Raised Bed Gardening: The start of the growing season
I have had a garden every season since I moved to my home in 1991. Having a busy job as an OT, and later adopting my daughter as a single parent. Like most things, some years are good for certain plants, and not so good for other plants. It seems like my gardening method has been:
- start seeds early if I have time
- call my neighbor to till my garden with his tractor
- buy transplants, plant seeds (wait, what happened to starting my own?)
- plan a marathon weekend of planting my purchases
- attempt to water it routinely
- mulch with grass clippings and weed barrier material
- weed in the evenings after work
- try to find my harvest among the tall weeds
I always hope for the best based on the weather and my available attention. To be honest, my activities are often determined by my lack of time and energy.
In 2020, Maine AgrAbility worked with the UMaine Extension Home Horticulture & Gardening Team for Episode 9 of the weekly Victory Garden for ME series. This series consists of short pre-recorded videos geared towards Mainers growing their first vegetable garden. Maine AgrAbility is featured in the Pain-Free Gardening (Episode 9) with recommendations on preparing for your work to address issues like lack of time and energy. Here are some ideas from the video:
- No matter what your age or condition, make sure the tools are right for the project and they fit your size and strength.
- Change your tasks frequently. Rotate tasks between sitting, standing, and kneeling. This way, you won’t strain any one set of muscles.
- Be flexible with yourself. Do several short gardening sessions over the course of the day or throughout the week.
- Be mindful of how you’re feeling. Pain is a red flag. If you start feeling tight in your back, or your shoulders are aching, it’s time to take a stretch break.