Spring has sprung, and with the danger of frost long past it is time to get your summer veggies into the ground. Gardens, of all kinds, can be challenging in the Santa Clarita Valley. Climate, soil and water can be daunting obstacles for even the most experienced gardener.
However, with great risk comes great reward. The taste of fresh, homegrown vegetables makes all the effort worthwhile.
In addition to knowing your vegetables are fresh, you’ll know they are safe to eat, because you can control the conditions, pesticides and fertilizers you use to grow your backyard bounty.
Benefits of veggie gardening
Who knew that gardening could be considered a full-body workout? Plucking, pulling, bending, kneeling, squatting, digging and lifting all require movement from various muscles in the body. It is a great alternative to the gym.
Gardening also is a great way to relieve stress. Not only is playing in the dirt fun, the physical activity releases mood-elevating endorphins in your brain. Watching your garden bloom and grow gives a sense of satisfaction.
If you don’t have enough space in your backyard to dedicate to your garden, sign up for a plot in the Community Gardens of Santa Clarita at Central Park in Saugus. New garden members are given plenty of resources to help them succeed in their gardening journey.
For information and a plot application, visit www.communitygardens
The most crucial step to any successful home garden is soil preparation. The SCV is notorious for having particularly awful soil. However, you’ll find bags and bags of soil amendments in every garden center in the SCV. The best amendment for soil of any texture is organic matter.
The best way to keep your SCV veggie garden watered at a price you can afford is to use drip irrigation. It is a way to put water right at the roots of the plants that need the water and away from pesky weeds, that you don’t want to water.
Rotate your crops in your garden. Don’t plant the same thing in the same place each year. Use good quality fertilizer. Don’t fear the manure, it is gardening gold. And remember, the seeds offered in local stores are all rated for this area.
Good luck and good gardening.