Oklahoma’s rolling plains and landscapes are fabled in stage and song. Farmers and licensed growers of all kinds have been able to delight in living off of and enjoying the fruit of the land (literally!). But there’s no reason every homeowner can’t similarly enjoy the benefits of eating farm to table. GreenPro can help you grow and maintain a healthy vegetable garden; below we’ve offered just a few tips for how you can make eating off the land a nightly occurrence!
Oftentimes homeowners looking to develop a farm-to-table mentality will start by planting a vegetable garden, only to discover very quickly that their gardens are being raided by insects and animals who like eating off the land too! Having GreenPro build you a raised vegetable garden bed is one of the easiest ways to make sure that you and no one else will enjoy the delicious food you’re trying to grow. Even just raising your garden beds one to three feet off the ground can make a huge difference in deterring unwanted food robberies! You also want to make sure that the wood you’ve built to surround your raised garden beds is strong enough to withstand Oklahoma rains. A good series of two-by-fours can help solidify your gardens – especially oak.
Certain types of vegetables however love to climb upward – it’s in their DNA, and they need that support to grow adequately. This is why GreenPro is also proud to work with our clients to build trellises for those plants that are built to grow. (We’re talking about you, green beans!)
Additionally, did you know that certain types of vegetables will respond differently to different types of soil? It’s true – the soil you choose can often mean the differences between vegetables that grow strong and healthy versus those that don’t. Magnesium, for example, is particularly good for tomatoes. A soil that is rich in certain nutrients and vitamins (especially soil that is a mix of nutrients and compost) can greatly assist in the growth of your fruits and vegetables. Just be careful not to overwhelm your garden with too much good soil – you don’t want a root system that is burnt by too many nutrients. Additionally, be mindful that if you are ambitious about growing lots of fruits and vegetables, you don’t want to overcrowd your garden bed; maybe start small, or consider several different gardens with different soil beds for different species of growth.
Be mindful that if you’re going to grow a garden bed or multiple beds, you need to build in some protection from heat and humidity. We’re not talking about a full-on greenhouse, but you should be tracking the weather constantly. If a hard rain is coming, you may want to cover your beds (even a sheet will do in a pinch), or in heat consider laying hay down so that the water doesn’t evaporate out of the soil.
If you’re paying proper attention to your blossoming garden bed, you know that insects and critters will be as well! Be sure to protect your garden bed from infestation by planting marigolds around the perimeter of the garden, or sprinkling the flower throughout, so that the flower’s natural defenses will ward off those insects that would want to feast on the fruit of your labors! Be mindful of green worms that can devastate your tomato plants – they like to camouflage themselves, so you’ll have to keep a sharp eye out! (When it comes to protecting your garden beds, vigilance is the price of deliciousness.)
Oftentimes young gardeners can frustrate themselves by trying to grow certain fruits or vegetables that aren’t ideally suited for an Oklahoma climate. Be mindful that corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers are the best and easiest vegetables to grow, and the most common types of food you’ll be eating. (Strawberries are fun too!) For herbalists, good herbs to grow include parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro, thyme, and sage. A garden with a mix of these ingredients is a garden that will look (and smell) delicious!
Lastly, you’re going to want to make sure that your garden receives proper watering. You can’t assume that just because you have sprinklers that your garden is getting adequate sustenance, especially in hot, dry months. GreenPro can work with you to install a sprinkler system that can ensure your garden is getting the water it needs to bring forth the best possible yield on your investment, Call us today!