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The Best Gardening Tip I Ever Got

I love my garden.  We started it the first year we moved to the homestead, with several fruit trees and a few summer veggies.

It's grown a ton since then.  We've added more trees, grapes and berries, and lots more square footage for the annuals.  And we get a lot of produce every year.  It's fabulous.

Except for the fact that it was either feast or famine from the garden.  We'd either be swimming in fresh veggies or we'd be waiting for them to grow and ripen.

What I really wanted was a more steady stream of food from the garden.  Something that could help sustain the family year-round, not just during the summer and late fall gardens.

So when I came across this tip from my About.com colleague (Colleen Vanderlinden, the Organic Gardening guide) I was ecstatic.  And it was so simple I kind of wondered why I had never thought of it before.

Colleen recommends planting something new in the garden each week.  This keeps new produce coming up year-round, and eliminates those long dormant periods where nothing is ripe.  I have always planted twice a year, once in the summer and again in the fall.  No wonder I had months with nothing happening.

So far, I've been doing fairly well.  A few weeks back I planted more corn.  The week after was beets, and the week after that was carrots.  I didn't get anything in the ground this week.  It's been busy.  I was in Chicago this last weekend attending an acne treatment forum, and I taught several classes and an all-day workshop in Oakland.  But I'm hoping to get lettuce in the ground by next weekend.

Even so, the carrots are just starting to sprout, the beets are growing like gangbusters.  The corn come up uneven, so I'll try to reseed this weekend too.
 
It's a simple tip, but I'm excited at the prospect of having my garden working for me year-round.  I'm also amazed at the wisdom we have lost over the years.  I'm sure my great-grandmother knew how to do this.    

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