Gardening is at the core of our lifestyle. It’s health and hobby in one…but I seem to be a specialist in #NeglectGardening!
I forget to water. I miss the planting windows. I hardly ever weed.
And YET – we have consistent yields of wild, incredible abundance even from our “flawed” efforts. Gardening is a beautiful lesson-in-motion, that proves if something is worth doing at all, it’s worth doing badly.
Here’s some of my best quick tips to grow food and start gardening, even if you’ve never grown a houseplant.
All links in this post go to TheHomestead.Guru, a fantastic homesteading blog that I used to write for regularly!
// We plant using companion relationships – such as tomatoes, carrots and basil; or the “three sisters”, corn, beans, and squash. It might sound funny, but some plants are “companions” – they do better when grown next to each other. Then again, other plants don’t get on as well…for example, tomatoes hate cucumbers!
// If you don’t have room for a lot of plants, you can use essential oils in a spray to give the “companion plant” effect! It’s like a homeopathic remedy for your plants.
// A spritz bottle with water and a few drops of basil and rosemary essential oil can do wonders for pest control in the garden as well.
// Putting in cages for climbing plants (yes even watermelon!) saves a LOT of space. We use cattle panels because we have the space – but even a simple net made from twine, or chicken wire, will do the trick.
// Mulching is key to keep the roots from drying out too quickly, and amending your soil with compost will bring magical results! We usually grow in straight compost instead of topsoil.
// If space is limited, think about productivity and what you like to eat a lot of. Radishes are easy to grow, but if nobody really loves radishes, maybe tomatoes, sugar snap peas, or cucumbers would be more worth your time + effort.
// Growing tiny is actually EASIER than growing in a large space, simply because you’re able to spot and address problems sooner/faster. Smaller gardens tend to give you more food per square foot because of that!
// If you’re just starting out, it’s worth knowing that some things grow fantastic from seeds – and others…you’ll do better to get some transplants.
// Look up the square foot gardening method, and make sure you’re watering correctly!
// Regrow your grocery scraps. I’ve grown celery, scallions, and lettuces from the end of some bought at the store.
// Grow peppermint and you’ll have the best tea ever from fresh leaves! I add a drop of Wild Orange or Lemon essential oil to mine. I also grow melissa (lemon balm) and lemon verbena, and we have the yummiest teas that pack a potent punch of nutrition!
// You can grow a LOT in containers.
PRO TIP: It’s worth remembering that even if you only eat a few bites of something you grew by your own hand, that’s exponentially healing and nourishing to the psyche as well as the body!
I hope you’ve found these quick tips to grow food useful. Now, what’s growing in your yard?