Starting a garden at home can seem intimidating, but with careful planning the right supplies and a healthy attitude toward experimentation it can be incredibly fun and rewarding. As for many of the most worth while endeavors, starting and maintaining a garden will mostly require time, patience and care.
The first step recommended is researching the region you live to find out when you should plan to start your seeds. The farmer’s almanac has this helpful calendar here: https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar.
Next choose where you will be placing your garden. When selecting a location take into consideration the type of plants you would like to grow, and which areas of your yard are best suited to grow those plants, based on how much sun reaches any given area. A quick internet search can give a good idea how much light any given plant will require. Aside from the time it takes for the plants to grow, the longest part of the process will be creating an organic liquid fertilizer. This process in total will take about a month to complete, be sure and plan ahead accordingly. Organic liquid fertilizer is a fermented plant juice used in Korean Natural Farming. Anyone can create this product simply at home using plants scraps, brown sugar, water, and of course, time. You will need:
- A glass jar
- A cloth covering for a lid
- 2/3 Parts plant material (as much native plant material as possible, but any organic material will work)
- 1/3 part brown sugar
- Enough water to cover everything (left out for several days to remove chlorine) follow this link for more detailed instructions: https://sproutingfam.com/gardening/fermented-plant-juice/
While the fertilizer is fermenting take this opportunity to decide which plants to grow in your garden. Remember when starting out, select only a few different types of plants so you can learn without getting overwhelmed. As a selection guide ask yourself these questions: What types of vegetables, herbs or beans do we like to eat? What will be easiest to grow this time of year? What grows well in my area? Once you’ve answered a few or all of these questions you will land on several plants that will work for you. Remember to include the children when choosing plants for the garden, then they’ll be even more excited eat the healthy harvest.
If you’re still not exactly sure where to start, below is a list of common plants that are simple to grow, popular to eat, and usually available in stores (I’ll explain why that is important after the list):
- Easy plants for a beginner garden:
- Dried beans
- Dried grains
Once you’ve decided what to grow, it’s time to gather the seeds that you’ll need. You can always purchase seed packets from big box or hardware stores, if you purchase them online I recommend http://seedsavers.org. The easiest and least expensive way is to use the seeds from items you already have or already eat. When it comes to fruits and vegetables be sure to use heirloom varieties for best results. Additionally any dried beans, grains, herbs and spices (whole seeds) you already have in your pantry will work too!
Starting a garden this way can be done using what you already have, with no additional costs. $15 can be used to invest in a few simple garden tools, seeds packets, plant starts or the produce from which you can get your seeds.