For most of us, the garden is preserved as a safe haven where one can retreat to with a good book or glass of wine and kick back and relax.
Gardens are our very own little slice of nature, however, gardens can also serve a purpose far greater than a spot to grow some grass and invite friends and family over for BBQs. With the right equipment and dedication, gardens can be used to grow your own fruit and vegetables.
Growing your own Food
Before heading to the shops and filling your basket with all of the seeds that you can get your hands on, if you are serious about keeping your own self-sufficient garden you will need to do the proper planning.
Go out into your garden and consider where you can plant seeds and what type of food you will be growing. It is important to take into consideration each plant’s different needs – you will need the right location, space and time to dedicate.
Smaller gardens will, of course, have more limitations than larger patches, so you will want to focus on vegetables that require less room to grow such as leafy plants that keep growing after cutting off sections. Herb gardens are very easy to keep and can be kept in containers or boxes and left to grow.
Also, only look to grow what you like. There is little point in dedicating the time to grow something that neither you nor anyone you know will unless you are looking to sell some of your freshly grown fruit and veg.
Mark out your Garden
Divide your garden into sections, just as you would when looking to plant normal flowers. As each set of crops will have their own needs – i.e. some will require more sunlight than others – ensure that each section caters for that plant’s requirements.
Ideally, depending on how much space you have to play with, you can mark off a section for compost – making your own compost is a cost-effective and greener alternative to buying packs from the shop.
Although you are looking to make your garden self-sufficient, that doesn’t mean it cannot be somewhere that you can’t still retreat to in search of relaxation. Break up sections with colourful flowers and other outdoor features and furniture – with the right decoration your organic garden will be a magnificent slice or paradise.
Preserving your food can be a difficult task if you have not got the correct materials available to you. If you are located in a dry area you may want to take a look at storage tanks to harvest rainwater – this will cut down on costs when watering your crops.
Greenhouses are another favourite for home farmers looking to keep stock of crops as they are available in numerous sizes and catered for all budgets. Not only do greenhouses maintain the necessary conditions to grow, they also keep insects and other wildlife away from ruining your harvest.
With the correct preservation methods put in place, you will be able to enjoy your self-grown food all year round, even in the cold winter months.
Why Grow an Organic Garden
While the work and initial costs of self-sufficient gardening can be a little daunting, in the long run, it is beneficial both from a health and financial point of view. When purchasing any fruit and vegetables all shops place their own markup on top of the costs of growing, packaging and travel that came beforehand.
Many commercial farms use harmful chemicals as pesticides which can have a negative effect on us – when growing your own fruit and vegetables you will always know exactly what has been used and what your produce has been exposed to.
This way you can be sure that your food is of the highest quality and, because of the elimination of time it takes to package and delivery, your fruit and vegetables will be fresh and delicious.