: March 2009

Save Money in the GARDEN State!

Who isn't looking for new ways to save money? Here in the Garden State (New Jersey), what better way to save some cash this summer than a vegetable and/or herb garden.  

While it's still a little early to get vegetable plants in the ground here at the Jersey Shore, it's not too early to prepare.

tomato (sxc)For example, this year I'm planting tomatoes (if you haven't tasted a Jersey Tomato you don't know what you're missing), oregano, basil and maybe some peppers.  

The first step in starting your garden is choosing an appropriate size and site. Here's a graph to help determine what will grow best in the garden area you select.  You can also sketch out your garden and select the types of plants.

summer (sxc)No matter what you grow, the most important consideration is the amount of sunlight. A successful vegetable garden should receive at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily, but more is better!  Some crops such as lettuce and cucumbers benefit from partial shade in the mid afternoon during the hot summer months.  But generally for most vegetables, the more sun, the better.

Also try to locate the garden away from trees and shrubs which not only block sun but rob the soil of moisture. Make sure the area has good drainage.  

After selecting a site for your garden, the next step is preparing the soil.  
It's likely the sandy soil of the NJ Pinelands and the Jersey Shore will need some help to produce a great vegetable garden.  

environment (sxc)There are many soil additives and fertilizers you can incorporate into you garden that will not pollute our wetlands, rivers and Barnegat Bay.  

Please keep in mind the delicate ecosystem of Ocean County, NJ when choosing fertilizers or pest repellents for you lawn and garden.  

master gardeners RutgersThis is when the Rutgers University Master Gardeners can help.
The Master Gardeners of Ocean County,  for a small fee, will not only provide soil analysis but they can recommend eco friendly additives for your garden and lawn.  They even have information on birds and bugs that are garden friendly!  

Cool weather vegetables can be planted now, if you've prepared you garden plot.  Those include cabbage, peas, lettuce and spinach. 

If you're looking for a home with a great garden in southern Ocean County, give me a call or email me!



Remember, we are the Garden State, so happy gardening!


Comment balloon 7 commentsLaura Giannotta • March 29 2009 08:19AM
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