February Is Time To Start Thinking About Your Garden

Sounds crazy, but soon it will be the time to start planning a garden and starting your seeds. Since we live in Brooklyn and, you know, don’t have a garden, we’ll leave it up to Get Rich Slowly to break it down. If you’re new to gardening, he suggests you start with herbs:

Herbs are one of the most forgiving classes of plants to grow — almost as easy as weeds — especially the hardy perennial herbs. Except for excessively moist soil and total shade, almost any conditions will support herbs. They thrive in sunny, dry areas. Herbs are also some of the most frugal crops you can grow because they are outrageously priced at the grocery store and can be used to make even basic ingredients into a stand-out meal. It’s worth the cost to start with herb plants rather than seeds so that you can use them right away.

We’re dreaming of basil! Lots more tips at Get Rich Slowly. —MEGHANN MARCO

Gardening 101: Plan Today for Summer Success [Get Rich Slowly]

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  1. WindowSeat says:

    My last remaining vice is my organic vegetable garden. I say vice because it takes up a great deal of my free time, but the rewards are well worth it. I canned over three hundred pounds of San Marzano tomatoes last year from a sixteen foot row of plants.

    I don’t buy salad greens, cucumbers, potatoes, herbs or squash at the store six months out of the year and I have plenty of produce left to share with friends, family and neighbors.

    My soil started out crappy, but over the years I’ve built it up with compost from the lawn clippings and leaves from the yard.

    Right now I’m looking through seed catalogues and deciding what to plant before I head off to work.

  2. MeOhMy says:

    I have trouble not munching leaves from my basil plant everytime I walk past it.

  3. AcilletaM says:

    If you have a sunny spot, most herbs and a lot of vegetables can be grown in containers.

  4. any such name says:

    meghann – i have two basil plants in apartment – they just need good sunlight. i even grew them from seed. you can do it!!!

  5. AlexDitto says:

    I’ve had a little herb garden outside my almost-urban apartment for almost two years now. Best thing I think I’ve ever done.

    A good thing to remember is that most varieties of Basil, which I’d say is the most useful of any of the herbs I’ve grown, are annuals, so as soon as it flowers and puts out seeds, its probably going to die, and there’s nothing you can do about it (believe me, I’ve tried). Make sure you collect the seeds while they’re availible for replanting. Basil’s also prone to fungus, so you’ve got to keep an eye on it.

    Also, make sure you put thought into placement. My little square of dirt is half covered by the eave of the building, so rainwater tends to beat down on anything toward the front, so that area I mostly reserve for groundcovers, like Oregano and Thyme. Basil, Rosemarry and Tarragon, all of which can grown into pretty big bushes, belong toward the back against a wall. I made the mistake of planting a basil plant toward the front and it got so big, it overshadowed the chives behind it.

    Parsley is a fast grower once it gets started, and is useful in just about anything, but don’t bother with the curly stuff: the italian flat leaf is what you’ll really use, I’d grow that. Sage is also great, really hardy. Chives are VERY slow starting, though, so be prepared to be patient.

    Overall, it’s a great experience, and I’d definitley recommend it. I think my neighbors appreciate it to. Those bagged herbs at the market are a rip off!

  6. ElizabethD says:

    I covet those big yellow-orange tomatoes. I want one. RIGHT NOW!

    We are moving to a location with much more direct sun than our current heavily shaded property, and I can’t wait to grow veggies again. Agree about herbs being easy. And I disagree mildly with AlexDitto about curly parsley… I use it a lot, mostly in tabouli where it stays nice and crisp even when finely chopped. The flat kind is good too.