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2009 Casual Gardener “Get It Garden” Challenge – Start It For Cheap and Sustainable With Seeds

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Welcome to the 2009 Casual Gardener “Get It Garden” Challenge!! The idea for the challenge is to create a garden that makes a difference in your life and your community, then share it with The Casual Gardener readers.

My big garden challenge is to grow a veggie garden in the front yard of my suburban neighborhood. In Chicagoland many of the trees are still asleep now in mid-April. While some gardeners have been  growing seedlings inside for months now, I have chosen to wait until about five to six weeks before planting.

garden challenge

According to one of the best front yard vegetable gardeners I know, Susan Kasprowicz (who is shown to the right with her husband, Larry), the time to plant in the Chicagoland area is late May. She said, “it is important to put tomato plants and other tender transplants in here in the Chicago area after the next waxing moon phase, which would be May 24 when the May new moon occurs (our usual frost-free date is May 10 or so). Anytime the week of Memorial Day up to the day before the full moon on June 7 would be optimal, with May 24-30 being the old farmer’s favorite time. April is okay for onion sets, any time between April 9 and 23 when moon is waning.”

garden challenge

Taking that advice, the first step to getting a veggie garden started is to grow a few seeds. It might seem like I am starting them late, but I still have nearly five weeks of seed growing time before I plant  the seedlings at the end of late May.

For all you gardeners who love gardening gadgets, I discovered a cool gadget to help with seed labeling. This is a P-Touch labeler which we use for labeling files at my office. Why not use it for your garden and outside activities?

garden challenge

Above is a video of a creative sustainable idea for planting seeds which reuses old soda and water bottle crates instead of utilizing new plastic containers. Put soil in the cardboard box and plant the seeds right in there. What a great idea! My little helper and I made it for you – why not try it yourself?

Remember, as you build your garden, please send photos and details to me, Shawna Coronado, and I will post your successes – and your failures – so we can all learn how to make a difference with a garden. Please send anything you can – what do you do with all the vegetables you harvest for instance? Will you sell them for additional family income? Will you give them away to local food banks? My readers want to know ALL the details.

Let’s build a garden together! Please join the 2009 Casual Gardener “Get It Garden” Challenge today and help make a difference for yourself and your community.

Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!

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