Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Five Beginner Tips for Growing Fruit & Veggies In Your Garden #healthy2020 #athomegarden #growyourveggies #homefarming

As part of my continuing #Healthy2020 series, we're looking at home gardening today! My Dad has a small vegetable garden in his backyard...and the heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash we've harvested have been fresh and delicious -- and there's definitely a sense of pride in eating something you've grown yourself! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is going to share some tips to get started on your own home garden! This article may contain affiliate links.
Among many different ways to improve your enjoyment of the cooking process, few are more satisfying than using ingredients you've prepped yourself! We’re not talking about applying some prep work to store-bought food, but growing your own fruit and veggies in a backyard at-home garden. Growing your own produce can greatly improve the taste, nutritional quality, and sentimental value of your meals. However, it’s easy to fall into a few beginner’s mistakes. Here are some tips to help you get your garden started.

Time Your Seeds Right
You might be enthusiastic to start cooking with your own grown ingredients, but that doesn’t mean you should rush it. If you start planting seeds too early -- before their set growing season -- the plants might grow too tall too early to sprout fruit and veg. The solution? Do a bit of research! Check out the best planting dates for the fruits and veggies you want to grow -- and be patient if it's not the set growing season just yet.

Start Off Small...and Go Slow If You’re New
As with any discipline or technique, you should never rush to take on too much at once. You might want to transition to making more complex meals based on your freshly grown produce. However, you should ensure you’re able to successfully grow a few select items first...then slowly expand your repertoire until you're able to provide most/all of the produce for all your home-cooked meals. Start with some of the easiest veg to grow, then work your way up by complexity as you have success and gain knowledge.

Know Which Plants Need Support
There are some plants you can basically “set and forget,” simply making sure they get enough water and sunlight to grow healthily. However, other plants -- like tomatoes -- will fall and break if not supported properly. Check out this way to stake tomatoes...and see if any other fruits and veggies you plant need similar support. It’s the best way to avoid a tragic fall and a ruined plant.

Check for Heat Sensitivity
Just as some plants need a little extra support like being staked, there are also plants that are especially sensitive to temperatures. For example: if you’re looking to grow peppers, you might want to grow them in a container if your soil isn’t likely to maintain the high temperatures they need to thrive. 

Ensure the Soil Is Right Before You Start Growing
If you haven’t grown produce before, you might not be aware of how much the different characteristics of your soil can affect what can be grown successfully. In most cases, the soil's pH level might entirely preclude you from growing some vegetables. Get a soil testing kit, then determine what you can do to treat the soil so it's healthier for the specific fruit or veggies you want to grow.

There’s definitely a lot more to learn about growing fruit and veggies in your own garden than the tips provided above. However, keep these basic tips in mind...and you'll learn new skills to make sure you’re maximizing your chances of garden success!

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