Friday, April 13, 2012
Gardening Methods Everyone Should Try | Family Economics
One of the best ways to start incorporating more organic, local and fresh ingredients onto your dinner table is to grow your own garden. It does take a little investment to get it started, but that investment can easily be earned back within the first year or two of your gardening efforts.
Add a little extra flavor to your breakfast, lunch and dinner with some fresh herbs. If you have a windowsill that gets the right amount of sunlight in your home, you could grow herbs year-round in small pots or a medium planter. Smaller containers can be moved outdoors during the late spring and summer months, and then inside during late fall and winter months giving you a fresh supply of herbs anytime you need them.
A few small containers with some dirt and seeds or starter plants would only cost $10 to $15; maybe even less if you can score some containers at a yard or garage sale. Not a bad price for year-round herbs. Let’s be honest, you probably paid at least that in a few months buying the little containers of herbs at $3 a piece at the grocery store!
I’ve often heard people say that they just don’t have the space to grow anything because they live in an apartment with a balcony or they live in the city where they don’t have any “dirt to dig into.” If that’s the case, then go grab a few medium or large pots.
You can easily grow any kind of peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, broccoli and bush bean plants. You could also grow vine-growing plants like green beans or string beans and cucumbers by placing the containers near a trellis for the vine to attach and grow.
Use rich dirt that is full of nutrients so your plants can grow healthy and strong. With container gardens, make sure each plant has the right specialized fertilizers and nutrients they need. Note that tomato plants need different “food” than pepper plants or bean plants.
Keep bugs off with a “soap spray” and use fencing around your garden to keep out larger critters.
Square Foot Gardening
Square foot gardens also work well for novice gardeners and those with little yard space or sun or who just want to try out gardening. The upkeep of square foot gardens is minimal because of their small size. It takes less time to weed, less time to water and you can get lots of great produce from a 4x4 garden. Learn more about square foot gardening and read about my square foot garden experiences from past years.
What’s holding you back from growing a few things in a small garden this year? Are there any tips that you would add?