Whether you want to become more self-sufficient or just enjoy being able to really “make a meal from scratch,” growing an edible garden is something a lot of people are digging right now!
We’ve got some simple hacks to making your edible garden a success – unlike those flowers you potted last year that now droop like a weeping willow.
Location, Location, Location.
We know you probably want to cover that ugly patch in your backyard, but we recommend starting small and adding on slowly. Some plants (corn, melons, pumpkins) require a lot of growing room so check spacing info on seed packets and plant cards.
What do you want to grow? What types of edibles grow well in our hardiness zone? Remember, quality, not quantity.
Most edibles, with few exceptions, require direct sunlight for six to eight hours daily.
Healthy soil means a healthy edible garden. Loam soil, which contains sand, silt and a small amount clay, is the best. Loam soil is workable, holds more nutrients and provides more adequate drainage. To improve your soil, consider adding organic matter, like compost. Compost works as a nice soil amendment or top-dressing layer when prepping your garden.
Fertilize, Water, Mulch, Repeat.
Depending on the crops you choose, some may require special formulas of fertilizer. Again, be sure to check the packets or cards for needs. The amount of water also depends on the type of plant, their location and the soil. We recommend watering early in the morning so the plant stays hydrated throughout the day in the sun. Mulch keeps those pesky weeds away and maintains soil temps. It can also retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil that are good for your crops.
It won’t happen over night, but when your plants are ready for harvesting you’ll be reaping the rewards (pun intended).
Still not convinced that there is a brilliant edible gardener inside you? No sweat. Set up a consolation with our Registered Dietitian!
Are you thinking of starting your own edible garden? Share with us what you’d plant!
(Image via flickr user OakleyOriginals)