How to grow your own Food
Do you dream of harvesting your homegrown food, but just don’t know where to start? There is no better feeling than waking up to freshly picked fruits and herbs from your terrace garden and eating them for your breakfast. Growing your own food is the best game in the world, for at the end of it there is supper. There’s no such thing as an effortless crop, all edibles need attention while there are some that are easy to handle such as salad leaves, onion, garlic, tomatoes, strawberries, figs, and more. The daily plant care of watering, weeding, and harvesting rewards you with fresh, home-grown foods that really can’t be beaten.
With the right plan in hand, a home garden can easily fit the demands of tight budgets, and hectic lives for you to survive. Lucky for you, we’ve got a step-by-step guide to get you from zero to a full-grown home gardener.
Find the perfect spot:
The idea of growing your own food can seem intimidating: you need a lot of space for the plants to spread out, sun, great soil, and more, but gardening can be anything from a full-fledged patio garden to a windowsill herb garden to a few pots of cherry tomato plants on your kitchen counter. While choosing your home garden spot make sure it is easily accessible, right outside your kitchen window is the perfect spot. Conducting a soil test beforehand can come in handy as these tests can help make sure the soil isn’t contaminated and will provide the best of its nutrients.
Whether you live in a villa or an apartment, herbs are friendly enough to adjust either outside in the garden or inside on your kitchen counter in a small pot, whereas vegetables and fruits are demanding when it comes to space so allot each kind of plant their own little area.
Once you find that perfect spot, you’ll also want to consider your gardening goals. Decide realistically how much time, effort, and money you want to put into the plan. For beginners, starting small is ideal is also easy. Having the essential food items like some fruits and your favorite vegetables is the right way to start.
Know your seasons! While you are onto becoming a gardener, it is essential to know which season is best for which fruit, vegetable, and herb; this is when the harvest is the ripest. While you are onto that, there is also often a time to plant them. For planting you don’t always need proper pots, a yogurt tub will do too, as long as you punch holes for drainage. It is important to note down your planting and harvesting dates to enjoy them to the fullest.
Know the Soil:
Soil is found in different forms; chalky, clay, loamy, peaty, sandy, and silty. To test your soil, you need to take a look at it, add water, and feel it by rolling it between your hands. Observe how your soil looks and feels, whether it’s sticky, gritty, friable, or slimy. Amongst all loamy soil is the easiest to work with, it is neither too free-draining nor prone to waterlogging and is packed with nutrients.
Sow far, sow good:
Now that you have space, time, plan, and soil, it’s about time you sow those seeds in nature’s lap. The thumb rule will help you; cover the seeds with soil equal to three times their thickness or refer to the instructions on the seed packet. Some seeds, including certain lettuces, need light to sprout and should rest on the soil surface while being in reasonable contact with moist soil. Gentle tamping after sowing will help. Once you are done sowing, use a spray bottle to wet the soil again.
Pour your love on the plants:
Watering your plants wisely with room temperature distilled water is a way of showing them love. Watering can be tricky! While watering wisely is recommended, over-watering should be avoided as it promotes diseases. A goof-proof method to avoid over-watering is to check the drainage holes at repotting and ensure they are open.
Some plants are an easy target to frosts and pests. It is always a good idea to reduce the potential risk and cover them appropriately. Bedsheets, drop cloths, blankets, and plastic sheets make suitable covers but polythene is the best material that can be used to protect your plants against harsh weather conditions.
Harvesting is the final stage where you can devour these fresh foods once they are ripe. Some crops get way too comfortable than others, they prefer waiting in the ground or on the plant a little while longer until you’re ready to eat them whereas others are happier and tastier if harvested quickly. This is a crucial time, a day later and the crop is ruined so if you aren’t sure if the crop is ready or not, let your taste buds decide.
Eat it fresh:
The fact that you’ve grown it yourself is a feeling of satisfaction! So enjoy the outcome but enjoy the process more.