The great thing about starting a garden is that you can taking a running leap and cannon ball into it, or you can start small and just test the waters with the tip of your toe.
This post is part 1 of a series to answer all of the gardening questions I have received in comments, Facebook posts, and by email.
Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a gardening expert. I am simply someone who was raised on gardening and has enjoyed growing vegetables and fruits for most of my adult years now. I enjoy helping others discover gardening. I am constantly learning new things and new ways.
There are going to be times when you really don’t want to get out to weed and work, BUT if you remain focused on the benefits of your garden, it is a great reminder of why we planted a garden in the first place.
A few of the benefits to keep in mind:
- a garden produces a supply of vegetables and fruits that are at their freshest and healthiest.
- no GMO frankenstein foods!
- there is a great satisfaction in enjoying a meal that you grew.
- our family’s time in the garden together is always filled with great conversations, laughter, and enjoying being together. The view of our garden through the children’s eyes is full of new things, amazement, and simple joy.
- not only can you greatly increase the amount of healthy food that you and your family eat, you can also reduce the amount of food you purchase and save money! The money savings can be extended through the year by freezing, canning, drying, and dehydrating foods harvested from your garden.
- the lessons that children (and adults) can learn in the garden are almost limitless. To name just a few: how seeds grow, root systems, beneficial garden bugs, where food comes from, photosynthesis, and so many more.
The first question to answer when starting a garden is, “Where are you going to put it?”.
The area you choose should be:
- relatively flat, or you will have to build level garden beds to keep your soil, seeds, and plants from being washed away.
- receive at least 6 hours of full sun.
- be in a protected area to guard against either intentional or unintentional harm from animals and children. Fencing may be necessary.
Next comes choosing what to grow.
- Be realistic. Some things are just not going to grow in some regions.
- Check to see what zone you are in and what grows best there.
- Choose foods that you know you and/ or your family likes. Yes, I do recommend growing something that you have not had before, but most of your choices should be ones that you know you will eat.
- Choose foods you are willing to commit the time to. What does that mean? While many plants are seasonal, some plants are multi-year investments. Rhubarb and asparagus are two examples of food that takes a year or more to be ready to harvest.
- Put real thought in where you buy your seeds from. We only grow heirloom seeds. Here’s a little info on that.
You have a few decisions to make. Take a little walk around your yard to determine the best spot for a garden. Remember, the sun in the summer is in a different place in the sky right now! What is sunny today may be shaded too much in the summer.
Coming up in part 2: a few of the different kinds of gardening (which suits you best?) and getting your soil ready.
I have been pinning quite a few garden ideas on Pinterest. You can follow me and check them out. You can find me as ContentedRhen or Rhen @Yes, they are all mine.
~Do you have any gardening benefits you would add to the list above?~
Always in God’s hands,
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