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Are you looking to grow your own food garden, but you're hesitant because it's 'hard'? Don't worry! Once you know what you're doing, gardening is quite easy. And there are several great starter crops. Growing your own food is important for many reasons. Maybe you're concerned about knowing just where your food's come from. Or what chemicals commercial growers used on it. Or perhaps you're wanting to save (or earn) a little cash here and there.
So How to Go About Your Garden?
If space is not an issue, traditional in-ground methods are always a great way to garden!
That all depends on you. Is space tight? Or are looking to do more patio gardening? You should consider container and square foot gardening methods. A personal favorite of mine that is both low cost and space efficient is 'bag gardening'. You can see a demonstration of this in this YouTube video: here.
We have had huge success with this method. But for veggies that need deep root systems there are better techniques. Once you have a level of comfort with any system, you can always tweak it to make it even more space and cost efficient.
What About Window Box Gardening?
You can grow a variety of edibles on your window ledges using window boxes or similar methods. Great candidates for these include berries like strawberries. Or try leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. Yummy salad additions like radishes and green onions are great too! You can also grow a variety of herbs, including basil, thyme, chives, oregano, sage, and parsley.
Window box gardening is quite easy. Most plants that grow using this method are both easy to cultivate and maintain.
Can Climate Affect Even Indoor Gardens?
Climate can come into play even when you choose to do your garden entirely indoors. This is because you have complete control over the temperature of your house. Cold temperatures may stunt the growth of some plants if you're like me and prefer to keep the house chilly. Others may become sunburned and wilt in the sunlight provided through a window if you have a hot summer.Always do research on the types of plants you're wanting to grow. And make sure that you have a suitable climate or can keep your home at a temperature for those plants.
So What Are the Easiest Veggies to Grow?
Think about anything to flavor your dishes or make an excellent salad. If you want to grow plants with deep roots like carrots, large container methods are best. Or you'll need to put them in the ground! But, it is possible to grow indoors or on a patio.
- Perennials - Nature designed perennials for long term survival. And this means perennial fruit trees and berry bushes can be very low maintenance.
- Strong Growers - For low maintenance is plant something that won't be overcome by weeds.
- Herbs - You can't go wrong with just about any herb. Almost all of them are very hardy and easy to care for. You can save a surprising amount of money by skipping out on them at the grocery store. And they add tons of rich flavor to any dish you make!
- Carrots - These hardy roots don't need too much TLC to thrive, and they have very little in the way of pests that want to get at them. They prefer loamy and sandy soils.
- Beans - Bush beans are my personal favorite as they don't need any sort of trellis. This makes them especially easy for beginners. They come in several varieties, and they do well in a variety of soils. Don't be afraid to play around with them.
- Leafy greens - There are a variety of leafy greens, from several types of lettuce to spinach to arugula. Most of them do very well indoors and even in small container gardens. One of the things I love so much about greens like lettuce is that you can continue to harvest off of the same few plants. You don't destroy the plant every time you use it.
- Squash - Yes, you absolutely can grow squash as a gardening newbie, and in confined spaces. These vines can get big, but they're more than manageable with the right tools, such as a trellis. If you're worried about pests, you can also incorporate netting.
- Cherry tomatoes - Out of all tomatoes cherry tomatoes are the easiest to grow. This means they are perfect for new gardeners. They're great in most soils and in all climates - excluding cold climates. Pests can be a problem with this plant, but it's nothing that a pest net or light pesticides can't take care of.
So newbie gardeners, don't fret. You can start growing an edible garden on the cheap, regardless of space, right away. Just be aware of what zone you're in. Pay attention to any special soil requirements and you'll grow your own dinner in no time!
Have questions? Advice? Comments? Maybe you just want to brag about your latest crop, or share a recipe from your garden? Please leave a comment and let me know what's on your mind!