Have you ever thought about growing your own food? There are so many ways to do it that you would be surprised, or even better, you would be excited to start making your own garden straight away!
It may be easier than you think, however, is important to get organized before starting and avoid waste of time and seeds.
Let’s see a few steps to be taken before we begin:
- Choose what you would like to plant.
- Choose where you would like to plant.
- Create a small project with pen and paper.
- Invest in some basic garden tools.
- Prepare your soil.
CHOOSING WHAT TO PLANT
There is a wide variety of things you can grow in your garden so, how to choose the right vegetables to plant?
Make a list of your favorite vegetables and spices, those essentials in your kitchen.
Than you check your zone (Knowing your zone is vital when deciding what to include in your garden), Depending upon what zone you are in should narrow your list because you can’t grow everything you like in every location, you’ll just need to look up a zoning map. As a rule of thumb, zones 9 and 10 are the warmest climates, zones 7 and 8 are fairly warm and have mild winters, and zones 6 and below are the colder areas.
CHOOSING WHERE TO PLANT
Almost all vegetables and most flowers need 6-8 hours of full sun each day. So you need to observe your yard throughout the day to figure out which spots receive full sun versus partial or full shade. In case you have no possibility no give your garden this time of sun light, than you will need to be more selective choosing which plants to grow. Greens, herbs and root veggies will grow in partial shade. Southern gardens may benefit from late afternoon shade, whereas northern gardens likely need all the sun they can get.
Three additional tips: Pick a relatively flat spot for your garden because it’s more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to deal with a sloping garden.
Check for windbreaks (such as your house or your neighbor’s house) that will keep plants from being harmed by strong winds.
And put the garden where you can't ignore its pleas for attention: Outside the back door, near the mailbox, or by the window you gaze through while you're cooking.
Bonus if that place is close enough to a water spigot that you won't have to drag a hose across the entire yard.
CREATE A SMALL PROJECT WITH PEN AND PAPER
After choosing where to make your garden, start drawing and writing your ideas. The kind of material you would like to use (wood, glass and plastic bottles), where to place each plant, the quantity of seeds you will need, the best period to harvest.
It is important to make a calendar as well to know how long time it takes all the process and to get easier each time you need to replant.
Decide on the type and size of garden bed(s). Raised beds are attractive and may make it easier to work in your garden, but they also dry out more quickly. In very dry areas, sunken beds can be used to gather available moisture.
Work with companion plants to attract beneficial insects and improve yields as well.
Start small, and make sure to give each plant enough room to grow. The seeds and transplants are tiny, but full grown plants can get huge.
INVESTING IN SOME BASIC GARDEN TOOLS
You will definitely need to have some tools for your daily gardening! You shouldn’t use a butter knife to chop up raw carrots, and you shouldn’t use dull or flimsy tools to work in your garden.
So, here is where to start:
GARDEN SHOVEL GARDEN FORK GARDEN GLOVES
PRUNING SHEARS GARDEN SCISSORS GARDEN CAN
For a full list of gardening tools, check out, “The Best Garden Tools Help Make Gardening Easier”.
Avoid buying cheap tools made by plastic, instead go for metal ones. Good tools will least longer and help you to save time and effort.
PREPARING YOUR SOIL
The soil is the most important part of your garden. You can’t have a productive garden without good soil. Just as our own children need nutritious food to grow big and strong, plants need soil to stabilize and anchor their roots, and also provide the essential nutrients, water, and air they need.
Add some organic matter. On a day when the soil is moist but NOT wet, spread your chosen organic matter out to cover the soil surface. You can dig this organic matter into your soil, or simply leave it on the surface where it will bury weed seeds but keep the soil structure beneath undisturbed.
Try to learn more about your soil and how it affects how plants grow. Do you have clay or sandy soil? Is your soil acidic or alkaline? Is it thin or rich in nutrients?
There are three important components to be checked: soil type, soil pH, soil nutrition.
The ideal soil texture consists of equal parts of sand, silt, and clay; this type of soil is referred to as “loam” or “loamy.” Loamy soil has that perfect balance—it holds moisture but also drains well, allows oxygen to reach plants’ roots, and is rich in humus (organic matter). It’s fertile, easy to work, and contains plenty of organic matter.
PLANTING & HARVESTING
Most seed packets and transplant containers come with basic planting instructions. Once you've done the ground work (literally), you just need to jump in and plant. Just give it a try and you can learn the rest as you go.
Many plants, such as lettuce and sunflowers, are easy to grow from seed directly in the garden. Some plants, such as pansies and kale, tolerate cold, so you can plant them in autumn or late winter. Tomatoes and most annual flowers, on the other hand, prefer warm temperatures.
So, as you can see, depending on what are you planting it can change all your plans, that is why you should make a small research before doing this last step.
An easier method of starting your garden is to buy young plants, called set plants or transplants. Dig holes in your prepared bed based on tag instructions. Remove plants from the container by pushing up from the bottom. If the roots have grown into a big ball (known as being root-bound), use a fork or your fingers to untangle some outer roots before setting it into the hole. Pat soil into place around the roots, then soak the soil with water.
When you boil foods like pasta, potatoes, or veggies, nutrients are released into the water. Think twice before throwing this beneficial broth down the drain! As long as you haven't added salt to the solution, you can reuse the cooking water (once it has cooled down, of course) to give your garden a healthful boost.
After all done, be patient and wait for the harvest day to enjoy your own sustainable and organic food!
The Green Papaya.