Learning how to grow your own food is one of the very best things you can do to begin to live in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way. Not everything will always go according to plan. But it will always be incredibly rewarding.
There are a great many reasons why growing your own food is a great idea. It can:
- Help you avoid buying food that harms our planet, which was not grown in a sustainable way.
- Save your money on feeding yourself and your family.
- Make your household more resilient – better able to cope with crises and difficult situations.
- Mean that you don't need to buy food wrapped in plastic. And can reduce plastic waste.
- Help you improve your diet, get the right nutrients and boost your physical health.
- Improve your mental health and well-being.
- Give you a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
In this article, we would like to share with you our three top tips for those beginning their own 'grow your own adventure.
Know your garden
It is important to understand that what works well in one location won't necessarily work well in another. When making the decision about methods, layout and plant choices, you need to take the climate and microclimate and other environmental conditions into account.
Observation is key. Make sure you spend time getting to know your garden. Think about climate, sunlight, water, wind and soil. Look at how your garden changes throughout each day and throughout the year.
Make sure you know what conditions the plants you are considering require. And choose the seeds and plants best suited to the situation.
Get the Basics in Place
Before you even start to create your growing areas and sow seeds or place plants, you need to make sure you have the basics in place. I would recommend that any new organic gardener make composting a top priority.
Composting is the main way to recycle nutrients in your gardening system. It will help you prevent food waste. And it is crucial for maintaining fertility. There are a number of different methods you can choose from. But the basic principles remain the same. Your goal is to create a system that breaks down organic matter, making a useful soil amender or growing medium for your garden.
Another basic thing to get in place is a water system. Harvesting rainwater from the roof of your home is a great idea. And you should also think about how water is stored in a garden in plants and soil. And how you can irrigate or water your crops. Getting these things sorted upfront can save a lot of problems down the line.
Work With Nature, Don't Fight It
In an organic garden, you should of course always avoid inputs that harm people and the planet. Don't use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. More than this, however, organic gardening is about working holistically and finding ways to work in harmony with nature, rather than struggling against it.
That means planting as many different plants as possible to create a natural balance. Use companion planting techniques, and integrate plants, rather than growing just one crop in a bed or container. Remember, even weeds can sometimes be useful in a garden.
It means welcoming wildlife and finding ways to attract a wide range of beneficial insects and other forms of life to your space. Plant for wildlife-friendly spaces, and create different habitats where different creatures will feel at home. You never garden alone. A wide range of different creatures will help you in an organic garden.
It is also important to take care of the soil and to find ways to complete nature's cycles and keep up fertility over time. Everything comes from the soil. We must cherish it.
There is, of course, a lot more to learn about organic gardening. But you don't need to be an expert to give it a go. So take up organic gardening, and grow your own food at home.