Planting a Personal Garden: Come on Guys, You Can Do it
When you live in a rural area, as I do, backyard gardening is a commonly seen and many times, very important part of many of our lives. The growing of our own produce in a backyard always seems so… “fun?” ,but can often times involve backbreaking work, weeks of preparation, and vigilance, once the plants have been planted. All this being said, it truly can be a great asset to you and your family’s nutritional needs, as well as your wallets. So if you have decided to prove your family and friends wrong, that “I can too, grow my own produce!”, here are some steps and some things to watch for as the planting season approaches, to have the best crop yield possible.
What if I’m a beginner?
If you have never attempted to plant a garden, it may not be a bad idea to start off small. Container gardens are very popular in areas where you have less ground to work with, or would like to keep your garden small until you are ready to take on a larger space and quantity of plants. Small raised garden boxes are also a great option for your own personal garden, that will help yield a larger quantity of produce and handle larger plants as well. Or if you want to start off much smaller, small herb gardens or a few tomato plants are a great place to start. Maintenance can be much less, and you can still enjoy some great homegrown produce until you are ready to tackle a full array of plants.
Slowly growing your knowledge and size of garden, that keeps you from biting off more than you can chew and becoming overwhelmed with all of the time it can take to plant a personal garden, is probably the best way to start.
Start your planting season indoors
Before the actual planting season begins, it may not be a bad idea to start your planting season indoors. It may help give you a leg up on the growing season and will most definitely be cheaper than buying starter plants. Depending on the plant, your location, and your area’s last frost date, the best time to plant may vary. Starting a seedling in a controlled temperature environment, with better ability to watch it’s growth, as well as within your everyday vision to help remind you to water it regularly, is never a bad idea. You can begin almost any type of plant indoors, and you can even make it a fun project for the whole family to enjoy.
Get the family involved
Involving the children in the growing of your garden can be a fun experience. Now I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that kids will enjoy weeding a garden, because if they are anything like me, they will not. But the process of growing a plant from a seed into a fruit from the garden, is a very rewarding experience for a child to be involved with. And hey, maybe they will actually eat their broccoli if they helped grow it… just a thought.
Larger scale gardening
Now for the parts that you don’t want to hear about… The garden preparation. If you have decided to tackle the backyard garden on a larger scale, there of course will be much more preparation involved. Tilling the ground up, using animal manure, ash, compost, etc. to help enrich the soil, planting of the seeds, and weeding the garden. If you are going to plant and grow plants organically, or without any pesticides (which I highly recommend) there will be more work going into the tending of the garden. No round up, or pesticides will result in more weeds and more bugs, but less chemicals on your plants. If these sorts of things do not bother you, than have at it with chemicals and pesticides, and the work involved will most definitely be lessened.
To help with ease of maintaining a garden, the way that you plant your garden will play a large part in this. In a larger scale garden, planting in rows is probably the most popular and known way to plant your garden. There are many reasons for this including: ease of weed maintenance, ease of walking between rows to pick the fruits of the plant, and more room for plants to expand without resistance from another plant. There are other methods when you are planting a smaller garden, but I would recommend this method if a larger garden is something that you would like to tackle.
The pros of planting a backyard garden can most definitely outweigh the cons. Fresh produce at your fingertips, the possibility of canning or freezing to help your produce grocery bill through the winter, the family time that can be spent tending to the garden, and much more. Get out there and start your garden today!