Start Your Own Food Garden in These 10 Steps
Growing your own garden is highly rewarding.
Not only is it an opportunity to put fresh-grown veggies on the dinner table, but it's also therapeutic.
The question is, where do you start?
Look no further.
We’ve broken down 10 steps you can follow to get your own garden up and running. Enjoy!
Step 1. Choose what you want to grow. The first step is pretty simple: Pick out the plants you want to grow in your home garden. As a rule of thumb, if you aren't going to eat it, don't grow it (aside from flowers, of course).
Keep in mind the size of your gardening area, how much you can store, and your climate. If a plant doesn't grow well in your particular climate, you may want to choose another. Here's a handy link to help you figure out which plants will grow best in your climate.
Step 2. Decide on a location. The next task is to figure out where you want your garden. Front yard or back yard? Will the plants need direct sunlight or will they need to be in a shady area? Where is the best place to put the plants so that wildlife (or the neighbor's dog) won't disturb them?
Keep all of these things in mind as you decide on your garden location.
Step 3. Plan out your garden bed. Garden beds can be raised, level, or sunken depending on the moisture in your climate. A raised bed looks nice, but it can dry out easily. In dry climates, a sunken bed will help accumulate more moisture.
Think of your home garden in beds or blocks of plants rather than single rows. It's best to keep them 3–4 feet wide and around 10 feet (or less) in length.
Make sure all plants have plenty of room to grow. Keep companion plants close to each other.
Limited on space? You can also try vertical gardening.
Step 4. Invest in the basic gardening tools. To start off, you'll need some basic tools:
- Gardening shovel
- Garden hoe
- Scuffle hoe
- Leaf rake
- Dirt rake
Step 5. Test your soil quality. You'll want to test the quality of your soil to ensure there aren't any contaminants and that it isn't too acidic or alkaline. In general, you want your soil's pH to be around 7 (neutral).
You can test your soil with a soil testing kit, which you can find online or at your local home improvement store.
Step 6. Prepare your soil. The majority of plants prefer fertile soil that is deep and well drained. To prepare your soil, you will need plenty of organic matter, like compost or manure.
Step 7. Choose high-quality seeds or transplants. If you don't start with the right seeds or transplants, you're more likely to run into frustration in the future.
Do your research and find out where the best-quality seeds or transplants are.
Tip: You can have them shipped right to your door!
Step 8. Plant your garden. If you look at your seed packets or transplant containers, you'll find basic instructions on how to plant them.
If your soil is ready, the next step is to jump right in and start planting!
Step 9. Give your garden some care and attention. Once you've planted your seeds or transplants, you'll need to nurture your garden. Check on your plants frequently.
In general, you'll want to give your plants one inch of water a week. You may also need to add more nutrients to the soil over time.
Step 10. Harvest and enjoy. If you're patient, your crops will mature and you'll need to get ready to harvest. Each plant will take different amounts of time to fully mature — so keep your eye out.
Most of all, be patient and enjoy the process. If your garden doesn't work out the first time around, there's always next year to try it all again.
To your health,
President, Longevity Insider HQ