April Garden Fresh Feast
Posted by Christy Karr on Apr 17, 2020
Gardening has long been celebrated all over the world as a way to reconnect with both the soil and your soul. Relaxing and productive, it provides countless mental and physical benefits to those who embrace this pastime. Considering April is National Garden Month, there’s no better time to discover just how nourishing it is to feast on the food you’ve grown with your own two hands. We’ll give you the basics to get started so you can take it from there.
Tackle the Practical
As complicated as gardening may seem, it’s not as difficult to get started as you might think. Even if you’re dealing with very limited yard space, there are ways to start growing under any circumstances. It’s far more important that you’re able to invest the time in gardening than it is to have that fabled green thumb:
- List the plants that you and your family would love to eat once they’re harvested
- Plan out the zone for your garden. Visit your local nursery with a sample of soil to get a better idea of what will grow.
- Estimate the day of the first and last frost. List which animals in your area are likely to get into your garden patch (e.g., bunnies, deer, etc.).
- Invest in a solid garden hoe, rake, and shovel. Purchase a pH test to get a full read on the alkalinity and acidity of the soil.
- Choose your seeds before planting and harvesting according to directions.
- Use compost as a free and effective way to nourish your garden.
Tips for Better Eating
No matter how much research you do on gardening, your harvest will be a combination of trial and error. Talking to local gardeners and nursery employees and asking questions to the online community will help, but part of the fun of this hobby is working out a system for yourself. We recommend nourishing your soil as much as possible so your plants can grow without being strangled by a lack of nutrients. The more organic material (e.g., food scraps, grass clippings, tea bags, etc.) in your compost, the better fertilized your garden will be.
Those who live in an apartment or smaller home may feel constricted when it comes to what they can plant, but there’s no reason to give up before you start. Plenty of veggies, like carrots, tomatoes, and peppers, will flourish in nothing more than a container.
If you’d rather work directly in the soil, there may be a poorly advertised community garden where you can use the land to make your own food. Lettuce, peas, radishes, and sweet potatoes are all notoriously easy crops to grow if you’re looking for a home run from right off the bat. Finally, if all else fails, you can hang herb baskets in the window to grow anything from fresh dill to parsley to sage.
Reap the Rewards
Saving money on food by growing it for yourself is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to starting a garden. This enriching activity combines physical exercise with the meditative benefits of being outside in the sun. Plus, it’s a great way to spend quality time with your children and loved ones as everyone learns new skills. As an added bonus, the produce you enjoy will be that much more affordable and delicious!