FAQs

What USDA Zone are you in? Zone 6a. More or less. Some maps show 5b, but I’ve noticed we have a longer growing season here than in Michigan, where I’m from originally. In a typical year, the last frost for our area is April 15, and the first frost is October 15.

What are your qualifications? None! Well, at least not formally. But I’ve learned a lot by making mistakes, talking to other gardeners, and by reading. And since I’m trained as a scientist, I tend to be naturally curious and to observe my garden carefully.

How much can you grow in 150 square feet? Lots! Although I’ve never tried to measure exactly, each year I grow more than I can eat and/or preserve myself. In a good year and with careful planning, a plot of this size could easily provide vegetables for 2+ people. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the year, soil quality, pests, and what you grow.

Describe your growing methods. I’m a member of an organic community garden, so no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are allowed. I rely on mixing a healthy amount of compost into the soil each spring, winter crop crops to fix nitrogen and prevent soil erosion, and occasional doses of blood/bone meal during the growing season. Even though organic sprays are allowed, I try to use them as little as possible. If I need to spray, I usually use Neem or an insecticidal soap.

Are you a member of Seed Savers Exchange? Yes, but I’m not listed in the 2013 yearbook. One of my goals for this gardening season is to save more of my own seeds, with the hope of having something to offer in the 2014 yearbook. This may be challenging, as I’m growing in a limited space, and isolation is more difficult in a community garden.

Any advice for keeping the woodchucks out of my garden? I wish I knew…

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