How To Start A Garden That Feeds Your Family
Interested in starting a garden? Don’t know where to start? Well, you are at the right place! This is the beginning of my gardening series for those of you that want step by step guidance on gardening.
There is so much information out there on gardening that anyone can become a pro gardener, but it’s also so much information that you may not even know where to start, what info is the best, and what will work or not work for your area and ground.
Let’s start with the basics. Before setting up a garden and diving in planting and watering and killing your plants before you even get started, let’s start with planning the garden. This is important because failing at gardening usually come from poor planning. Even if you plan but still feel like you are a plant killer and have the opposite of a “green thumb”, I will help you along the way to avoid all of that!
Let’s get started!
What Do You Like To Eat?
Before starting a vegetable garden, you need to decide what you would like to grow. To make this decision, ask yourself “what do I like to eat?” Focus on growing things you actually like to eat. This makes the gardening process more enjoyable because you now look forward to enjoying the vegetables that YOU grew in your favorite meals!
The idea that you can have the vegetables you love just by going out in your backyard does something for the whole gardening motivation. If you grow things just because you feel it’s something that should be in a garden but you don’t necessarily enjoy that vegetable, you be as excited about it and you won’t have anything to look forward to, except forcing yourself to eat something you don’t like all because you put in so much work to grow it.
Make a list of vegetables you enjoy eating. Start with about 5 vegetables. For me, my favorites are corn, cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, and spinach. This will be my five. I will go through the process using these five as examples, so pick and write down you five vegetables and consider the next question.
Where do you want to place your garden? Look around your yard. Where would be a good place to grow your vegetable garden? What area has good sunlight through the day? Do you want the garden visible from the front yard, or do you want it out of sight? Do you want the garden close to the house or on the far end of the yard? My garden will be about halfway between the far end of the backyard and the house and along the side. Pick your spot and start with the next step.
Prep The Ground
Prepping the ground means digging up the ground and removing the grass and any weeds. This softens and loosens the ground to get it ready for planting. This also clears the garden area of extra growth (grass and weeds). Once the area is dug, now is a good time to start, what I call, “feeding” the soil. Add gardening soil, fertilizer and start watering.
I must say, this part of gardening is probably the hardest part. It takes work, strength, and perserverence to get through this stage of gardening. My first time gardening, I realized that digging up the ground and prepping it was hours of work and it developed lots of sweat and blisters (Remember to use gardening gloves! You will need them!)
Once the ground is prepped for gardening, you will do less sweating from this point. That’s not bad! At least you are not working your tail off every time you work in the garden! You want to treat this now prepped ground as if it is already a full grown garden and water it and keep the weeds out.
To me, gardening makes you feel like a kid again (playing in dirt!) =D
Use Gardening Literature
Once your gardening ground is prepped, let’s now read up on some gardening literature. When I started gardening, my dad told me that my grandma referred to The Farmers Almanac as a guide. So, I did the same thing. You can get the book or check out the website. Basically, you want information that will tell you when and how to start growing your vegetables in your area, how long to grow them, and when and how to harvest.
For me, starting my vegetables will be around February to April. Some plants need to start from a small pot indoors and some can be planted as a seed directly in the ground. Reading up on how to properly grow your plants before you get started will give you background information so that when you get started, you already have an idea of what to do, why, and what the outcome should be.
I also suggest finding one other book that fits your reading style to help you along with your gardening. You want to find something that actually gives you information on the plants you need information on. Getting too many books will overwhelm you and lead to confusion and handling your plants the wrong way. Keep it simple and keep it focused on what you want to grow!
Thanks for reading!!!
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