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Father and daughter gardening

Why you should garden and grow your own food

Quick, what’s a great way to provide good, physical activity for you and your family that can also save you money and provide fresh, healthy food? Growing a garden!

If you’re new to gardening and think it’s only for those with the greenest of thumbs, never fear. With some simple planning (for instance, start small), you can soon be enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. Just ask yourself:

  • What am I most interested in growing? Think about what fruits, vegetables or herbs are popular with your family, and how much time you want to dedicate to tending your garden. This will help guide your next steps.
  • Where should I plant? Produce and herbs need a good amount of sun, so find the best location to give that to your plants. Many people grow their gardens close to the house, because it’s just so much easier having to take one or two steps outside while cooking to pull off what you need from your garden.
  • How’s my soil? Great produce needs great soil. If your soil is still crumbly 6 inches below the surface, it’s too dry. If water runs off your soil instead of soaking in, that’s what it will do for your garden. (Another option to consider is composting.)
  • How will I plant? If your soil is too hard, maybe you want to build a raised bed. If you want to grow climbing plants like tomatoes, you could build a trellis. Take into account what method will give your plants the best sun.

Tips for growing your garden

You can grow so many wonderful and colorful types of produce with a home garden. Herbs are an easy place to start (basil, rosemary, dill, oregano), while vegetables can be grown in many ways (carrots, lettuce, green beans) and fruit possibilities are always enticing (a raspberry bush, an apple tree). The harvest time is different for many of these options, so keep that in mind as you choose what to grow.

Here are some tips to follow while growing:

  • Pay attention to the variety of seed you purchase. Some produce grows better in specific places, at specific times, or gives a certain yield.
  • Investigate the timing and spacing of your plants to grow the best yield.
  • Pick produce that your family will enjoy.

Some additional resources to help you on your way:

The time you spend growing your garden can also be some of the most therapeutic you’ll ever spend, not to mention that it’s much less expensive than buying fruits and vegetables at the grocery store every week. It’s also a great opportunity to spend quality time with your kids and teach them a valuable skill they can keep with them for life.