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Growing in the Garden: Planning Your Planting

Growing in the Garden blog posts originally aired in 2019 as a radio show produced by the Food Sovereignty Initiative for KOYA 88.1 FM, the community radio station owned and operated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. They have been transcribed and adapted to be shared here as a community resource.

Even though it’s only the second week of April, it’s never too early to start planning for your garden! Whether it’s your first time starting one, or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s always a good idea to put some thought and planning into what you’re going to grow, where you’re going to grow, and when you should plant.

This episode is going to cover a few basic things to consider when you are thinking about starting a garden! It can be a big space, or even just a small plot in your backyard.

The first aspect you want to consider is the location of the garden. Vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight a day, so make sure you pick a spot that isn’t super shaded.

Another thing to consider is picking a spot that is close to a water source. Vegetables need watering almost everyday, especially during the heat of the summer. Planting your garden near a hose or some other water source will make it easier and less work to maintain the space. Once you have the location figured out, the next question is: what to plant? And when should you plant it? Not everything can be planted all at once! Some plants like cooler weather, while others like it hot and sunny. It’s important to make sure you know which your vegetables prefer so that you can plan accordingly.

Some vegetables that you’d want to plant earlier, and are pretty easy to grow, are things like radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale and carrots. On each seed packet, you’ll be able to find how many days it should take for the plant to grow and be ready harvest. For example, radishes usually take twenty-one to twenty-five days to mature. On the other hand, carrots can take fifty to seventy days! It’s important to keep track of that information so that you can make sure you’re ready to pick them when they’re ready for you!

So those are vegetables you’d want to plant in either April, maybe early May. Other popular vegetables, like cucumbers, tomatoes or peppers, you need to wait a little longer. These relatives like it to be warmer when they are put into the ground. We would recommend around the first to second week of June.

And, just like people, vegetables have certain other veggies that they like and don’t like. Making sure you plant vegetables next to their friends will ensure that they blossom. For example: tomatoes grow really well when they’re planted close to peppers, onions, carrots or celery. But if you were to put some potatoes or corn next door to the tomatoes, they wouldn’t do so well. Before you put anything into the ground, it’s a good idea to do a quick internet search to make sure you’re planning accordingly.

But that’s mostly it! Having an idea of what to plant, when to plant and where to plant are the extreme basics of planning a garden. There’s more to it once the little plants and seeds are in the ground, but it’s a good start to make sure you got all the prep work done before planting.

Thanks for listening! We hope you tune in next time for “Growing in the Garden.”

For more information about gardening, local foods, and to keep up with the Food Sovereignty Initiative, find us on our Facebook page, Sicangu Community Development Corporation!

For our readers on the Rosebud interested in more tips for growing in our area, follow our partners on their Facebook pages, White River Community Garden and SGU Community Greenhouse.

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