Make a list of vegetables and fruits to include in your depression garden. Choose vegetables that provide a good amount of nutrition and bulk. I recommend potatoes, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, lettuce and beans.
Cucumbers are very good for you but are a bit more challenging to the beginning gardener. Strawberries, peppers, melons and herbs are also great choices for a garden. If you have a large backyard the addition of fruit trees or bushes are beneficial.
Purchase your seeds, seed potatoes and seed onions as early as possible to get the best selection. This also applies to purchasing fruit trees, berry bushes and strawberry plants. If you wait too long to select your seeds the best varieties may be sold out. This is particularly true for onion sets.
If you are a beginning gardener you will want to purchase you pepper and tomato plants. If you have had a garden before you may want to try starting your own plants. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and herbs should be started in late winter. A few weeks later you can start seed broccoli, cantaloupe, spinach and lettuce. Peas, corn and potatoes will do best planted directly in the ground outdoors. Just make sure you wait to plant until after the last frost date. This information is available online or form you local Extension Office. .
Prepare the soil in your garden. You can either turn over the soil, adding compost and well-composted manure in small quantities or you can use one of the no dig methods. Straw bale gardening also works well. If you have small animals in you backyard you may want to fence your garden area.
You can also plant some of your garden in containers, on the windowsill or on the patio or balcony if you have limited space. An herb container garden in pots by the kitchen door is convenient and can be very decorative. I also like to grow tomatoes in hanging baskets on the porch or deck. A garden will thrive anywhere as long as you have healthy soil and sunlight.
Creative Organic Gardening methods (no chemicals and better use of gardening space) are best used in the recession garden.
If you have additional produce you may decide to freeze or can it. You can also trade the neighbors for produce that you do not grow. The Recession garden will help your income during these tough times ahead. It also provides exercise and time to spend with the familyGr
Growing Vegatbles in Containers
If you don’t have space for a vegetable garden, consider raising fresh, nutritious, homegrown vegetables in containers. A windowsill, patio, balcony, or doorstep can provide sufficient space for a productive container garden. Problems with soil-borne diseases, nematodes, or poor soil can also be overcome by switching to container gardening.
Grow vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes, and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, for best use of space and containers. Dwarf or miniature varieties often mature and bear fruit earlier, but most do not produce as well overall as standard varieties. With increasing interest in container gardening, plant breeders and seed companies are working on vegetables specifically bred for container culture. These varieties are not necessarily miniature or dwarf and may produce as well as standard types if cared for properly.
The amount of sunlight your container garden receives determines what crops can be grown. Generally, root crops and leaf crops can tolerate partial shade, but vegetables grown for their fruits generally need at least five hours of full, direct sunlight each day and perform best with 8 to 10 hours. Available light can be increased somewhat by providing reflective materials around the plants (aluminum foil, white-painted surfaces, marble chips, etc.).
Container gardening lends itself to attractive plantscaping. A dull patio area can be brightened by the addition of baskets of cascading tomatoes or a colorful herb mix. Planter boxes with trellises can be used to create a cool, shady place on an apartment balcony. Container gardening presents opportunities for many innovative ideas.