Start Your Garden~ 5 Easy Steps to Get Started TODAY
Gardening has become one of my favorite pastimes over the past couple of years. There's something about caring for and nurturing seeds to grow into plants and eventually food that you can then eat! This process is so rewarding and beautiful, through which I have not only grown closer with nature, but grown a greater appreciation for mother nature and plants. In this post, the main focus will be growing food. Living in times of uncertainty such as now, gardening, growing and producing our own food source could be very beneficial and healing. Now this is not to say that everyone can be a "Farmer Brown" as my granny would say, but growing a bucket of peppers or tomatoes or okra on your back porch isn't as difficult as you may think. Growing your own food is a way to be empowered by feeling confident and worry free about where your food is sourced, that it is free from pesticides or other harmful chemicals and can even save you money. Starting a garden doesn't have to be as complicated as you think. Growing your own food is possible whether you live in an apartment or a home with a backyard. Small planters or buckets can be ideal for planting in a small living situation. Here are five quick tips to get your garden started today:
Decide what you want to plant- this is the first step to preparing for a successful garden. Researching what plants do well in the temperature climate where you live is a MUST. Planning what you want to grow is important and also helps you to be more realistic about what will actually work for you especially if this is your first time growing on your own. Since I've been gardening for a couple years now, I keep a journal with all my plants- previous and present and document when I planted them.
Find a location that gets plenty of sun- before planting you want to choose a location that gets a good amount of sun throughout the day. This year when starting my garden, I started all of my plants from seed in the house and sat them in the window seal. Majority of the plants did very well and once they were seedlings and big enough I transplanted them into my garden.
Purchase quality soil- soil is SO SO important for a successful garden and divine plants that will be harvested for you to enjoy. This year I composted for the first time, by savings scraps from food that I ate- fruit and vegetable peels, and other food scraps and added it to my soil before transplanting my seedlings. Composting provides extra nutrients to the soil for healthy and strong plants. I also added organic soil (which in my opinion is a must especially if you don't compost). Organic soil is the way to go! I was able to find a fairly large bag from Big Lots for about $10. Which if you're staring off small is more than enough.
Begin planting- be mindful not plant too much in a small area, I learned this the hard way. Be sure not plant too many seeds too close together this will only be a hindrance to the plants and they will not grow properly (they will stunt one another's grow). Distribute the seeds evenly (based on the instructions of the packet) and if you don't use them all no worries, store them for another time. I started my plants in a cups that I had recycled, added some soil and my seeds and a little water.
Keep a record to know when to harvest- as I mentioned earlier, you want to keep track of what your growing and especially the more you decide to grow and to know when to pick your food. I've learned that things can go to waste if you do not know when to harvest or pick them. Keeping record also helps if you decide to grow the following year.
Pictured from left to right: Broccoli, Celery, Collards and along the front are black eyed peas