Successful Gardening Planning in Vermont
|Vermont’s crisp, cool summer nights are conductive to the brasicas family of plants. The brasicas include broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts. They love the sunny days and cool nights Vermont is famous for. Our short growing season is excellent for this variety of plant. Rhubarb grows great here, says Mr. Greene. “The plant is one of the first to appear each spring and thrives with little or no care.” Vermont-grown Bok Choy is sweet and dandy. Try growing collard greens or cauliflower. Squash grows in abundance. Summer squash and zucchini also love this climate. To share your Vermont business with us, please contact us. Learn more about advertising in VTLiving.
Vermont gardening can be a richly rewarding experience – if you do your prep work. Soil preparation is crucial to a successful harvest. The soil in Vermont tends to be a bit acidic. Usually lime is added for correct balance. Spend the time and effort to check the pH level in your soil. The levels vary in Vermont and a correct pH level can be attained with very little cost or effort. “If nothing else, check your pH levels, add some lime if needed, and fertilize with manure.”
Get started as early as possible but don’t turn your soil too soon. The preparation of the soil is key. To test if the soil is ready for preparation (turning and planting), make a ball with the soil in your hand. Feel the soil and see if it naturally crumbles. If not, it may be too early to begin your garden. Over-moist soil that does not crumble in your hand is not ready for preparation.
Manure. There is plenty of it here in Vermont and it’s not all in Montpelier (despite what some Vermonters claim). The best fertilizer is good old-fashioned cow manure. Talk to your friendly farmer down the road about dropping a pile of Vermont cow manure in your yard every spring. The decomposed (aged) manure will not smell so bad and will work wonders for your garden. Use care when you mix manure into your soil. Mix manure with the soil to avoid burning the plants roots with concentrated manure.
Indoor Herb Gardens
Starting an indoor herb garden can be an interesting and exciting way to get an early start on gardening while waiting for the ground to thaw. There are three main types of herbs. The most popular are the culinary herbs, which are used in cooking. Many other herbs are also believed to possess healing traits. Decorative and scented herbs are favorites to make an area more pleasant. As well as varying in purpose herbs also vary in care and classification. While all herbs need plenty of water and sunlight the actual amount that each herb needs varies greatly, so make sure to keep track. Herbs can be classified as annuals, biennials, or perennials. Annuals bloom one season and then die. Biennials live for two seasons but only bloom in their second season. Finally, perennials once they are established over winter bloom each season. Another point to remember is that perennials do far better if they are put outside during the summer.
An indoor herb garden needs the same basic things that an outdoor one does. Lots of sunlight and soil that is aerated and not too rich. For sunlight a south or west window would be best. While most herbs need lots of sunlight it does vary so pay attention to this. In the winter try subsidizing with a "grow lamp" or fluorescent light. Place an inch of gravel or mulch at the bottom of each pot. This is to help ensure the good drainage that herbs need. The soil mixture should be one part coarse sand or perlite and two parts sterilized potting soil. For a five inch pot add one teaspoon of limestone; this will give the soil the sweetness that herbs need. Make sure not to over water the plants, since this will make the roots soggy and is not healthy for them. Instead keep them moist, by misting them for example. Another thing to keep in mind is that if the herbs are in clay pots or hanging baskets they will need more water.
Deciding which herbs to plant can be tricky. Most kitchens use certain herbs the most often, so growing these would make a lot of sense for those who cook often. Still not sure which ones to choose? Check the supermarket for ideas. There are three main categories for herbs when cooking they are strong, accent, and blending. For beginners it would be best to go with some from each category. Winter savory, rosemary, and sage are examples of strong herbs. Accent herbs are just strong enough to enhance the flavoring without being overpowering and include such herbs as sweet basil, dill, mint, tarragon, and thyme. The herbs that are best for blending encompass chives, parsley, and summer savory.
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