Blog Ideas – Garden Trends 2015
Firma Design Group is excited to notice a new trend in 2015…gardening! You may have noticed more neighbors starting a new garden, or some that have gotten rid of their lawn and replaced it with a low water-use vegetable garden. Gardens of all sizes, from one pot of brussel sprouts on the front porch, to a row of endless raised beds full of multi-colored vegetables, are popping up all over, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! According to Turf Design Build’s “ 2015 Garden Trends” article in their December 2014 issue, young men of the millennial generation are spending $100 more per year on garden products and plants than the average consumer. Consumers are estimated to spend $7 Billion on outdoor décor and garden accessories in 2015.
The past several years have brought about a new sort of revolution: one that values community, health, sustainability, and the planet. We have seen consumers come together to try to change laws, and hold companies accountable for their products. Many have begun to take matters into their own hands, growing their own food organically and in a way that they can control. Community gardens have sprouted up in communities all over the state and country, bringing communities closer together.
Many of our clients are interested in starting or maintaining their gardens, and we are happy to help them create vibrant, healthy gardens that will really become an extension of the home. If you are someone who thinks gardening requires a ton of time and effort, have no fear – there are solutions for even those born without a natural green thumb. It’s all about choosing the right vegetable. Working full time on top of trying to maintain a social life can leave you with not enough time to wash your hair, let alone water your vegetables. This however, can be resolved by choosing low water-use plants that require very little maintenance. Many vegetables can survive even if you do forget to water them on occasion.
So you may be wondering where to begin. Igrowsonoma.org has a calendar that shows exactly what to grow each month in Sonoma County. With recent mandatory water restrictions taking place in California, many potential garden growers are wondering whether or not they can justify the water use that a home garden requires. When done right, gardens don’t have to use an excess of water! Also, you have to factor in the water use that large scale farms use not only to grow the food, but to transport it as well. Eating locally grown produce is great, but growing it yourself can be even better.
Compost is essential, because if soil is sandy and dry, it won’t retain water. It is important to add rich organic material to your soil to promote root growth and retention of water.
Mulch isn’t always an attractive addition to your garden, but it does wonders for keeping soil cool and damp. There are a wide variety of mulch options out there, so choose one that works for you, and add 3-4 inches of it to the top of your garden to water less frequently. When watering by hand, pull back a small section of mulch to allow the water direct access to the plant.
Drip Systems are pretty high tech these days. You can get timers for them that allow you to set up a consistent watering schedule that is right for your plants. You can also get pressure regulators that allow the right amount of water to get to your plants without over or under-watering them.
Grow the right vegetables; don’t grow crops that need consistent soil moisture. Spinach, tomatoes, chard, amaranth, corn, and peppers don’t require an abundance of water. Planting high-yield crops is great too – more bang for your buck! Try tomatoes, squash, peppers, and eggplant if you’re going for abundance. Most brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, etc. require more water and might not get a high enough yield to make it worthwhile.
Eliminate weeds, it might seem obvious, but weeding is a task that many put off until the weeds are overgrown. Weeds are competing with your plants for water, get them out of there as soon as possible!
Be smart with your water; everyone I know waits for the water to warm up before getting into the shower. During that time, gallons and gallons of cold water are wasted down the drain. Use that water for your garden! It might be annoying to get a big bucket and lug it outside after your shower, but water is precious these days, so use it wisely!
Get Creative There are many ways to be smart with your water-use. While we have listed many, feel free to brainstorm more ideas. At-home gardens aren’t always easy, but they are worth it!