Whether you live in the city or the suburbs having a garden always livens up your home. The lush, green environment and beautiful flowers not only make your home more welcoming but also more visually appealing.
One great way to improve your home and save money at the same time is to make a garden where you can plant your own herbs, fruits and vegetables. This gives you the freedom to enjoy them whenever you want without having to visit the grocery store.
The question is, how do you grow an edible garden?
Below we go through each of the steps you can follow to enjoy your own edible garden at home even if you have no experience in gardening. It’s perfect for beginners who want to delve in the hobby while being able to grow their own food.
Benefits of Growing an Edible Garden
Before we get to the steps in creating your own edible garden, let’s discuss some of the reasons why you may want to spend some time doing so.
After all, you can get similar items from the grocery store or farmer’s market. So why bother to do it yourself?
- Gardening is healthy. Gardening is a good hobby to take up because it keeps you active. Studies also show that it helps relieve stress and lets you mind get away from your worries.
- Fresh food. Planting your own crops allows you to choose what you want and grow them the way you want to. This lets you have an endless supply of your favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs. And, just as importantly, know that there are no additives used in the growing process.
- Save money. You will spend a little bit of money in the beginning for containers, soil, fertilizer and seeds. You’ll also need some gardening tools But, once you’re set up, additional costs are minimal. This lets you save money on food in the long run.
- You appreciate food and the environment more. Spending time growing your own food and tending the to environment not only lets you enjoy the process, but also appreciate them. This makes you feel closer to the earth and all it has to offer.
How to Grow an Edible Garden for Beginners
When it comes to growing an edible garden, or any kind of garden, you want to focus most of your energy in the three most important factors. They are:
These are the three basic necessities plants need to grow. Whether you want a greener lawn, blooming flowers or delicious vegetables, you’ll need to focus on these three things.
So, as you go down the list, always try to keep these three items in mind.
1. Find a Suitable Location for Your Garden
Depending on where you live, you’ll have different amounts of space available for your garden. The good news is, it doesn’t matter if you have a large backyard or just a small balcony. Both can work if you do things correctly.
If you live in an apartment building with no balcony or outdoor extension, you can always enjoy an indoor garden.
Ultimately, the location of your garden somewhat determines what you can plant. If you’re growing in indoor garden, you won’t be able to plant tall trees or flower beds. But it also allows you to focus on what you really like.
A common mistake for many beginners with large plots of land to work on is biting more than they can chew. That is, starting too big or growing too many kinds of crops.
2. Choose a Location with Good Sun Exposure
Sunlight is essential for plants to grow. Ideally you want a space that experiences at least 6 to 8 hours of sun exposure a day. That’s the average amounts of sun that most edible plants need to grow.
It’s worth noting that some plants will require more light, others less. So, when choosing seeds, so take a look at the packet. They’ll often tell you if the plant needs:
- Full sun: These plants need about 6 or more hours of sunlight per day.
- Part sun: Plants classified as part sun require between 3 to 6 hours of sun exposure each day.
- Part shade: These plants can thrive even when under a shade for most of the day. They do need between 3 to 6 hours of light to moderate sun exposure. And, don’t do well with intense sunlight.
- Full shade: Less than 3 hours of sunlight daily
Since edibles fall under the first group, it’s important that they get a lot of direct sunlight. Ideally, you don’t want trees, objects or other structures blocking the path of the light or casting a shade over them.
3. Good Soil
Like sunlight, good soil is another important component for growing plants. When it comes to edibles it’s important to look for soil that will help them grow. This means you want rich soil.
Here are some of the things to consider when choosing soil for your crops.
- High organic matter content. You can also add compost to help improve this.
- It has neutral pH. That is, between 6 and 7.
- Offers good drainage so that it doesn’t retain too much water.
- The soil should be able to hold nutrients to supply the roots for growth.
Keep in mind that you will need to figure out how deep each plant goes. Some species require that their roots bury deeper, others are more shallow.
This is especially important if you don’t have a lot of room and are doing container or pot gardening. Knowing how deep to plant each crop lets you get pots with the right size and depth.
Since we’re on the topic, you also have the option to how you plant your crops.
- In your backyard
- In containers
Each has their own pros and cons and types of plants better suited for them.
4. Decide What You Want to Plant
Here’s the exciting part. You get to choose which crops to grow. Ideally, you want to decide based on a few things.
- What you like to eat or use for cooking. This can be fruits, veggies or herbs.
- Size of your garden and where it’s located. Depending on how big and where you grow them some plants are more suitable for others. If you’re planting indoors fruit trees are too big. So, it’s better to get dwarf trees. There let you grow your favorite fruits and veggies like lemons or avocados.
- Plants you like that can be hard to find in your local store. This is a good idea, especially the rarer plants that aren’t always available.
- By season. Different seasons make ideal environments for different plants. Switching things up lets you enjoy more variety in what you eat and learn how different crops are grown.
- Visually appealing. Let’s face it, gardens make homes look lovely. So, you can also increase your home’s appeal by growing plants that are beautiful to look at.
Growing and Caring for Your Crops
Once you have everything set up and planned out, it’s time to grow your plants. Like all things, there’s a bit of a learning curve that comes with gardening. So, we do recommend starting with plants that are easy to grow.
Some plants like tomatoes aren’t only delicious and nutritious, they’re also easy to grow. They can withstand not so caring environments which makes them perfect for beginners.
This lets you learn gardening without feeling down on yourself because all your plants are dying. Once you get the hang of things, you can start growing other crops.
Another option are kits. Many nurseries carry growing kits that are pre-packaged for you. This makes it easier to grow the crops.
In general, when it comes to growing and caring for your edibles, you want to keep three things in mind.
- Don’t forget the fertilizer. Using fertilizer gives your plants organic matter that they use for nourishment. Ideally, the packets should contain three elements, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which help plants grow.
- Add water regularly. The amount of water each plant gets depends on their species, type of soil they’re in, amount of sunlight they get, the weather and season. The warmer, dryer the season and more sun they get, the more watering you need to so. But, make sure not to overdo it.
- Use mulch. Mulch is another important component for healthy plant growth. It helps regulate soil temperature and prevents weeds from destroying your crops.