Owning a garden is one of life’s great pleasures. There is something enjoyable, meditative, and soul-cleansing about spending time in the sunshine or shade while tending your crops. And as you may already know, the most exciting part is the harvest – when plucking some fresh collard greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, fruits, or spices for dinner!
Yes, starting a home vegetable garden from scratch is not always a walk in the park, at least not for anyone without a green thumb. But with a little bit of planning and some basic knowledge, pretty much anyone can do it! If you’re wondering how to get started with growing your own food as a complete, “green” beginner, read on for some insights and crucial steps you should take.
Why You Should Grow Your Own Food
There are plenty of reasons to consider growing your own food at home. These Include:
For one, it’s a great way to save money on groceries. According to recent statistics, the average American family spends roughly 37 percent and 32 percent of their fruit and vegetable budget on fresh fruits and veggies respectively. This accounts for about $600+ annually on these two commodities alone per year, other groceries aside. Growing your own produce can help cut down on that cost.
Additionally, homegrown food provides you with greater control over the quality and safety of what you’re eating. You can choose to grow your crops organically, so you don’t have to worry about consuming harmful chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides. You also know exactly where your food has come from and how it was grown, which can give you peace of mind.
An Exciting Activity
Finally, gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a great way to get outside and get some exercise while spending time in nature. And there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of biting into a juicy tomato or crisp cucumber that you’ve grown yourself!
How to Get Started Growing Your Own Food
Are you excited enough to start cultivating your own veggies, fruits, spices, herbs, and other healthy produce at home? If so, here are some simple steps to get started:
1. Choose The Right Location For Your Garden
Pick a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight and has good drainage. If you have a small space, you can even grow food in containers on your porch or balcony. With the right resources, you can even grow your food in the basement!
2. Try CEA Farming to Grow Food Indoors
One of the best things about modern-day farming is that you can even grow crops indoors. This is all thanks to the discovery of technologies that allow you to replicate the outdoor environment even in the darkest corners of your indoor space. It is achievable through controlled environment agriculture, or CEA farming techniques, a big part of which involves using LED lights to provide the plants with light spectrums similar to those of natural light.
Alongside hydroponics, temperature, and humidity control, these techniques are also commonly used to expand food production in larger greenhouse facilities where space is limited.
3. Get the Right Supplies
At the very least, you’ll need soil, seeds or plants, fertilizer, water, and some basic gardening tools like a trowel, rake, and hoe. These will help you plant your favorite crops and keep your garden maintained
4. Prep the Soil
Use a garden fork or tiller to loosen up the soil in your planting area. This will help your plants’ roots take hold and grow strong. Add compost, manure, or organic fertilizer to improve the fertility of the soil. If you’re growing your food hydroponically, make sure you have all the plant’s needed nutrients beforehand.
5. Plant Your Seeds or Plants
Follow the instructions on the seed packet or plant label for spacing and depth. Water well and keep the soil moist until your plants are established.
6. Care for Your Plants
Once they’re growing, make sure to keep an eye on them and give them the occasional watering and fertilizing according to their needs.
Steps To Start Growing Your Own Food
Assuming you have some space to grow a garden, there are six key steps to take when you want to start growing your own food at home.
1. Choose what you want to grow
Do some research on what fruits, vegetables, or herbs do well in your climate and area. Consider how much sun and shade your yard gets, as different plants need different amounts of each. You may also want to think about whether you want to grow annuals (plants that only last one growing season) or perennials (plants that come back year after year).
2. Get your soil tested
This step is important so you can know what nutrients your soil is lacking. This information will help guide you in deciding which plants to choose, as well as what amendments or fertilizers you may need to add to the soil.
3. Prepare your garden bed
Once you know what you’re going to plant, it’s time to get the garden bed ready. Depending on your gardening approach, this involves removing any weeds or debris, tilling the soil, and adding any amendments or fertilizers that were recommended based on your soil test results.
4. Plant your seeds or starts
You can either start plants from seed indoors and then transplant them outdoors later or purchase young plants (called “starts”) from a nursery. If starting from seed, be sure to plant them at the correct depth and keep them evenly watered.
5. Keep up with maintenance
Once your plants are in the ground, you’ll need to keep up with regular maintenance tasks like weeding, watering, pruning, and fertilizing. These are all important steps in helping your garden thrive.
6. Harvest and enjoy!
Finally, once your food is ready, it’s time to harvest and enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor! Be sure to celebrate your successes, no matter how small. It takes a lot of hard work and consistency to get there.
Gardening is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy some fresh air, and get in touch with nature. And, it’s also a great way to grow your own food! If you’re thinking about getting started with gardening, this article provides some great tips to get you started.