Help me grow great greens
March 15, 2014 7:12 PM Subscribe
I suck at gardening. Past gardening efforts have ended in disaster (bug infestations, groundhog eating everything, plants dying for no obvious reason that I can see). This year, though, I would like for it to be different. I would like to grow my own leafy greens--kale, spinach, lettuces, chard, collards, etc. I'm not so interested in other things like tomatoes and peppers. Do you have any advice for exactly what I need to do to grow great greens?
posted by whistle pig to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
The details are that I am in Zone 6, and I already have a small raised bed in the yard. Last year the only thing it produced was weeds, because I was too busy/depressed during the springtime to plant anything. The year before it was the site of the disasters I list above.
And the groundhog is still around.
Tomorrow I'm headed to the hardware store. What should I buy? Here are some of my thoughts:
Chicken wire fencing to keep groundhog out--will this work?
We have a compost bin that we've dutifully thrown stuff into for over two years, but have never turned. Would the stuff at the bottom of this suffice for compost, or should I buy some other kind of soil amendment at the store?
Do I need to do a soil test?
Should I plant seeds indoors and then transplant? Do I need to buy a grow light for this? Our house is very cave-like.
Basically, what is the simplest route I can take to get from no garden to producing my own greens?
Any links to good basic websites or books are great. I've checked out all kinds of books on gardening from the library but for some reason they make my eyes glaze over. Maybe it's because very few of them seem to focus exclusively on greens, and I'm not really interested in strawberries, squash, etc.