Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

4 Supplies You Need to Create a Successful Self-Sufficient Garden

Gardening is an excellent hobby that combines outdoor time with exercise and environmental stewardship. When the summer sun is high and other obligations take precedence, it’s easy to neglect your garden. No one wants to see a weed-infested, out-of-control space in their front or back yards. Fortunately, you can balance recreation, family and your garden throughout the growing season. Here are four supplies you need to create a successful self-sufficient garden.

Soil-Building Supplies

Successful gardens start from the ground up. Find a space on your property that receives adequate sun and is relatively flat. Check to make sure drainage is good. If this area of your property tends to develop puddles and pools, then it is better to choose a different area, even if the soil isn’t as good. To improve soil conditions, you will need a compost bin, rakes to distribute the compost and tilling equipment to incorporate additional bulk into sandy soils. If the ground is rocky, then you can use grapple attachments to clear debris. Steve’s Equipment Attachments are one source for grapple attachments. You can also go to your local hardware store for handheld tools and rakes to clear out a suitable garden area.

Drip Irrigation Tubes

Hoses, sprinkler systems and other cumbersome irrigation devices require high-maintenance, even when timers and automated systems are involved. Drip irrigation, on the other hand, is about as low-maintenance as you can get. Once you have plotted out your crops, determined their location and considered their irrigation needs, you can set up drip irrigation lines throughout the garden. You can control the numbers of drips in the line, so that areas with high-water needs get a greater amount of water while areas with limited water needs aren’t inundated. You can set drip irrigation systems to a timer, but if you use drip methods in combination with compost and mulch, then your garden’s soil will retain deep water without the need for excess timing and irrigation.

Gravel Paths and Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulch has nothing to do with healthy lifestyles. It refers to the fact that some mulches are not made up of living things. Mulches can be made of recycled tire rubber, gravel, stone and other inorganic matter. Using grapple attachments and other devices, you can lay mulch around growing areas to help retain water. Plus, they will cut down on weeds and serve as pathways through your garden.

Overhead Cover

Just because you are away from your garden doesn’t mean that insects and pests are away, too. If you aren’t able to spot insect or pest damage right away, then it is likely plants will suffer early death, lackluster productivity or unsightly damage. Finely-knit row covers allow air to circulate among plants while limiting excess sunlight and preventing insects from nibbling at tender shoots.

You may have to put in some upfront work to get your self-sufficient garden started, but once the supplies are in place, you can step back and watch nature take a guided course. Enjoy your self-sufficient garden’s success.

Tim Esterdahl

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