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2009 “Get It Garden” Challenge – Amy Castiglia is Making a Difference

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

Amy Castiglias Garden

Receiving this email from Amy Castiglia totally made my day. She’s out there making a difference for her health by building a garden and growing her own veggies. She made some mistakes but figured it all out. Way to go Amy!!

Amy’s Email to me:

Amy Castiglias Before Garden

“I am starting the first garden of my very own this year. When I was a kid, my parents always had a basic vegetable garden and I’m planting many of the same vegetables that they had luck with. I chose to dig out a plot on the side of my house as it’s the only area that gets sufficient sun throughout the day. It was a grueling few hours with a pitchfork and shovel to remove the sod, but I was very pleased with the outcome (see the before picture to the right – after picture is above).

I loosened and turned over the soil, adding a humus and manure mix that I purchased. I bought all of my plants at a local nursery. I originally placed them too close together, so I had to go back and spread everything out a bit. Once the plants were in I added cedar mulch to help distribute water and keep the weeds from coming. I’ve  noticed that my tomato plants weren’t looking so hot (yellow-ish and frail).  My stepmom was having the same problem, so my dad suggested pulling the mulch away from the base of the plant and adding some grass clippings instead and I swear (maybe I’m just seeing things because of wishful thinking) the plants look a million times better. I did the same thing for my plants yesterday afternoon. We’ll see how it goes.

I planted: beefsteak tomatoes,  plum tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, green beans, eggplant, squash and jalapeno peppers.
While I do eat a lot of vegetables, once this garden is in full swing I’m sure it will be producing way more that I can possibly eat (and I’m not going to push it and attempt canning this year). I will be giving them away to friends, family, and Plant A Row.

I could use some tips about watering (how much, how often…just how).”

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In answer to your question about watering Amy, my best advice is to water less often, but really drench the plants. Watch the weather and when things look dry, water each plant until it is totally and heavily soaked. By doing this you put moisture all around the plant and deep into the soil; this encourages the roots to go deeper and therefore, be stronger.

Remember, as you follow along and 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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