Skip to content

Question of the Week: What kind of gardening plans have you made this year?

2010 March 29

What kind of gardening plans have you made this year?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? The warm weather is coming our way and our thoughts are turning to the great outdoors. Many of us will be planning and planting a vegetable or flower gardens or both, or even an herb garden in a balcony window box. Are you? Your name may not be Mary, but we’d still like to know. During your planning stages, don’t forget to set aside room for composting, it can really make a difference!

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

49 Responses leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    March 29, 2010

    With the warm weekend we had in south Texas we put in our vegetable garden this weekend. We always grow tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and bell peppers. This year we added nasturtiums, thai beans, thai basil, regular sweet basil, rosemary, spearmint, catnip and green beans.
    The flower gardens will be this weekends project. Can’t wait. We always add flowers for hummingbirds and this year will add for bees as we have added a small “hive” for them to use. No honey collection from us.

  2. Kris Vodraska permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Our organization has made the committment to go GREEN.. we will be looking into everything from beginning a program to go paperless to using recycled office supplies, and purchasing energy efficient equpment (as they need replacing) .. you name it skys the limit on this project!

  3. Joan permalink
    March 29, 2010

    I’m planning on a more natural look with less raking and clearing. Leaving a bit of plant “litter” on the ground will provide habitat for some of the beneficial native bugs that help keep garden pests under control.

  4. armansyahardanis permalink
    March 29, 2010

    My wife very lovely gardening, and it’s size 8 X 3 M in front of our home. She planted sweet mango 23 years ago, also vegetables and flowers. We have not planned its, only just spontaneous. Our neighbors called her “miracle hand”, and they like our orchids. We are “happy family” here. I hope you are, too……..

  5. Diane Morgan permalink
    March 29, 2010

    We already started cleaning up and rearranging our backyard garden, have a new community garden we are in the process of planning, have another patch in a community garden and are starting a Kids Garden at a local church.

    Our compost pile is going great. Like Joan, we are leaving lots on the ground and having some good soil brought in to build up our beds. We are also going to experiment with Lasagna Gardening this year.

    Plus in our community garden, the new one, we will be building a chicken coop and plan on having about 6 chickens.

    All this in the city of Cleveland!

  6. Lapopelk permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Last weekend I started my seeds inside. I began to see the small white table onions and green onions sneaking up from the containers over the past few days. I can not wait to put them into the window boxes on the garage!

  7. Linda permalink
    March 29, 2010

    We plan to expand our single-bin compost heap to a two-bin unit so turning will be easier; just pitch from the first bin into the second, then start adding new materials to the first.

    I won’t be making any new beds, but I will be using that finished compost to continue enriching my current perenials; ‘Hansa’ and ‘Dr. William Van Fleet’ Roses and a raised bed filled with lavender, plus a huge rosemary bush and an iris bed that honestly needs to be re-worked…. Nope, don’t need to add more beds; I’ve got lots to do already. Can’t wait for the roses and lavender, though.

  8. Anthony permalink
    March 29, 2010

    This year i plan to first add some compose to my garden that will range from wood chips to coffee grounds.
    This is particualar for strenghtening the soil and nurishing the vegetables or fruit that will be grown and good churning mixed in with the existing soil, regular cipress mulch with be land scaped around shrubs and tress to preserve the beatiful flolage and color while holding water from high heat tempetures.
    Georgia has a lot of clay or mostly so lack of nutriants exists. boarderind pesticides for may help keep un wanted pest snakes, spiders ect. although make sure its not harmful to ground contaminations so read intructions and look for organic remedies,lawn furtiliziation is in season consider before hot tempts hit.
    A fun project for others to try from hanging baskets of flowers to growing tomatoes in a hanging pot or strawberries? good luck all growing green and most preserving the enviroment.

  9. Anthony permalink
    March 29, 2010

    A good tip to rich soil save all your leaves the hold the most nutrients that make soil.

  10. Janet permalink
    March 29, 2010

    I purchased some bareroot native plants in February which I have potted up and will soon be putting in the ground; vine maples, elderberry, huckleberry, currant and others. I also plan to dig a rain garden for the stormwater coming off my garage roof this summer. In my front yard I am replacing grass on a slope with heathers and kinnikinnik. Using the method of laying down cardboard to kill the grass covered with compost and top soil. Much easier than digging up sod! I’m told the less you disturb the soil the better too.

  11. Jackenson Durand permalink
    March 29, 2010

    My plan has been setting on long term perspective, which could start concretizing years to come.
    There is any better than those peonies plants that could grow on special synthetic grasses.

  12. Becky permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Ohio weather is just starting to tease us with some sun-shine and warm days so we spent the weekend planning a brand new raised-bed vegetable garden. I am getting ready to retire and have some issues with my back so thought raised beds would be our best option. Looks like we will start with two 8′ x 4′ beds. I got a little carried away and drew up a plan with a small section between the two beds that I would like a nice water fountain and hey since we have to have a water line to the fountain, how about running some drip lines through my raised beds while we’re at it….. my husband just can’t wait till I retire and am home all day – every day….. next year I’ll probably be planning a nice tall strawberry tier and maybe add an herbal garden……….I can’t wait!!! Anybody know where I can get some good plans for raised bed construction and maybe a new husband????

  13. Al Bannet permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Who was it that said the World is divivded between the landless and the landlords? How many millions of Americans are landless, and how many of them post on this forum? I am one.

  14. nancy permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Happy Spring! In January, i started my red-worm wigglers composting bin, and that is wiggling around very nicely! i’m excited about that! In Feb i started my topsy turvies….a tomato and strawberry plant. Gotta say, i’m kinda wondering about them, i hope they do as well as everyone says, but i’m very excited about that too. I would like to start planting some basil and summer squash, and maybe some other herbs, but i don’t do too well with those either, i think i need to buy some planting beds to keep the critters out. either way, i’m hoping for some home grown tomatoes, strawberries and anything else i can get to grow!
    good luck to all!

  15. Karen McCauley permalink
    March 29, 2010

    If I can get last year’s mess cleaned up and keep it weeded, watered, and well, I will be happy with myself. I have not figured out how to have a baby and maintain a garden! At least this year, he’s big enough to be walking around in the yard with me.

  16. Joanne permalink
    March 29, 2010

    I’m in Chicago, patiently waiting for a taste of spring weather. I was bitten by the garlic bug last year and planted a huge (for me) plot of garlic; then over the winter started a worm composting unit in my dining room. Relax, they don’t smell, chew, make noise or do anything else unpleasant. It just looks like a piece of furniture. And in due time I should get a lot of worm castings, which are just wondrous in the fertilizer department. I bought some last year and my plot was the envy of a communal garden plot.
    Besides the garlic, I’ve started under lights, 4 varieties of tomatoes, some lettuce and various flowers, some of which are perennials that take longer to grow.

  17. turtleshelldi permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Thanks to my recent joint replacement surgery, I can now get back to the gardening that I love but have been unable to enjoy over the past few years. We’ll be adding to our perennial beds and expanding our vegetable garden. And this year I want to start a compost – finally! Even though we have a good sized yard (even though we’re in an urban area) we also do some container planting for some of the vegetables, and a window box in the kitchen for herb garden. That’s something even the landless can do, Al.

  18. maurice permalink
    March 29, 2010

    When we bought our house I used to have a garden. We had a vindictive neighbor who reported us for having a garden. He moved and for the past ten years I never had a garden. This year I may have one. I love tomatoes and was interested about the tree tomatoes.

    Has anyone out there have grown the tree tomato? Are they for real or are these advertisement scams.

  19. Anonymous permalink
    March 29, 2010

    Cortei relva. podei as arvores, rozeiras e plantei sementes de flores.

  20. Law Web Design permalink
    March 30, 2010

    Start off small with planter boxes.

  21. travesti permalink
    March 30, 2010

    Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? The warm weather is coming our way and our thoughts are turning to the great outdoors.

  22. Mark Ballington permalink
    March 30, 2010

    This weekend dug in last years leaf mulch. Use this to encourange Fungi as a fertilizer. It mimics a Forest floor! Spread a bit of lime to sweeten the soil, and help the cabbages etc.
    Plan to grow more vegatables.
    Have most of the seed now.
    Lots of Peas (4 types) and beans (5 types).
    Growing 5 types of Tomato, in pots ready to plant out.Including Marmande, Yellow Superb & Brandywine.
    Growing Crystal Lemon Cucumber in pots ready to plant out.
    Sown this weekend in pots 75 Cucumber Piccolo Di Parigi (Gherkin).
    Wish everyone a good gardening season.

  23. Mary in PA permalink
    March 30, 2010

    Lenten rose in bloom, onions returning and planted some new ones along with lettuce. Crocus and snowdrops in bloom. When we get nice March and April weather it is hard to remember we can’t plant much outside until the end of May:( But it is coming. I can’t believe someone reported someone for having a garden. Seems anti-human to me. Get your hands dirty and enjoy all things growing.

  24. Mary in PA permalink
    March 30, 2010

    I had no luck with the tree tomatoes, but my favorites are Early Girl and Early Girl Cherry. They grow well and taste great. Have your garden and enjoy even if it just a couple of pots by your door. Thank goodness most of us want a garden. I’ll bet you’re glad that neighbor moved!

  25. Lori permalink
    March 30, 2010

    me :) We have rocks, and a very nice tree that provides shade for our patio. someday, we’ll have a yard~ Have a nice Spring.

  26. Lori permalink
    March 30, 2010

    Back in the 90’s, i had a nice size garden from cherry tomatoes to okra. Oh, and of course, sweet corn. It was alot of work. I found it worked best to weed early in the morning, or deal with the mosquitoes after work in the evening~no thank you~ Also, then and i hear this today, watering is best in the morning. I later learned that evening watering causes the ground to become soggy, ( i read this in a magazine) which affects the nutrients going into the food product via the root . I watered both early and evening, as i worked around my schedule, as most of us do. Which is really best and why?

  27. turtleshelldi permalink
    March 30, 2010

    We have an area that is in dense shade and anything I’ve ever planted there never does very well, including plants specifically for dense shade. The only thing that will grow is Myrtle which can take over everything. I’d like to cut that back and have some other perennials in there. Does anyone have any ideas?

  28. sharon permalink
    March 30, 2010

    Are you kidding? Now that my kids are grown and gone, and my husband has retired, he threw out the swing set, did not get another dog after the last one died, plotted out the back yard, even the ground upon the side wall of the yard, and morphed into Farmer John. He grew up on a farm in Texas and has always wanted to go back to his roots. Well brother, he can and has grown everything but wings. We save a bundle. He even likes to “snail hunt” at night, the man’s nuts!

  29. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    March 30, 2010

    Our condo complex has started a new landscaping program to go with the new recycled water project. Where we did have flowerbeds at the complex entrances, those have been taken out and replaced with decorative stone and native drought resistant plants. Ivy will be removed and replaced with drought resistant plants. More mulch will be used. This will also reduce the amount of water we use and further cut the Association’s water bill. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  30. Jim permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Over the winter I have added underground pipes to carry my rain water to my gardens. I use a solar powered water pump pump to pressurize and filter the water then I use misting systems to dispense it. I also added several rain tanks for about 650 gallons of storage. Last year I spent many hours hand watering eating away the time I should have been tending and harvesting and to many days waiting for the water police to arrest me for watering on non-watering days.

  31. Al Bannet permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Planet Earth is like a patrimony divided into ever smaller parcels of land as the ever-growing family argues and fights over who deserves what, until the parcels are so small no one can grow enough food to survive.

  32. late permalink
    March 31, 2010

    Or the government takes it away under the name of “Wilderness Presevation”

  33. Dawne permalink
    March 31, 2010

    I plan to plant perennials in the front and veggies in the backyard. Starting garlic, ginger and sweet peppers in pots. Container gardened for years when I was landless so I’m looking forward to planting in the ground for the first time. Any tips for gardening in the Mid-Atlantic region would be greatly appreciated.

  34. Biojoe permalink
    March 31, 2010

    I’ll be expanding my current garden (4’x6′) about another foot. I plan to grow corn, green peppers, mint tea, squash all in the olorado semi rocky soil. Are there any ideas out there about making an easy and maintenance free composting apparatus? If so send them Thanks!!

  35. Lee permalink
    March 31, 2010

    I’ll be composting everything and growing as much of my own food as I can at 8000 ft. on a small plot in our condo common area. But I grow enough each year to freeze and eat all winter, and have fresh stuff in our short summer and fall. I amend the soil so I dont have to use fertilizer that requires as much energy, and use all the neighbors’ compost. Fruit trees look nice in our landscaping and give us free food.

  36. Al Bannet permalink
    April 1, 2010

    If the human population keeps on growing, all wilderness is doomed to housing development, agriculture and tree farming, because the Earth is slowly shrinking with each volcano and earthquake. We need a stable population and a stable economy = peaceful, voluntary family planning and 100% recycling of all waste and garbage. If not, the biosphere will collapse under growing tons of waste and garbage.

  37. Chris S permalink
    April 2, 2010

    there are plans online- do a google search for free ones. we used 2 by 12 boards that are easy to sit on, or use a small stool. 4 foot wide is best to keep from straining when cultivating or weeding. use mulch to keep the soil from drying out too much.

    read some gardening magazines from the library or buy a few from the local garden shop. lots of ideas to make fit your own needs.

  38. Chris S permalink
    April 2, 2010

    here in western NY, zone 5, we are having a brief Indian Spring… so I got into the garden to start removing mulch and see what made it over the winter. Most of the garlic looks good and my year old sorrel plants are back. Here the trick is too hold off the natural urge to plant until we are safely past the frost danger – which is early June.
    Maybe this year I’ll finally get the cold frames built.

  39. Emilio Malaguti permalink
    April 5, 2010

    Leave a side also a container to collect rain water in order to save tap water in addition to have a water absorbing mulch on the garden.

  40. Brenda permalink
    April 5, 2010

    In my heavily shaded area I have the usuals – hostas and ferns. You can find both with varigated leaves to add interest. I see homes where they’ve planted Snow in Summer. Looks to be invasive to me. I would recommend talking to you local garden center (not big box store) for ideas.

  41. Brenda permalink
    April 5, 2010

    I’ve found that watering in the morning prevents blight in my tomatoes as the leaves dry out during the day. I would assume it would have the same effect on any plant that is suceptible to those types of diseases.

  42. Becky permalink
    April 6, 2010

    Thanks for the input Chris. I was planning on 4′ wide so I’m glad I made a good choice. My husband thought 12′ might be too long and tend to “bow” in the center – will do some more research on that. I have been getting ideas from the internet. Hope to start the project this weekend. I’m pretty excited. Hope my husbands back holds out!! Wish us luck!

  43. Chris S permalink
    April 7, 2010

    I should clarify…. we used 12 foot long 2″x12″‘s so the beds are 4 foot wide by 12 foot long with a brace board in the center. You could also use short stakes along the outside to keep the boards straight. They are heavy suckers, so build them in place. tacking landscape cloth on the bottom can help keep your soil in place in the ground isn’t too level.

    if you put pipe brackets along the sides, they can hold plastic water pipe cut to form half hoops that can support remay or shade cloth. this creates a favorable micro climate to extend your planting season.

  44. Gary Wilson permalink
    July 31, 2010

    Im planning on composting and growing some organic veg and stronly thinking of keeping a few chickens if I can find the space.
    Looking here for some ideas about coops etc.

  45. DENISE permalink
    April 10, 2011


  46. DENISE permalink
    April 10, 2011


  47. Nancy K permalink
    May 11, 2011

    We want to plant a vegetable garden near our septic field. This garden is at our office, with septic designed for 10+ people and we are only 2 now in the office. Point is septic is way under-used and garden starts 20+ feet from septic tank and approx 6′ from end of field. I’m reading mixed opinions as to the safety of planting vegetable garden that close or anywhere near a septic. Others say planting directly over tank is great for plants.

    We are not using waste water/gray water, many opinions assume ‘used’ water will be used. We have fresh water rain barrels.
    Would appreciate your thoughts on sanitation & possible harmful pathogens. Alot of what is said is pretty scary.


  48. Harry Duff permalink
    March 24, 2012

    I must say that this post is the most relevant article I’ve ever read and saw. It’s a great help to everyone who is looking for this information.

  49. Harry Duff permalink
    March 25, 2012

    This site can be a walk-via for the entire data you needed about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll undoubtedly uncover it.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS