Why You Should Grow Your Own Produce
Planting your own vegetables at home is not only simple, but it is also money-saving and healthy! When you plant a tomato plant that costs $3 to $5, you can harvest around 10 pounds of tomatoes over the season. Besides growing your favorite vegetables, you can even grow your own herbs to save even more money. When you plant your own crops at home, you will be guaranteed fresh flavors and textures of home-grown produce that you cannot find from standard grocery purchases. As you consume your own crops, you can also be sure that you are having safe and organic options, keeping you and your family healthy and full. Beyond that, planting can be a tedious activity as you tend to your vegetable garden, thus allowing you to get some exercise while you grow your crops at home. Vegetables are relatively easy to grow and maintain. With the right tips and tricks, anyone can grow their own vegetable garden at home!
Choose What You Love
Planting your own vegetables is both time and energy-consuming. It is therefore important that you choose to grow what you love! You can start by thinking about what you like to eat and your answer will give you some options to consider when deciding what to plant in your garden. Besides choosing what you love, there are also some considerations to keep in mind when selecting your crops:
- Warm and Cool Weather Plants: To have a continuous harvest of crops throughout the year, keep in mind to plant both cool and warm weather vegetables so that you can harvest a variety of vegetables and herbs across seasons. For spring, it will be a good time to grow some lettuce, greens like arugula, carrots, broccoli, radishes and peas. After you harvest them, you can change over to plant some hot-weather plants like peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and some herbs. In autumn, you can go for some cabbage, kale, and potatoes.
- Productivity: To be productive and efficient when growing your vegetables, you need to think about how much you and your family can eat, and how much you are going to store, or give away if there is excess produce. With these numbers in mind, you should then think about how many seeds or plants you need and can plant in your home. For crops that can be harvested throughout seasons, like tomatoes, squash and peppers, you may not need to plant as many seeds. For others that can only be harvested once, like corn, radishes and carrots, you can plant more of them or replant them as you harvest. Take note not to plant too many as it is a common mistake that many beginners make!
The Correct Size
When you first start, you may be ambitious and want to try planting a variety of crops in a big plot. However, for beginners, it is best to start small. Vegetable planting can be time and energy-consuming. You would rather focus your energy on a small plot’s production than be frustrated and tired out by the time and energy needed for a bigger plot of land. A smaller start is also a great way to learn and practice some gardening basics before you move on to commit more time and money into this new hobby. As you start, you will learn about how much time gardening takes, and whether you enjoy spending time outdoors to plant, water and weed the crops. As you harvest, you will also learn how much crops you and your family need and can eat over a period of time. A good size of land, to begin with, would roughly be about the size of a small bedroom. You can begin with about five types of vegetables to grow and plant a few of each type in your garden. A small bedroom size of land can provide you with an ample amount of fresh produce for your meals, and will not be too tiring to keep up in its maintenance. If you think that it is still a bit too much to handle, you can start even smaller or consider growing vegetables in containers that are easier to manage. Growing plants in containers don’t require a yard and all you need is to put them in a sunny area like a balcony.
We all know that plants need their dose of the sun to carry out photosynthesis. Photosynthesis helps to convert light energy into glucose, which are used by plants to make food like starch and substances like cellulose. Most plants require about six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day, without being blocked by trees, fences or shrubs. If you place your plants in a dimly-lit place, the chances of success are low and you will not get the crops you have in mind. If you do not have a space that provides unblocked access to sunlight, fret not as there are still other ways to grow your plants. Choose to plant vegetables and herbs that can tolerate partial shade like kale, spinach, chives, parsley, lettuce and thyme. Root vegetables can also grow in such an environment if there are at least four hours of direct sunlight.
Plants also need the appropriate amount of water to thrive and grow well. Providing sufficient water is important especially in warm and dry regions. In the early stages after the seeds first germinate, frequent watering is needed to nourish the plant and keep it strong. Once your plant grows, you have to change to water it once in a few days so that the water will enter deep into the soil, allowing the roots to grow deeper. This ensures better protection and more nutrients to keep the plants strong and healthy.
These are just some of the most basic and simple considerations to keep in mind when you begin planting your own vegetable crops at home. Planting your own vegetables can be easy, but it also requires plenty of time and energy; so be sure that you can commit to this hobby before starting. Last but not least, remember to be patient and learn from your mistakes to get a better harvest the next time you try!