OKC Resources for Setting Up a Garden at Home
With unforseen time at home amid the uncertainty of this pandemic, many are asking about how to get a garden started. We are happy to help! Once you compile a list of what you need to gather, you can prioritize social distancing by calling ahead, ordering and paying remotely and arranging pick up or delivery in a way to minimize physical contact.
For total beginners, check out this video by local expert, Lia Woods at CommonWealth Urban farm about how to start gardening from scratch. The main thing is to make sure you have a spot with a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight and are near a convenient water supply. Then, decide on a container or garden bed structure. (Planting in the ground requires calling OKIE and a lot of time to amend the existing soil. We will talk more about this option later.)
Don't be intimidated by the concept of a raised bed. You can use simple materials, a pre-made kit, or you can just employ old flower pots and containers (as long as they have drainage hols). An easy and quick way to get going is to use Smart Pots, a locally made fabric pot that comes in many sizes and works great for growing vegetables.
Below is a resource list focused on where to obtain materials. Almost all of the businesses listed offer seeds and plants. As we gain more details about the safest ways to obtain resources while practicing social distancing, we will share.
Minick Materials is a local business that makes bulk quantities of compost and carries soil mixes for gardening and landscaping projects. They can fill up your pickup truck! Here is info about their many products. They have a pottery selection along with bagged potting mix as well.
- Prices https://www.minickmaterials.com/pricelist/#sandandsoil
- Compost https://www.minickmaterials.com/compost/
Commonwealth Urban Farms makes incredibly high quality compost that is available for purchase. There are many resources available through CommonWealth, so spend a few minutes looking through their website and youtube page.
Lia’s Garden at CommonWealth Urban Farms sells seedlings. On 3/17, Lia posted saying, “Since our plant sales are outdoors and not crowded, we will continue them on Friday evenings and mid-day Saturdays, as long as our model comports with current health recommendations and our general sense of safety for the community.”
Organics OKC is another great, locally owned business which has a wide range of potting soils and natural fertilizers. They have supplies for starting seeds indoors and support hydroponic growers. They sell Smart Pots, seeds and compost tea which they make on site. They are currently still open and will update on their FB page if they move to by-appointment sales:
In addition to their huge ornamental selection, TLC Garden Centers (two locations - NW Expressway and Memorial) carry a great selection of vegetable starts, seeds and gardening supplies including containers, raised bed kits and Smart Pots. TLC offers their own brand of potting soil which works well for starting seeds indoors and for growing plants in containers. They also carry Humalfa Brand bagged compost which we recommend if you do not have a local or homemade compost. Check here for up to date info about their curbside service and delivery which they are starting today. Online ordering is coming, according to their Facebook page:
Home Depot carries locally made Smart Pots and a quality brand of organic mixes for outdoor containers (which is actually certified organic by a third party). You can order online and minimize time in the store. Note, in our experience, the raised bed mix is quite “woody,” thus we recommend adding an organic all-purpose fertilizer or mixing with good quality compost such as CommonWealth’s or Humalfa Nature’s Prescription available at TLC.
If you do build a raised bed, don't worry about getting plastic weed cloth to lay under the soil. Just lay down thick layers of newspaper or cardboard. Your plants' roots will thank you later!
Stay tuned for more information about how to grow, feed and water your plants in your home garden. In the meantime, please post your pertinent veggie gardening questions below so we can see what specific information you need. If you want to share other resources not listed here, we welcome your additional suggestions – especially local sources of products, services and gardening information.