A beginner’s guide to growing your own food

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19Jun

Living sustainably is something that everyone should strive to do. More and more companies are producing and manufacturing food with high levels of chemicals and artificial colors and preservatives. These things are terrible for our bodies and for our children. To help prevent the terrible intake of these chemicals and to improve our overall health and well being, it is time that we all start thinking about growing our own food.

When you grow your own food you know exactly what you are putting into your body. You do not need to question if you sprayed it with chemicals or if there is a possible runoff in the water your crops are getting. While it may be a little challenging at first, it is well worth the effort to grow your own food. Here are some of the best tips to help you start growing your own food.

1) Think About What You Eat

One of the most important things you need to do before you start to grow your own food is to think about what you will actually eat. When you walk into a store you will likely become overwhelmed with the thought of all the different seeds you are able to purchase. Make a list of the different kinds of fruits and vegetables that you actually eat. Do not purchase things that you know you will not eat because this will likely be a waste of time and money.

2) Start Small

When most people think of growing their own food they may become overwhelmed. Try to avoid taking on too much at once. There is no reason that you need to try and grow everything in the first year. The key to having a successful yield is to start out small. Make sure you are able to manage the foods you want to grow. If you plant too much, you will be forced to do all the work or give up. If you start small, you will be more likely to follow through until the end of the season. Therefore, it is recommended that you pick about three foods you want to grow and then work your way up from there, year after year.

3) Decide Where To Plant

If you want to produce as much food as possible with a small number of seeds, it is critical that you understand where to plant. Pick a place in your yard that gets an adequate amount of sunlight. If you plant fruits and vegetables in the shade, they may not grow. And, if you plant them in the pure sun, they may get too much heat and will not be able to flourish either. Before you start to plant, you should observe your yard for about a week and determine which areas get the best amount of sun. Also, some fruits and vegetables require a different amount of sunlight so be sure to read the package or ask a professional.

Another thing to remember is that you do not need a yard to grow your own food. You can easily grow food from a balcony or entryway. Try using buckets or recycled plastics to grow a few fresh foods. The nice thing about growing on these types of containers is that you can bring them into your house during cold weather. This allows you to have fresh food all year long.

4) Find The Right Season

Another critical thing that you need to remember when you start growing your own food is knowing what time is best to grow. Some foods may need to be planted in May, while others can wait until June. Look at the packages of seed that you buy to find the optimal time to plant.

5) Get Others To Help

If you are unsure about what you are doing you can ask friends and family for help. The more people that you have to help, the more likely you are to have a successful season. More people means more help. While you will have to share your crops, you will also be able to share the work. This means you will have help with watering and wedding when you need it.

6) Consider A Raised Bed

One of the most underestimated ways to have a successful yield and reduced work is to put in some extra time up front. If you take a few days before planting season to build your own raised garden bed, it will pay off.

A raised garden bed allows you the ability to get the garden off the ground. This reduces the number of pests and wildlife that will enter your garden. It will also make planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting much easier. It allows you to get off your knees and prevents injuring your back and legs.

7) Keep Track of What Grows

If you are going to take the time to plant your own garden, you should take the time to keep track of what food actually grows. Record how many fruits and vegetables you get. Once the season is over you can refer back to this journal to decide which plants are worth trying again the next year and which ones you may not want to grow the following year.

8) Buy Reputable Seeds

While it may be tempting to buy cheap seeds from a dollar store, this may not be ideal. While they will likely grow into something, they may not produce the best tasting food possible. If you are going to take the time to grow your own food, make sure you get the best. You may even want to consider skipping seeds and purchasing a plant that is already in a mature stage. This will guarantee that you get food earlier and that it will likely be better tasting.

There are tremendous benefits to growing your own food and it is never too late to start. This year, try using some of these tips to help you get started on living a healthier lifestyle.

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