A Guide to Greens: Taking Care of a Food Garden

A Guide to Greens: Taking Care of a Food Garden

source:  www.pinterest.co.nz

Have you ever tasted an apple right after it is picked from a tree?  It tastes oh so different than the same variety purchased at a grocery store.  Growing, harvesting and eating food that you grow in your garden will provide produce that is healthier and more delicious.  For many people, there is a bit of an intimidation when it comes to growing their own food. Whether it seems too difficult, or they just don’t know the basics, far too often people rely on the grocery store rather than the easy option to grow at home.  If you are interested in learning more about transforming your outdoor space into a food garden then this article is for you.

  1. Back to Basics

Plants cannot survive without water and sun.  These two basic elements will make or break your garden.   Not too little, not too much. Find a trusted place to purchase irrigation supplies before setting up your garden.   Quality irrigation will result in strong roots and healthy growth. Most vegetables will need around 1 inch of water from rain or irrigation a week.  Or enough so the top 6 inches of soil doesn’t dry out completely. The best method is to water vegetables once or twice a week, near the base of the plant. Although certain vegetables may require more frequent watering during hot or dry weather.  

  1. Feed Your Plants

While sun and water are the cornerstones for a healthy garden, you will also need to pay particular attention to the soil in which your plants live.   If you gather a bunch of sand from the beach and try to plant a garden, you will be sorely disappointed. The majority of vegetable varieties will require fertilization before planting.  Simply said, this means your plants need healthy soil that is enriched with specific minerals.  Head to your nearest nursery and find what fertilizer is best for your specific plants. Additional fertilizer can also benefit the vegetables after planting so keep an eye on your plants and if they look a bit lackluster maybe a fertilizer boost is the answer!

  1. Tidy it Up

Once you create a warm and nurturing environment for your plants then other unwanted plants will try to capitalise on the space.  A very important aspect of garden maintenance is regular weeding of the space.  This will ensure all the sun, water and nutrients are going to your food plants.  Make sure to get to the weeds quickly before they grow roots into your garden bed.

  1. Other Mouths

Once your garden is in full bloom you won’t be the only one who wants to chomp on those veggies.  Beware of critters and pests that will invade your garden the second your turn your head. There are many organic and all natural ways to get rid of common garden pests such as aphids and slugs.  So, don’t feel like you need to introduce harsh chemicals to your gardens to ensure it is pest-free.

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Remember that apple I asked you about earlier?  Well, take that experience and multiply it when you sit down to a salad of fresh greens, tomatoes, onions and herbs grown all in your own garden.  Whether you just have space to grow basic fresh herbs, or your backyard has transformed into a lifestyle veggie plot, the health and flavour benefits will outweigh all fears you may have about starting a garden.  Don’t delay, the planting season is just around the corner!

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