You, too, can reap a plentiful harvest by taking part in beginning gardening courses.
I want to start a vegetable garden this year and I am new to this field. Where should I start?
The Coconino Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners have received many questions of this kind for several months. They have therefore chosen to sponsor courses called the Free Beginning Vegetable Gardening Series for Flagstaff and the Higher Elevations, hosted by Gayle Gratop. You will be online VIA Zoom every Tuesday in March from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Here is a summary of each session:
March 2nd: plan your garden
In our introductory course, you will learn how to plan your vegetable garden. You will learn when and where to grow your selected plants for the best yields. For example, my husband and I have a 10 ‘x 10’ lot in full sun for large, heat-loving plants like corn and beans. We grow our lettuce, spring onions, Swiss chard and kohlrabi in a partially shaded bed. And because I want to keep a close eye on our tomatoes, potatoes and peppers, we put these vegetables in containers on the terrace.
March 9th: Seed and plant care begins
Because there are short growing seasons at high elevations, there are a number of vegetables that require seeds to be germinated and grown indoors before planting outdoors. In this session, you will learn how to determine which seeds need this treatment and how to do so. You’ll also learn how to: properly read a seed packet, choose seedlings in kindergarten, and care for your plants throughout the growing season. Your instructors will advise you which vegetables are difficult to grow and which are relatively easy to grow. My husband and I have found that zucchini seeds do not require sprouting indoors. We sow them right in the ground. Tomatoes, on the other hand, should be sprouted indoors, or you can purchase ready-to-plant seedlings.