Gardening Project

Asked February 4, 2013, 3:53 PM EST

We are students at CU Boulder and we are doing a project to determine the best way and the best tools to start a garden. What we want to be able to do is create a tool that would make gardening easier or make a startup tool kit for gardening. We would greatly appreciate it if you could answer a few questions for us:

1.What tools do you use the most and why?
2.What are the options in gardening to make it more sustainable?
3.How do you water your garden? Do you use a rain barrel or have some other way of collecting rainwater?
4. Do you use compost in your garden and if so what is the best way to start a compost bin?

Boulder County Colorado

1 Response

I'll assume you are referring to vegetable and/or flower gardens

1. a hoe for weeding and to create seed furrows.
a bow rake to level soil after spading.
a long-handled spade to turn over soil, chop up old crop residues and incorporate/dig them into garden,

2. add soil amendments every fall after harvest. Utilize appropriate kitchen wastes and either compost them or chop them up and add directly to garden soil. Use least-toxic pesticides, only when warranted; follow label directions carefully. Avoid excessive fertilizer use.
http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/711.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07235.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07611.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07247.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07243.html

3. with a drip hose. Many plants develop more leaf diseases when leaves are regularly wetted as via overhead sprinklers.
http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/714.html
http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/716.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/04702.html
No, collection of rainwater is technically not legal in CO unless the property owner uses a well and meets other criteria:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/06702.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/sam/rainwaterbills.pdf

4. Yes, but exercise caution...many manure-based composts are high in salts, which can injure or kill plant roots.
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1618.html
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1625.html