With summertime weather comes the potential for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the comfort of your own backyard. If you have never planted an edible garden, however, you may not know what the process involves, so starting small is the best idea. Here are 6 tips for a small edible garden.
Choose a Suitable Location
When planning your edible garden, it is important to choose a location that will be beneficial to the growth of your plants, but also convenient for harvesting. Choose a place close to your kitchen or back door, that gets a lot of sunlight. Vegetables and herbs require full sun, so placing your garden directly beside your home is not ideal, because it will not be in full sunlight. Also, ensure that your garden receives plenty of water, and has the right type of soil, with lots of nutrients.
Plan Your Plot
An edible garden requires organization, so before you plant, choose whether you are going to plant in rows, or if you are going to plant in large groupings. Although planting in large groupings can require more weeding by hand, it is the ideal planting type for a beginner garden, as it requires less space, and is most often used in raised garden beds, or container gardening.
Start With Simple Plants
Although you may be excited to start a new garden full of fresh fruits and vegetables, if you are a beginner gardener, it is wise to start with plants that are easy to grow. Some varieties of plants are easier to take care of, as they require less maintenance. Plants such as carrots, some varieties of lettuce, tomatoes, and beans are low maintenance and can boost the confidence of any beginner gardener.
Test Your Soil
A new garden requires very fertile soil for the vegetables or fruit to grow. When planning your edible garden, ensure that your soil has the nutrients it needs, and test it for pH levels and fertility. A testing kit is the best method for determining how fertile your soil is, and will give you instructions about how to fix it. If your soil is lacking in nutrients, adding compost and organic matter to it can increase the nutrients.
Start Your Seeds
One of the simplest ways to ensure success with an edible garden is to start your seeds in containers indoors. Taking this step will ensure that when the seeds sprout, they are not initially exposed to the elements, or predatory insects that could eat the sprouts in their critical growing period. When the sprouts have grown to a decent size, take them out to your new garden, and watch them grow from there.
Determine Your Plant Hardiness Zone
While the idea of fresh oranges or sweet potatoes in your backyard sounds like a good one, Canada does not have the climate to support the needs of those plants. Before you choose what seeds you are going to plant, determine what hardiness zone you are in. This will prevent you from planting an entire garden that doesn’t grow in your climate zone. The Government of Canada has more information on the hardiness zones and what they mean.
Starting an edible garden can be easy if you know the important steps to take to ensure your success. Following these tips will help you decide where to put the garden, as well as how to plan accordingly, and before you know it, your family will be eating fresh fruit and vegetables, right out of your own backyard. For more information on how to plant an edible garden, visit the Falconcrest Homes Blog.