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World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day

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May 19th, 2021

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May 19th is World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day, and it couldn't be more relevant considering food shortages and supply issues. The good news is anyone can grow something. It doesn't take a large plot of land. All you need is some sun, water, and a container with soil. Voila! A window garden, patio garden, or even a roof garden will do. You can grow tomatoes or potatoes in a bucket. Lettuce in a cup. Strawberries in a basket. The list goes on and on.

In 2019, Bob Matthews created this day to help feed a hungry planet and encourage people to enjoy gardening. The date was carefully chosen to be beyond the last frost date for most people in the northern hemisphere. Matthews's focus is on vegetable gardening, but he says you can use the day to plant a flower or herb garden instead.

The idea is to grow something. Growing even a single herb in your windowsill will boost your spirit, improve flavor, and create a sense of accomplishment. Gardening isn't difficult, but it takes a willingness to try, experiment, fail, and try again.

There are many philosophies and methods to try. Honestly, I think I've tried all of them at one point or another. Then I found the gardener/author that spoke to my soul and elevated gardening from a “grow food to eat mentality to a meaningful, purposeful mission. (I've included some of my favorite gardening mentors in the books shown below.) Gardening is a journey, not a destination. There are endless ways to participate in gardening.

Back to Eden Gardening

Based on the popular Back to Eden film, you'll find everything you need to know to create your own little slice of Eden with weedless gardening, no matter if you have a lot of land or just a little. This book breaks down the steps in the film with more detailed explanations.

The Back to Eden methodology is based on gardening without GMOs, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. It comes from looking at how plants grow in nature - covering the land with mulch, woodchips, or compost. These principles are fully explained in this book. You'll learn how to grow fruits, vegetables, and even an orchard on your own land with minimal labor! Get started building your own slice of Eden now.

20 Garden Layouts to Die Digging For

This book teaches design procedures, like knowing what plant to put in a certain location and how design can help make the best use of your existing space. If you want a healthy and beautiful garden that expresses your individuality, this book is for you.

Things you will learn:

  • How to analyze a garden site.
  • Articulate personal aesthetic.
  • Basic design principles - scale and proportion, repetition, movement, balance, and symmetry.
  • Garden unity and maintenance.
  • The role of color, form, and texture.

If you want your garden to reflect you and your aesthetics, you are the best candidate for designing it. All you need is some guidelines and inspiration. See you inside the book!

No Dig Gardening

No digging the soil? Sign me up. If you want a thorough knowledge of this easy gardening method, this book is for you. Set up as a course of learning, it has 18 lessons divided into modules. Each lesson is packed with advice and easy-to-understand theories behind the methods. The lessons are beautifully illustrated with fully explained photos from Charless no-dig gardens. There is a multiple-choice quiz to consolidate learning at the end of each lesson, with answers in the appendix.

This revolutionary method has made gardening accessible and doable for many who couldn't do the intense double digging of normal gardening.

Monty Don

Ive loved gardening for about 17 years, but I never felt like I knew a lot or that I was doing it “right. I tried many philosophies - each worked but never made me feel one with nature. Then I discovered Monty Don.

You know that feeling when you meet a kindred spirit, and you know you are going to be lifelong friends? The trouble is - I never really met him. I stumbled across his show on Britbox and then went scrambling to find all his books. He just spoke to my soul. All my gardening ups and downs were explained by him. (Even my novice figwi makes me smile now. Its where I thought a fig was a vine when I first started and planted it and a kiwi vine on an arbor together. After 10+ years, they are still competing but producing. There is no way I could separate them, but what a jumble of vines and leaves.)

“If you don't have a failure, you don't know why things are succeeding. We tend to believe that failure is counter-productive, but Monty puts it perfectly - how do you know success without it?

“I have written many gardening books, but this is the distillation of 50 years of gardening experience. It has all the tips and essential pieces of knowledge that enable you to make your garden grow well, and it also shares my view that gardening is the secret to living well too. - Monty

Square Foot Gardening

Whatever motivates you to grow and tend to a garden, you need a strategy that will provide order and help your crops mature quickly and healthily. While you may have heard of numerous planting techniques to achieve an abundant, healthy, and fast yield, very few are as successful as square foot gardening for small-scale gardens.

Inside this book, you will gain such knowledge as which crops are most suitable in a square foot garden and how companion planting can be incorporated to boost the results of this gardening technique. This book will not only leave you with an appreciation for square foot gardening but provide a detailed roadmap on how to set it up and get the best results from it!

Carrots Love Tomatoes

We all have friends and family that bring out the best in us. There are also those people who bring out the worst in us for whatever reason. It turns out plants are the same way. Certain plant combinations enhance the growing cycle and give you a more abundant harvest. This book will walk you through all the best friends of gardening and those plants to never put together.

Plant parsley and asparagus together, and you'll have more of each, but keep broccoli and tomato plants far apart if you want them to thrive. Utilize the natural properties of plants to nourish the soil, repel pests, and secure a greater harvest. With plenty of insightful advice and suggestions for planting schemes, Louise Riotte will inspire you to turn your garden into a naturally nurturing ecosystem.

Lasagna Gardening

Another no-dig method of gardening that makes life simpler. With the lasagna method, you don't even need to clear the land. Gather up old newspapers, cardboard, grass clippings to create an easy to care for garden that breaks down and feeds itself.

* Practical, first-person advice from an experienced gardener
* Great ideas to let you spend more time enjoying your gardens and less time working in them
* Specific “lasagna techniques for the most popular vegetables, flowers, herbs, fruits, and more

Use your imagination to create a bountiful garden. Post your creation to social media and tag us @letthestoriesliveon or @storiesliveon (Twitter) and tell us what book or method you used.

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