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33
more attention than a container garden,
with regular watering, weeding and maintenance. Using a no-till method will reduce
the need to till every season. Lay down a
thick layer of newspaper to kill grass, then
start layering manure, soil, compost and
mulch. Plant in the top of the layers, then
add new organic matter layers in future
seasons. This no-till method helps save the
microorganisms in the soil and produce
stronger, healthier plants.
Mulch tip: Mulching gardens with ; to
; inches of wood chips, shredded hardwood, pine needles or another organic substance helps the soil retain moisture,
which means you will not spend as much
money on watering. It also helps control
weeds, prevents soil erosion and gives your
garden a nice ;nished look.
Living walls or vertical gardens are a
brilliant way to garden in a small urban or
suburban space and o;er the advantage of
no weeding. A living wall is a self-su;cient
vertical garden growing on the side of a
building, fence, gate or balcony. Within the
living wall system is a structural support
fastened directly to the supporting wall or
fence that holds the plant roots and soil
system. It can be soil-based or water-based,
and some have built-in watering systems.
A homemade living wall system can be
created with window boxes. Simply drill
window box supports in a vertical row,
about ;; inches apart, and hang inexpensive window boxes as your living wall.
Watering tip: A living wall requires
consistent water and fertilizer. This is
particularly important for plants that will
be raised and receive more air circulation,
so installing an automated drip watering
system will help your vertical garden system succeed.
Elevated beds make gardening a snap
for people who have a di;cult time bending or reaching. Elevated beds are normally
waist height and can be gardened while
standing or sitting. Although you can plant
any type of annual or perennial in elevated
beds, they make particularly wonderful
vegetable and herb gardens.
Harvesting tip: In order to harvest
herbs or leafy greens but keep them consistently beautiful all season long, simply
harvest a third of the plant at a time.
While the third you cut is regrowing, you
can harvest another third. This process
keeps the plants productive throughout
the growing season.
Raised bed gardening means gardening on top of the existing soil in garden
boxes, which are typically ;; to ;; inches
high. Raised bed gardening enables you to
have a more nourishing soil base for your
plants’ roots, and it can prevent soil compaction, provide stronger drainage and be
planted virtually anywhere.
Also, with raised beds, the soil warms
earlier so you can plant vegetables earlier
to extend your growing season.
Raised bed tip: If you are building your
own raised bed, be sure to use untreated
wood or materials, which will not transmit
toxic chemicals to your plants. Line your
raised bed with landscaping fabric to prevent the wood from rotting. Fill the raised
bed up to ; inches from the top to allow for
planting and additional soil amendments
in the future.
What do you want to grow?
Herb and vegetable gardens are more
popular than ever. Herbs and vegetables
grown from seeds or starts can grow in
almost any space, small or large, and contribute to a family’s healthy diet. Herbs
and vegetables love full sun; some can also
be grown in shade, but you must be selective. These plants are versatile and do
marvelously in containers, vertical
gardens and elevated beds, as well as
Easily grown herbs include basil,
mint, oregano, rosemary and sage.
Common vegetables with strong
nutritious content include arugula,
beans, broccoli, carrots, chard, endive,
Costco members will ;nd garden beds,
composters, planters, fountains and
ponds, hoses and accessories, garden
tools, fertilizers, seeds and soil year-round on Costco.com and seasonally
in most Costco warehouses.