by Rachel Pound, Brigit’s Bounty Garden & Education Coordinator
Hello! My name is Rachel, and I am the Garden & Education Coordinator at Brigit’s Bounty Community Resources (BBCR.) BBCR is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit Giving Garden that hosts youth environmental education programs, such as summer camp and after-school, and donates all of the produce grown to Carbon Valley community members in need. I am excited to begin sharing our gardening knowledge with you in this monthly column! I have been gardening for over 10 years, and it is one of my greatest passions! I hope that you can apply some of these tips and tricks to your own garden and that we can have some fun discussing all things horticulture. Even if you do not currently have a garden, BBCR always welcomes volunteers to come help out and get your hands in the soil! Lettuce dive right in…
January is a wonderful time to get excited about your garden! Garden planning not only ensures a successful harvest but also saves you time and money. The first step to garden planning is to measure and map out the areas you would like to plant. After identifying your grow space, you may choose one or a combination of planting methods to make the most of the area. Two of my favorite methods are container gardening, where plants are grown in containers instead of directly in the ground, and square foot gardening, in which you divide the garden into a grid of 1-foot squares, which you then manage individually. These creative practices will maximize your space and harvest potential!
Next, make a list of the plants that you would like to grow. This is where the fun part begins! Now that you have identified your garden space and made a list of your desired plants, you can begin to explore what varieties and quantities you can plant this season. Seed catalogs are an incredible free resource that offers tons of information about each variety. Botanical Interests and Seed Savers Exchange are two great seed companies with free catalogs that you can sign up online to receive. Knowing what space you have available and your local climate (Weld County is in USDA Gardening Zone 5) will help you determine which varieties to purchase. If seed starting is not an option for you this year, there are several local places to get seedlings, such as The Flower Bin, various 4H groups, and BBCR’s very own Annual Plant Sale in the Spring.
Now that you know where, what, and how you would like to plant, you can draw and color-code your area on paper to create a map of your 2021 garden. You are now on the road to a bountiful harvest! You have saved time by planning and mapping out your garden in advance and saved money by only purchasing the seeds that you will actually need and committing to growing some of your own produce at home. Happy garden planning!
Rachel is the year-round Garden and Education Coordinator at Brigit’s Bounty Community Resources. She creates and facilitates all of the affordable youth programming, manages hundreds of volunteers, attends community outreach events, recruits volunteers, and manages the entire 1-acre Giving Garden. Rachel is integral to the success of the organization. Find out more about Brigit’s Bounty at https://www.brigitsbounty.org/