With summer in full swing, few things are as appealing as enjoying fresh tomatoes, basil and zucchini from a homegrown garden. The freshness of the produce is unmistakable and if you’ve had the privilege of raising the produce yourself, you get to enjoy the additional accomplishment of having raised such delicious food from the very beginning. If eating a homemade meal is satisfying, it is even more so when you’ve grown all of the ingredients from when they were seeds! If you’re one of those people that’s always dreamed of having a garden of your own, but have never known how to get started or thought the entire process was overwhelming, we’re here to help!
Right Plants for the Right Climate: Not all crops are fit for every climate. Certain varieties of lettuce might be better suited to a warm climate, while certain types of tomatoes might work better in a climate with cooler winter temperatures. Not only might certain things not work in your environment, but depending on where you live, you might start planting things sooner or later in the season to achieve maximum growth and freshness.
Start Small: Ever heard the saying, “Your eyes are too big for your stomach?” Well, that might also apply to your new garden. Make sure you pay attention to how much yield will come from the seeds you select. If there are only one or two of you in your household, having 25 tomatoes ripen within the course of 8 days may not be ideal. Gardening can also be pretty challenging, and the last thing you want to do is bite off more than you can chew. Less crops mean less work.
Listen to the Experts: Like any other sport, hobby or profession, the more you do it, the better you get. No one is expecting you to have a perfectly successful garden the very first time you try. Practice makes perfect. One great way to learn as much as you can is to consult with expert gardeners. If someone you know, a neighbor, friend or family member, has gardened before with great success, they should be your biggest ally. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice!
Plants Need Food Too: We aren’t the only living things that need ample nourishment to survive and thrive. Plants need healthy food in the way of nutrient dense soil, sunshine and water. When you go to pick out a fertilizer, make sure you aren’t sacrificing quality for price. The slightly cheaper soil won’t be worth it if your carrots only grow to be 1-2 inches long. You also want to be careful in your proportions. Make sure your crops are getting enough water and sun, but not too much.
Learn From Your Mistakes: So you’ve completed your first year of gardening and things didn’t quite turn out as planned. Perhaps you didn’t give each crop enough room to grow or maybe your kale became infested with bugs. Again, no one is expecting your first year to go off without a hitch! Instead of getting upset or abandoning gardening all together, pay attention to what mistakes you may have made and correct them for next year. The more mistakes you make, the safer you will be against mistakes in the future!