Summer is the most popular time of year to buy a home and move into
it. Unfortunately for gardeners, it is also the peak of the garden
season and the time when you harvest the fruits of your springtime
labor. If you will be moving this summer, don't despair. Just follow
these five easy steps and you'll be enjoying homegrown vegetables again
in no time!
Step 1--Pack some plants to take with you.
If you are moving locally, this is a piece of cake.
You will be able to move your favorite seedlings and plants with you
easily. If you know the date on which you will be moving, you can
plan to have seedlings ready to put in the ground as soon as you
arrive at your new home. The beauty of healthy organic seedlings is
that, as long as you water them regularly, they will do just fine in
their pots and can wait for you to unpack a bit before you get
around to transplanting them.
If you have a long distance move, you will be glad to know that a
well-watered plant can be carefully sealed in a cardboard box and
will do OK without light for several days. Just be sure to unpack it
as soon as you can! I have successfully shipped tomato, pepper and
herb plants across the country using this method.
Step 2--Use container gardens
Container gardens are the quickest, easiest way to get your
vegetable garden back into it's groove. They can be set up with
supplies available at any home improvement store: some compost and
potting mix (in order to be organic, make sure the potting mix
doesn't contain starter fertilizer), a container of any shape or
size that strikes your fancy and some vegetable plants or seeds will
do the trick.
Folks who are moving locally can also start their container gardens
at their old home and move them to their new one. This adds a homey,
familiar touch that can be very comforting.
Step 3--Use plants that mature quickly
Even if your summer growing season has been cut short by your move,
you can still harvest a full summer's worth of vegetables. In order
to do so, you will need to plant vegetables that are fast-growing
such as summer lettuces and radishes. In many areas, you can still
get a harvest from tomato plants, even if you
move in July. It all depends on the length of your
growing season and on your choice of a good, early-maturing variety.
Thank goodness for fast-growing plants!
Step 4-- Do research about gardening in your new area before you
If you are moving to a new area, it will be tremendously helpful to
do some research about the local vegetable gardening conditions
there before you set up your garden. You will want to know about
recommended planting dates, the length of the growing season, common
vegetable pests and disease problems and soil types in your new
area. You can find out about these things from the Cooperative
Extension Service in your new county. If you ask the local Natural
Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) office in your new county, they
will be able to provide you with a soil map that will most likely
show what kinds of soil are in your new neighborhood and you will be
able to plan accordingly.
Step 5--Pick your new garden spot carefully!
Now that you have your plants and have done your research, you'll
probably be very eager to get your new vegetable garden going.
Before you start your soil preparation, be sure to take at least a
day or two to make observations about potential garden sites.
You will be able to learn a lot by observing which areas of your
yard are sunny, which grow the best grass and which are high or low
lying areas in your topography. These factors will make a big
difference to the success of your new vegetable garden. You will
also want to take your neighbors into account. For example, you
won't want to site your organic vegetable garden downhill from a
neighbor who frequently applies pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Although you will most likely miss your old home and garden, your
feelings about your new place will warm with the addition of a
thriving garden. Chances are that by the time you can say 'tomato'
you'll feel right at home again!
Goosefoot in my Garden
It's Easy to Grow
How Does Your Garden Grow
Part One: Getting to Know Your Soil