Growing your favorite vegetables and fruits in your own plot provides your family with healthy, tasty fresh food. A food garden is a great idea as you can grow organic produce, save money and know exactly where your food comes from. Growing your food in your own garden is not a difficult task, successful vegetable gardening requires a little bit of effort and some knowledge. You require certain basic elements such as properly sized site, good selection of vegetables, fertile soil, sufficient water, plenty of sunshine and knowledge of how to maximize the benefits of these elements. You have to use few pest control methods to keep your food garden productive.
Benefits of a food garden:
1. Growing your own vegetables in your garden can be a great physical activity that can be done with the whole family. It also helps in burning calories and is a great stress buster.
2. It is a satisfying activity that gives you a pleasant experience. Nothing can be more satisfying than watching a seed grow in to a plant with your efforts.
3. Growing your own fresh produce is much less expensive than buying it from a grocery store.
4. Food garden gives you the opportunity to grow your choice of vegetables.
Essential elements to prepare a food garden:
1. Location: Choose the site of your garden near a walkway, next to the house or someplace which is visible to sight. Choose the spot that has at least six hours of sunlight for proper growth of vegetables.
2. Soil: The next important element is fertile, well drained soil. Good quality soil provides sufficient nutrients essential for proper growth of plants. Add compost, manure, worm and leftover grass clippings to increase the fertility of the soil. You can build raised beds so that the soil is drained faster.
3. Selection of plants: Grow what you and your family like to eat. Grow variety of vegetables and try to keep them changing every year. Select the plants according to the quality and type of soil in your garden, availability of sun light and weather conditions. If you get only 3-4 hours of sun in a day, grow green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard, lettuce; or root crops such as beetroots, radish and carrots. You can also make a movable garden by planting veggies in containers and moving them to different places according to sunlight. Some of the easiest and delicious vegetables that can be grown are tomatoes, squash, beans and lettuce.
Watering is best done in the morning. Water your plants by using drip irrigation or self-watering containers. Avoid using sprinklers as over watering can do more harm to the plants. The requirements of water vary from plants to plants.
5. Pest Control:
You can take care of certain steps that help in controlling pests. Choose resistant plants that are not vulnerable to diseases. Keep your plant healthy by providing sufficient water and fertilizers. Rotation of plants also helps in preventing diseases and pests. Use insecticides or organic methods to attack pests in your food garden.
Gardening is an overwhelming experience. Enjoy it by taking baby steps to build a small food garden of your life.