If you have the land and ability to plant a vegetable allotment, the long-term benefits may be well worth the effort. Getting educated about how to set up a new vegetable garden can be overwhelming, though, so read on to get acquainted with some basics. The information below will hopefully answer some fundamental questions, but you can also find a vast quantity of websites and books that may be excellent resources as you get started.
What should I plant?
Grow what you will eat. While this may seem obvious, it is a waste of space, time, and money to cultivate items that won’t get any use. If you do plant vegetables or herbs that you don’t think your family will eat, consider selling them or giving them away to families who might appreciate them.
Research appropriate crops for the warm season and cool season. If you plant your garden when it’s warm, you might consider eggplant, melons, okra, capsicums, corn, cucumbers, or beans. Cool-season gardens generally thrive with crops like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, peas, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, and cabbage.
What are the benefits of vegetable gardening?
- Convenience: You never have to make that last-minute run to the store to pick up the ingredients you don’t have.
- Nutritional health: Having homegrown vegetables readily available encourages fresh eating over buying processed, pre-packaged meals. The lack of chemicals and preservatives in your garden is also a huge health benefit.
- Money Saving: You’ll keep your costs down by using more home-grown ingredients, and if your health improves thanks to the gardeing exercise and eating all those vegetables you may spend less on medication expenses and private health insurance excesses.
- Eco-Friendliness. Not only will you cut down waste by using vegetables you already have on hand, but picking out your own vegetables will cut down on waste created by shipping, packing, and storing vegetables in grocery stores.
- Great kid’s activity. Children can play active roles in cultivating your garden, whether it’s weeding, picking the vegetables, watching the plants grow, or just playing in the dirt.
How will it save me money?
- Less commutes to the grocery store. You will save time and money on petrol by cutting down your trips to the store for last minute items.
- More veggies for your money. With the purchase of a simple packet of seeds, you will grow far more vegetables than you could buy at the store with the same amount of money.
- Physical health. It takes a fair amount of physical labor to keep your garden well groomed, and that physical activity can take the place of a gym membership or pricy exercise equipment. The combination of good eating plus physical labor will also (hopefully) keep you healthier and will prevent trips to the doctor.
How do I get started?
- Set aside a plot of land on even ground that receives full sunlight for at least six hours every day. Make sure the area is also water-efficient.
- Lay down fertile topsoil or compost.
- Determine your garden’s layout. You can find out from a nursery or from your packets of seeds how each vegetable will grow best.
- Plant with seeds (less expensive) or seedlings (the sprouts of plants or herbs that have already begun to grow).
If you don’t have the land for a large outdoor garden, it’s possible to maintain a small, self-contained one within your own home or apartment. Simply use pots to grow your favorite herbs and vegetables indoors near a well-lit window. Ultimately, the initial investment is usually well worth the effort, and you will feel a sense of pride when you see those first sprouts popping up!