With the economy feeling like it will never fully recover, families are cutting back everywhere including at the grocery store. More and more families are searching for a healthier and more cost effective way to eat and save money; with summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start even a small garden. You’ll save money, know your produce is fresh and chemical free. Growing, planting and harvesting a garden could also be some thing fun for the entire family to do together.
There is nothing better than walking into the garden on a June afternoon and picking the ripest, biggest, red tomato off the vine that you planted in that very spot only weeks before. There is satisfaction knowing you nurtured, watered, and watched it grow. Now you’re about to enjoy the best part, as you walk back inside to slice it for sandwiches or for Caprese salad. The tomato is still warm from the day’s sun, as you slice it, all its delicious juices pour out and expose its red flesh. That image is enough to make anyone start a garden.
Starting Your Garden
Start off small, your first garden doesn’t have to be a big one. Smaller ones are less overwhelming and you can focus on having a successful and more bountiful garden. You can always expand a little more the next year.
Choose a spot with at least 8 hours of sun light everyday and make sure it has good drainage. Vegetables must have good loamy, well drained soil.
Prepare your plot. Break up and turn the soil. You will have to add compost or other organic materials to your local soil. You can find all the materials you need at garden centers.
Choose what kinds of vegetables and herbs you’d like to grow. Grow vegetables your family really enjoys eating.
Choose vegetables that don’t take up lots of room. Cucumbers and squash can be trained up a trellis. Peppers and eggplant will grow straight up with support. Containers and hanging baskets can also be used to save space. Lettuce, Swiss Chard, and herbs are perfect for containers and “Patio” and “Tumbler” tomatoes grow perfectly in hanging baskets.
Schedule plantings around the two major growing seasons, each region will vary: cool (spring and fall) and warm (summer.) Cool season vegetables include lettuce, beets, carrots, and spinach. Warm season vegetables include tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans, corn, and melons.
Sow some seeds directly into the ground as soon as it can be worked. Seeds are less expensive than buying plants, but it’s a little more time consuming and you”ll have to wait longer to harvest. Seedlings are fast and easy to transplant right into the garden, but they are also a lot more expensive. Be sure to check your last and first frost dates for your region before planting any vegetables so you don’t lose your crop, money, or time.
Make sure to water! Vegetables needs at least an inch of water a week.
Grow your own fresh vegetables and herbs chemical and pesticide free, save trips to the grocery store while saving money, and get the family together this summer to start a garden. Just follow these simple and basic steps to starting your own garden and you’ll have red ripe tomatoes and juicy melons in no time.