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How to Start Your Own Vegetable Garden
The appeal is undeniable: Free food in your own backyard. Something you get to design, create, and nurture. Of course, starting and managing your own vegetable garden isn’t all fun and games, but it is rewarding. You just don’t want to go in without knowing what to expect.
Here are the key considerations if you’re interested in starting your own garden.
Don’t overcommit to planting a huge garden until you know what you’re in for. Starting small will show you how much time and work are required without so many plants to care for.
Good starter size gardens might be 6ft by 6ft with five different types of vegetables. If you don’t have the yard space or don’t want to fully commit to it yet, you can use pots or raised beds. The advantage of these is that you can get completely new, fresh soil, and shouldn’t have to worry about weeds too much the first year.
You can also save space by using trellises and planting vining crops like green beans and peas.
Choose Easy Vegetables
This isn’t the year for crazy ambition. Grow the easy stuff the first year. That means things like lettuce, tomatoes (including cherry tomatoes), zucchini, carrots, beets, peas, green beans, radishes, and spinach, kale, or chard. And be aware that you don’t plant all these at the same time of year.
Sun Is Good
Plants don’t grow without sun – lots of it. Pick a spot that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun in the spring and summer months especially. For root vegetables like carrots, beets, and radishes, you can probably get away with 4 hours of sunlight.
Water Is Good
Even in the Pacific Northwest, you can’t rely on the rain to keep your vegetable plants happy. You need a water plan. You can set up drip lines on a timer if you don’t want to go out and water by hand, which you’ll have to do more frequently in the warmer months. But drip lines increase your up front costs, and take some time to set up properly.
You could also get a rain barrel and attach it to your gutter. That will give you a bucket of free water for when you need it.
Be sure to water your plants well the first few weeks after the seeds sprout so the roots get off to a good start.
The most likely villains who will stop at nothing to destroy your garden are weeds, bugs, and fungal diseases. Some places may also have to deal with animals like rabbits and deer.
You can avoid most fungal issues if you take care to water the soil, not the leaves of the plants. For weeds, you just need to stay on top of it and don’t let them get out of hand. For bugs, there are various insecticidal sprays you can get, as well as some natural methods. Planting marigolds and certain herbs, for example, can be a turnoff to certain bugs.
If you have rabbit problems, you’ll need to install a fence at least six inches under the soil. For deer, you’ll need a tall fence to keep them out.
Lastly, you need good dirt. Too much sand, too much clay, too much silt – these will inhibit root growth. So, you can get some compost and till it in to the ground to loosen it up and add nutrients. Or, if you’re using raised beds or pots, you won’t have to worry about the existing soil.
Learning to Trust Good People
To escape an abusive relationship, Hannah Rice moved to Seattle not long after her son Dante was born. She also suffers from lupus, and it flared up because of all the stress, which prevented her from properly caring for her son.
Eventually, Dante ended up at Childhaven, where he got to experience the “good, safe childhood I wanted for him,” says Hannah.
But when Hannah got pregnant again, she worried who would be able to take care of Dante if her lupus caused an emergency with her pregnancy. She also didn’t want to disrupt all the progress he was making there. Even with a healthy, on-time delivery, she still needed someone to watch him.
Childhaven was able to connect Hannah with another organization that enlists families who are willing to provide short-term child care for families in need. Dante got to stay with a loving family while Hannah gave birth to her daughter, at 37 weeks, without complications.
That family remains close to Hannah, and when she has health problems she still asks them to help with her kids.
“Childhaven taught me how to be a good mom, but it also taught me how to trust the goodness of people in my community,” says Hannah. “With Childhaven, I learned to plan, consider my options, and choose what was best for my son.”
Because of Childhaven, Hannah’s kids have a better chance to grow up physically and emotionally healthy, and to succeed in school. And that’s why we donate a portion of every home we sell to Childhaven, because we believe all children should have that chance, no matter what type of family situation they have come from.
Our donations to date for Childhaven!
Your business and referrals help
the kids at Childhaven
Through all of COVID-19 the Childhaven staff continues to care for every child, delivering counseling, developmental therapy, wrap-around
supports, home learning, meals, family meetings, and much more. Every referral you send our way helps the kids at Childhaven, because we donate a substantial portion of our income from every home sale to this amazing organization. If you know anyone considering buying or selling, you have three options:
1. Send an email with your referral’s name, phone and email to email@example.com
2. Call me direct or pass on my number - 206.779.9808
3. Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer
2022 Housing Market Is Gaining Momentum Already!
Want the recipe for super low housing inventory? We had it in December.
Mix already low inventory with high demand and healthy sales activity. Blend in ultra-low interest rates. Add in high prices and very few new listings, and then top it off with a week of snow and ice.
The result? Just 3240 active home listings remained up for sale by the end of December after another 8017 closed sales removed most of the inventory. In fact, in the last decade, there have never been fewer than 4000 active homes for sale in the Puget Sound region.
King County is down to 0.27 months of inventory. That’s little more than a week! Buyers have fewer choices now than they have ever had.
What does that mean for you?
It means now is a great time to sell, because you won’t have much competition. Plus, 2022 is shaping up to be another year of brisk sales, buyer competition, and low inventory. So putting your home up now gets you in ahead of the coming rush, and then you’ll be positioned with more choices to find your replacement home for after you sell yours.
Prices leveled off in December, and with interest rates slated to go up this year, there’s a chance that prices may finally start to level off for a longer period. But since they went up 17.4% across the region last year, and were going up before that too, leveling off now isn’t going to hurt sellers at all. In fact, it will probably help, because more people will be able to afford to buy.
Overall, 2021 saw 107,354 closed home sales in 2021, a 12.1% increase from 2020, and more sales than we have had in a single year since 2006. No doubt, 2021 was a great year to sell, and 2022 is looking to be similarly strong!
Please Send Us Your Referrals
If you or someone you know is looking to sell or buy a home, we’d love to help! Please send us your referrals and we’ll take great care of them and guarantee their success and happiness. And remember that your business and referrals help the kids at Childhaven.
Here’s how to send us referrals:
1) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your friend’s contact info
2) Call me directly, or pass my number on to them – 206.779.9808
3) Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer