With the rising costs of food and a trend toward eating more natural foods, it is no wonder that the number of home gardens have surged in the past couple of years. A garden may take more work than just stopping by the local grocery store, but the benefits of having your own garden at home are 1) saving money, 2) enjoying the outdoors, and 3) knowing that you are helping to sustain yourself and your family. That last concept can be pretty empowering when you realize you are capable. Here is a list of steps to get started.
Create a list of the types of plants (flower/food) you would like to grow in your garden.
Stop by your local nursery for some good quality seeds or to get a copy of a seed catalog. Look for heritage seeds, which means you can harvest seeds to plant in next year’s garden from the flowers/food that you harvest in this year’s garden.
Choose a location, if you haven’t already started a garden. Look for a flat, sunny spot.
Clear the ground in your chosen spot and add a layer of compost to tilled soil to add nutrients and prepare the soil for hosting new life.
Plant your seeds. Follow the instructions on the packets for each particular flower/food.
Ensure that your seeds receive water daily.
Work to keep weeds from crowding out seeds by putting a layer of mulch around seeds and pulling weeds as necessary.
Enjoy the process of being connected to what you grow. If you are growing fruits or vegetables, be sure to involve the whole family in the process. Children should learn that food comes from the ground, not from a shelf.
What are you planting and when does your planting season begin? Here in Maine, we should not plant outdoors until mid-May.