Posted by Deborah Rodrigues in Charlotte, Home Maintenance

Growing your own fruits and vegetables at home sounds great, but what all goes into it? Seeds, tools, water, sunlight, time, and the right nutrients, to name a few.

After talking with Charlotte Garden Club member Dottie Henberg, one thing is clear: you need to have good dirt. A great garden starts with great soil.

“The best way to have a successful landscape here in the Piedmont region is to either create or purchase good planting soil—that goes for vegetables, trees, shrubs, and flowers,” said Dottie.

When you are building a new home, a lot of the red clay from the building process remains on the property. For a vegetable garden, you can purchase a good planting mix from a local mulch yard or gardening center to promote success in your garden. Or you can create raised beds for planting, which will ease maintenance and make tender roots happy.

If you decide on raised beds, you should place the garden in an area that has sun for a large portion of the day, preferably oriented towards the south.

A few other things to note are to have good drainage, good water retention, and, of course, good nutrition. Mixing compost into your soil mix can have a very positive impact on this, and topping the bed with mulch will protect the soil and keep it moist, keeping your plants happy.

We are currently in the middle of the summer growing season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for what comes next. Dottie mentioned plenty of delicious vegetables and herbs that you can plan on sowing the seeds or seedlings for later this month or in August.

Carrots, salad greens, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, beets, broccoli, kale, onion, spinach, and cabbage are all great fall and winter vegetables you can add to your home garden. You can plant some of these indoors as well.

Don’t worry: you can still plant tomatoes for the fall, which top the list of most popular veggies to grow in the country.

Sage, parsley, oregano, and thyme are a few hardy herbs to keep in mind when getting your late summer plants ready to go, as they will thrive in that colder weather. These herbs will produce all through the winter, so planting them in late summer will provide you with an early-winter harvest.

Planting in late summer is a great way to get a start not only on growing your own food but improving your soil, so by next spring you'll be planting the yummy summer vegetables like zucchini, squash, cucumbers, beans, and eggplants.

“Remember that everyone loves your vegetables, including deer, rabbits, and bugs, so you have to either be willing to share or have a fence around your raised bed to keep those hungry critters away,” said Dottie.

There are plenty of resources in and around Charlotte when it comes to gardening, whether you are learning new things from Dottie at the Charlotte Garden Club, receiving the monthly newsletter from the Mecklenburg County Extension Master Gardeners, or taking an affordable class with the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens.

Visiting the Botanical Gardens might inspire you to add flowers to your yard as well. Other local gardens to check out for your floral interests are McGill Rose Garden, Duke Mansion, or Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Starting out with the right materials and giving your garden the nutrients it needs will lead you to a beautiful and bountiful harvest. What are you going to plant next?


Deborah Rodrigues
Deborah Rodrigues

Internet Sales Manager

Deborah started at M/I Homes in January 2021. Before her role as an Internet Sales Manager, she assisted home buyers in the Charlotte Metro area as a Sales Associate and the Land Department as a Market Analyst. Originally from Brazil, Deborah moved to the United States with her family when she was nine. She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. She is married and has two adorable huskies, Loki and Bella. She is very passionate about dogs and hopes to one day be able to start a non-profit for rescues. In her free time, Deborah enjoys spending time with family watching movies or out in the Queen City exploring the many new restaurants. Her favorite part about new home construction is the excitement that comes with new beginnings for buyers. She believes communication is key and is highly motivated about providing her customers with the best experience possible. Reach out today.

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