Have you ever considered the benefits of growing your own vegetable garden? Don’t know where to start or if you could do it? Let me put your mind at rest and encourage you and your family to grow your own vegetable garden this year. No matter how young your kids are, there is something they can assist with, all the way down to 2 years old. It can create a great bonding time as a family. Last year, my 1 and 3 year old kids would pick and eat broccoli right out of the garden!
Your garden will provide the highest quality produce, at a fraction of the price. This is an affordable way to go green and eat organic produce. By growing your own garden, there are no carbon emissions produced getting the vegetables to your table and you have control over chemical pesticides. Plus, you are guaranteed the freshest produce. Your garden will provide your family with the highest levels of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants because it is served on your table at the peak of freshness.
How to start a garden
- Focus on produce that you and your family regularly enjoy and then throw in 1 or 2 unusual plants just for fun to inspire creativity.
- Make sure your growing space is adequate. Plants and seed packets will note the required space per plant, follow these directions or your garden will look like a jungle and be hard to harvest.
- Invest in a few pieces of good equipment like a strong trowel, and shovel. I like the Good Grips brand because the handle gives you nice support and comfort when digging a lot, plus it has inches marked off on shovel making it easy to plant at the depth you need.
- Buy good gardening gloves. They will protect your hands and manicure. I prefer textured rubber coating ones when I plant or weed when the dirt is wet. I use a nice goatskin glove for when I am digging for the ultimate comfort and protection against blisters.
- Choose freshly packed seeds (dates are printed on seed packs) and start those seeds indoors NOW. OR buy seedlings already started in a greenhouse, seedlings will produce food more quickly.
- Optional: Plant marigolds around the perimeter of your garden, it creates a beautiful border as well as distracts various types of insects from your garden.
Maintain your garden
Once everything is planted in adequate space, you’ll need to maintain your garden.
- If it doesn’t rain for a couple days, water your garden, preferably in the morning.
- Watch for insects and if necessary, buy bug dust. Find organic versions at your local Lowes or Home Depot.
- Weed your garden once every week or so.
- Enjoy the bounty of your garden and share with friends, neighbors, and family!
Where I buy my seedlings
I’ve purchased my seedlings at Lowes and Home Depot and they are just fine. However, my #1 pick is Dunkler Farms. They are open April – October and offer the cheapest flowers, vegetable plants, and produce around. Their products are of good quality, healthy, and ready to be planted in your gardens. There is a great selection of vegetable plants to give your garden a head start without too much expense. For the vegetables that you don’t plant this year, visit their fruit and vegetable produce stand in mid-late summer; it is superb.