STRATEGY

Initial Consultation – garden assessment (location, soil test, fencing suggestions, container gardens/raised beds, water/irrigation needs, recommendations on vegetable crops and varieties, tools, soil sources (local, organic, reliable) and sources for starts (a/k/a “seedlings”) and seeds, design, installation, maintenance, pest control, fertilization, crop storage). Identification of your vision, make a plan (roadmap/recipe) depending on your needs (e.g., creating a garden from scratch, cultivating a garden that you have in place, transforming a basic garden into a vibrant diverse treasure trove, etc.).


PRE-INSTALLATION COORDINATION
  

After the Initial Consultation there are steps that need to be complete before the Installation of your vegetable garden (e.g., (1) coordination of: the construction of boxes for raised beds, the installation of fencing and irrigation system, and the delivery of soil; (2) ordering/purchasing of seeds and other garden accessories; (3) ordering/picking up and delivery of seedlings).


SET UP
  

Supervise Installation and plant initial seeds by direct sowing and plant starts. Provide seasonal projection and planting/maintenance schedule for succession plantings (e.g., lettuces, beets, beans, herbs, etc.). 

The seeds and starts that we like to use are heirloom, organic (or, if conventional, non-genetically modified organisms (GMO's)) and from regional/reliable sources. After years of gardening, we have experimented with many varieties and have found that the quality of seed and soil really makes a difference in flavor and nutritional value. 


ONGOING MAINTENANCE

Ongoing care and maintenance is at the discretion of the property owner. We can, for an additional fee, make regular visits to either supervise your garden staff or maintain the garden for/with you. Garden maintenance may include weekly visits during which Peggy will assess the status of your garden (determine if any pest management or additional care is necessary), identify next steps to take, measure success rates of crops, ensure weeding, staking, trellising are current and succession plantings are completed, etc.


GETTING STARTED


When conceiving of and preparing for your garden, it is important to consider a number of things that will help you plan and execute your vision. This will give you the road map for the overall success of your garden.


 

 THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

(preparation for Initial Consultation and garden readiness)

 

  • How much land is to be dedicated to food (including more for rotating and cover crops; what are the measurements? Is there a scaled plan of your house and property? Do you have an idea of how you want it to look? Do you have examples (photos, magazine clippings, drawings, pictures from books, etc.)?).

  • Where are you located (Town and State? What is your plant hardiness zone)?

  • Has the soil been dormant or has it been used for other purposes (does it need to rest some more before planting food on it?)

  • What is the condition and pH of the soil (soil testing? This will help determine the pH, nutrients and micronutrients in the soil and what, if anything, needs to be done to prepare the soil for installation/direct seeding)

  • What amendments, if any, need to be added (soil building, remineralization)?

  • What type of equipment do you have (width of rows, additional purchases)?

  • Types of Beds (raised/boxed, containers (porches/decks), in ground).

  • Fencing (deer, rabbits, woodchucks, etc.).

  • Irrigation (e.g., under surface/ground irrigation system that runs up into all beds then connects to soaker tape, drip tape, low area sprinkler system (i.e., small sprinklers in each bed for top down watering) hooked up to a timer).

  • Mulch – moisture retention, weed control, maintenance of design/aesthetic.

  • Flowers? (Do you want them?)

  • Fruit? (Do you want it?)

  • Chickens & Other Live Stock (Do you want it? Does your zoning permit)?

  • Composting (organic, pesticide-free clippings, kitchen scraps, etc.)?

  • What do you want to grow, how much and harvest parameters (e.g., are you present throughout the season for constant harvesting)?

  • Do you want to store the bounty (canning, freezing, fermenting, root cellaring)?

  • Do you want to extend the season in either direction (e.g., moveable tunnels/greenhouse)?

  • Time Commitment & Budget.

  • Who will be working in the garden? If it is you, how much time do you realistically plan to/want to spend?