Aside from culinary perks and adding a pop of seasonal color to your home, gardening has many health benefits and can create lasting positive environmental impacts! Everyone can get into the action, whether you live in an apartment or house on a large lot. Pro tip to getting started: Raised gardening boxes are a convenient way to make the most out of your garden. Raised beds are also a great choice for those with limited space, soil or sunlight restrictions or just an appreciation for higher yields from less effort.
Need more inspiration to get your outdoor garden blooming? We reached out to Aaron and Katie, local farmers and owners of FloraBee Flower, for insider tips on growing your best garden!
A Little Insight About our Insiders: FloraBee Flowers
FloraBee Farms sits on just under 3⁄4 of an acre in Lakewood, Colorado. It’s a unique lot that has significant tree cover, with the total amount of space currently in crop production being about 1⁄4 acre. The rest of the space is maintained and left as habitat for native birds, insects, and other critters.
“We started FloraBee after having farmed 10 years and in different parts of the world. We wanted to start a farm of our own where we could connect to our community and provide them with food for the body and flowers for the soul. We know that having a connection to the land – whether through spending time in the great outdoors, farming, or having access to local food – is healing.”Aaron and Katie | Owners and Founders of FloraBee Flowers
Learn more about the sustainable farming techniques practiced at FloraBee Flowers and get information about their CSA options, here.
FloraBee Flower’s Top Five Gardening Tips
Investing in your soil and working to create a healthy soil food web are what will give you the most success. Our top 5 soil tips are:
- Get a soil test every year! Use this information to amend your soil appropriately and keep it balanced.
- Never let your soil be bare. Soil, and all the life in it, wants to be covered. If there are no plants growing in your garden, and it will be a while before you plant, consider covering the soil with leaves or straw – Avoid wood chips in your annual garden spaces. If you are done for the season and are able, try your hand at a cover crop to protect and feed your soil.
- Rotate your plants. If you plant a lot of vegetables, try to rotate them around your garden so that you aren’t growing your crops in the same spot each year. This will help reduce the build up of pests and/or pathogens in the soil that can harm your plants. This will also increase the overall health of your soil.
- Try not to step on the soil you will grow in. You want to have fluffy soil with lots of space for air and water to grow healthy roots.
- Water: Water is really important, especially in Colorado, and it can be tricky to water correctly. You don’t want your plants to wilt, but you also don’t want to have constantly wet soil. Try to water deeply every couple of days and then allow the soil to dry some before applying more water. You never want to work your soil (dig in it, plant in it, walk on it, etc) when it is wet or you risk turning it into something that resembles concrete.
Bonus Insider Tip: Recommendations for the best plants to include in home gardens in Colorado?
For flowers we recommend yarrow, sedum, eryngium, and veronica because they produce beautiful flowers with a lot of texture and colors that are great in the landscape or in a vase. These perennials are great for Colorado because they are drought tolerant, survive the winters, don’t mind late frosts, and they can thrive in our clay soils. For vegetables we encourage all home gardeners to try their hand at garlic. In the fall, you can plant the garlic cloves you get from your CSA or from the farmers market. We also love to grow tomatillos! They do really well in Colorado and if you like salsa, they are the perfect garden plant!