Garden / February 6, 2018 / Oriane.
The ideal soil type for growing most crops is loam, the rich halfway point between clay and sandy soils. If you are not sure which soil type you have, hold some in the palm of your hand, wet it and try to make a ball. If it forms a tight, hard wad, then you have lots of clay in your soil. If you can not form a ball, you have sand. If the ball forms but pretty easily breaks apart, you probably have loam. No matter which type you have, you can improve both your soils structure and fertility by working compost into the top layer each year. Those with really limited space can take heart in knowing there are effective composting options suitable for even the smallest of spaces.
Most seeds and seedlings will tell you the mature size of the plants you are selecting. Knowing that, you can space things out and see just how much you can fit into your space. More likely however, you will do what most gardeners do and squeeze in as many seedlings as you can fit into your garden, then deal with the crowding later.
Without regular water, vegetables will not fill out and some, like tomatoes, will crack open if suddenly plumped up with water after struggling without for awhile. You can not always rely on rain. If you have the means, a drip irrigation system is a definite plus for a vegetable garden. The new component systems are really quite easy to install and cost a lot less than most people think. And you will save money on water, because it goes directly to the plants roots. Less is lost to evaporation.
No south-facing window, balcony or yard? Consider a community garden, it is a great way to grow food while strengthening relationships with neighbours. If there is not already a community garden in your neighbourhood, might there be a vacant lot on which to start one? One thing is for sure, learning how to grow vegetables with others in your community while sharing information and resources will do more than put food on the table. Collective gardening or even just sharing gardening space will help to build and strengthen relationships within your community.