There is just something fulfilling in being able to grow your own food. Aside from knowing for a fact that what goes into your plate is fresh and free from any harmful chemicals, gardening also proves to have various mental health benefits. For these reasons, perhaps this is the best time for you to start growing food in your own backyard, and below are some simple tips that you can follow.
Know the Crops That Grow Well in Your Locality
One of the primary things that you need to think about when you are keen on growing food in your backyard is the kind of crops that grow well in your area. This is even more important if you have limited space and intend to garden indoors as well. This will allow you to maximize the space that you have because you will be able to rear crops that will indeed bear food rather than wilt and die. You can begin exploring what kind of fruits and vegetables grow locally in your area by searching online or getting advice from well-known growers in your area.
Use the Right Soil
Another tip to help you grow food in your backyard is to ensure that you are using the right kind of soil to grow your crops. This is true regardless of whether you intend to use containers or plant directly in the ground. However, this may entail the need for you to invest a certain amount of money because most good soils come with a price. Nevertheless, it is best to spend a few bucks to get the right soil, rather than proceed on planting using soil that lacks the nutrients that your plants need.
Go for Organic Farming
As much as possible, leverage natural means to keep pests away from your garden. This means that you should steer clear from using pesticides on your fruit and vegetable crops. Rather, explore natural pesticides instead, such as the use of baking soda dissolved in water.
There is also the option for you to use organic oils that can repel pests destroying your crops, such as neem seed oil. The experts behind The Pumpkin House suggest that you save the seeds that you get from your pumpkin crops, too, because you can extract pumpkin oil from them, which you can use for a wide variety of purposes, including repelling pests. Otherwise, dry the seeds instead of further cultivation and growing.
Keep in mind that you don’t need any synthetic pesticides because it will defeat the purpose of why you are growing food in your own backyard in the first place. Aside from being harmful to your health, synthetic pesticides are not good for the environment too.
Plant in Tandem
Just like people, plants tend to thrive when they grow with other plants that perfectly complements them. For instance, it will be a good idea to grow some basil near your tomatoes because the former can protect the latter from hornworms. You can also plant some marigolds somewhere near your crops because this flowering plant works well in repelling almost any kind of bug that are attracted to the roots of your crops.
However, you need to research which plants work well together because some will fight over the nutrients in the soil instead of complementing each other. For instance, sunflowers may stunt the growth of your potatoes like garlic does for beans. In this case, you should also remember to implement the proper spacing between your plants to ensure that each one gets enough nutrients from the soil, as well as a sufficient amount of sunlight.
Water Your Garden Properly
Aside from the nutrients in the soil and proper sunlight, it is also important that you water your crops regularly, but you should take care not to drown them. To know whether it is time for your plants to be watered, simply stick your finger into the soil. If the soil still feels moist, then there is no need for you to water just yet. On the other hand, if the soil is already dry, then watering your plants is already a must. You can even use a stick to determine the moisture of your soil to ensure that you are not only checking the topsoil.
Choose the Right Pots
Even if you are gardening in your backyard, certain plants grow better in pots. But you need to ensure that for these plants, you are using the right pots. For instance, if you are growing herbs, use pots that are at least one foot in diameter. For larger plants, make sure to use larger pots so that the roots of your plants will have room to grow.
There is also the option for you to get creative with your containers, repurposing items such as buckets no longer being used in your home. Even coffee cans and milk jugs, as well as your old grill, can be used to grow your crops. Just keep in mind to drill holes underneath the container that you eventually go with.
Another great tip when it comes to growing your own food is to harvest regularly because, in this way, you are promoting new growth. This may entail the need for you to learn ways on how to store your harvest for later use, and this is where canning, freezing, and drying processes can come in handy. Otherwise, there is always the option for you to share your harvested produce with your friends and neighbors.
This is the perfect time for you to start growing food in your own backyard because of all the various benefits that you can get from it. In doing so, just keep the tips above in mind and maximize the use of your backyard because even with limited space, you will still have the chance to grow your food. All it takes is a bit of patience and lots of effort, but in the end, all the work that you have put into your garden will all be worth it.