Welcome to Ekar Farm’s “Garden Resources” page, here you can find in depth information on how to start, manage and maintain your personal garden space. The information below is organized by season to help you prioritize tasks and projects that fit your schedule and your growing aspirations! We have included helpful guides on how to build raised beds, honey bee hive construction, soil preparation by season and many others garden tasks. Take a look inside!
As the days begin to warm it is time to think about all the exciting Spring projects the thaw has to offer. In this section of Ekar Farm’s Garden Resources we provide guides to seed selection, planting a garden, selecting a garden plot location, Spring soil preparation and step by step instructions on how to build raised beds and beehives. Early Spring is a great time to get out to your improve your soil.
Planting a Garden
After the soil preparation and plot selection is completed all the fun of planting your garden can start. The first step is to select appropriate seeds for your climate, plot and personal vegetable preferences. Ekar Farm uses a few seed sources but we prefer to use companies that have the same growing climate as Colorado. The idea is that if the seeds are produced in a similar growing climate that the crops are grown in, the chances for bountiful yields increases. Some of our seed sources include Genesis Seeds (an Israeli company), Botanical Interests (Colorado company), Seed Savers (Iowa company), and the Potato Garden (great resource for Colorado grown heirloom garlic and potato varieties). You can use this vegetable garden guide, this garden planner, this seeding scheduler and either of these great vegetable garden planting guides (Colorado Vegetable Guide, Cornell Vegetable Guide) to assist you in where, how and when to plant your favorite vegetables. Don’t forget, if you time it right you may even have some time to plant a second crop.
Building a Raised Bed
Raised beds are another great method of raising organic vegetables in a limited space. Some benefits to utilizing a raised bed for vegetable growing are they extend the planting season, they can reduce the amount of weeds if planted properly, reduce the need to use poor native soils, reduce compaction of soil, and maximize planting efficiency through companion planting (see Raised Bed Gardening Book for more information). There are many designs out there for building a raised bed and there are countless combinations of sizes, materials, and methods to construction. Here we provide resources on how to calculate volume of soil in square and rectangular beds and instructions and a video on how to build your own raised bed. If you are extremely limited on space try container gardening!
Starting a Beehive
There is something almost magical about raising your own backyard bees. Bees are one of natures gifts to humans that truly just keeps on giving by providing us with delicious garden honey while pollinating all of our crops. To begin a hive you must first build one. There are a series of different hives out there all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages. At Ekar Farm we use Marty Hardison’s “The Appropriate Beehive Design” (have website designer link to the pdf). This document has all the information you need to start your own backyard hive including hive designs, feeding, cleaning and maintaining and even how to harvest your own honey. Once your hive is build you will need to purchase a “nuc”. A “nuc” is a starter set of bees that usually contains one queen and around 3 lbs of worker bees (Ekar Farm buys nucs from Colorado based Apis Hive). Once you add the bees to your hive you must feed them. With a persistent supply of pollen and some good weather you will be able to harvest your hive for the first time after about 3 months. Below are more resources to help you begin your own honey bee hive!