Back in the day our ancestors did not have to go very far to buy vegetables, they just had to step out in their garden and pick up free, fresh veggies. Unfortunately over generations most of us have lost touch with our natural gardening instincts due to the busy lifestyle we lead. As we get older and wiser we feel the need to get back to those “roots” and luckily these days gardening is making a comeback with the younger generation as well.
Why Grow Your Own?
– Planting your own food is much healthier than store-bought, you know where it came from and exactly how it was grown.
– Not buying from stores means you won’t be supporting commercial farming that uses chemicals and pesticides and therefore your garden contributes to the eco-friendly lifestyle.
– Once you get those vegetables growing they are yours for free.
– Planting, growing and harvesting helps you get reconnected with nature.
– Food that is home-grown tastes better than those store-bought, it is often juicier and more vibrant in texture.
It’s Not That Complicated!
A garden is a fusion of air, light and water – it is a living, breathing thing. It is important to understand the interaction between all of the elements of your garden and what those mean for your plants. This is why getting started may seem very intimidating for someone who has never tried it. So where should you begin? Start by deciding what you are going to plant by asking these questions:
– What vegetables grow best in your climate?
– What vegetables do you personally love to eat?
– Are there certain vegetables that you’d like to eat but that are difficult to find locally in stores or that are very expensive?
When you have decided what you want to plant be sure to follow the tips below to not only become more confident but help ensure success. Now is the time to stop procrastinating and start planting!
“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments” – Janet Kilburn Phillips
Simple Tips For Beginners
– Plant your seeds where the sun shines. Some vegetable need at least 6 hours of sun a day. A good rule to follow is to remember that vegetables that carry a fruit or root need full sun (6 hours), such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and squash. Those you grow for their leaves or buds will do fine with little sun, such as salad, spinach, radish, beans and broccoli.
– You should always choose good soil. Compost is a great way to add nutrients to the soil you use as well, it can be store-bought or you can make it yourself. By sprinkling eggshells on your soil, you will give your plants a calcium boost and coffee grounds will enrich it and keep it safe from pests. Make sure the soil does not soak up the water to quick yet does not collect the water on top.
– If plants are growing too close to each other they will compete for sunlight, water and nutrition. Therefore make sure you space them right appropriately.
– Soak your seeds for at least 24 hours in water before you plant them. You can use an empty toilet paper roll as a biodegradable self-starter.
– Make sure to buy quality seeds that have not expired. Follow the instructions on the packet which will show how deep the seeds needs to be planted and how far apart. They will also tell you how often they need to be watered and how much sunlight they need.
Once the seeds are in the ground does not mean the job is over and you can sit back and just watch them grow. You will want to pay attention to your soil to make sure it stays moist but not over-watered. Weeds should be removed as they come up and don’t forget fertilizing from time to time which will give the growing process a boost. A garden needs to be looked after on a regular basis if you want to reap what you sow.
This might seem like a lot of work, but in the end it is worth it. You’ll be improving your health and therefore overall lifestyle by growing your own healthy and chemical-free vegetables. When you experience the sight of your first sprout popping up you will instantly understand the joy and excitement that comes with such an ancient practice.
Author Bio: Matt Reilly is an operations manager and home improvement writer currently working for Reilly Roofing and Gutters in Texas. He is a promoter of sustainable living, both on a large scale and through the use of eco-friendly technology in everyday life.
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