It’s becoming more and more common to see raised garden beds in the front and backyards of homes. You might have walked around your neighborhood and even spotted a large container or two bursting with ripe tomato plants or fresh blueberries. As you walk past, you might be thinking to yourself, why go through all that trouble? The simple fact is, growing your own food is a fantastic way to improve both your mental and nutritional health. Whether you’re growing a single plant in a pot, or carving out a portion of your backyard for an urban garden, growing your own produce is incredibly beneficial to not only you but the environment around you, as well.

What are the benefits?

If you’ve thought about planting a few plants for yourself, but are still on the theoretical fence, here are a few things that might persuade you to give it a try!

 

  • Planting helps you get more servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • You decide what’s in your food. Knowing what fertilizers and types of pesticides may or may not come into contact with your food gives you more control over what you put into your body.
  • Harvest when you want. Harvesting fruits and veggies in their prime means a greater amount of nutritional value in your foods. Instead of getting food past its prime in a grocery store, you’re in control of when you eat what you’ve grown.
  • You’ll save money! Gardening may seem like an expense, but in actuality, you’ll likely save money when you stop purchasing your produce at a grocery store.

Growing Food is Easier Than You Think

Growing your own food is far simpler than you might think! You don’t have to have a green thumb to get things done. Sure, it takes time to learn the ropes about cultivating food, but it’s well worth the learning curve. So what should you keep in mind before you start gardening?

 

  • What do you like to eat? Think about the produce you usually go for in the store. Make a list of any fruits and vegetables that you eat regularly, or like to include in your meals. Have that list? Great! Now looking at that list, which basic foods are easier to grow?

 

Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce are commonly used in the kitchen and are surprisingly forgiving for those new to gardening. Better yet, quite a few fruits and vegetables and be grown in minimal gardening spaces, or even pots. Planting in containers gives you control over everything from the soil to the amount of light the plant will receive.

 

  • What grows well in your climate? Growing your own food means you’ll have to take a serious look at what grows well in your climate and what foods are easiest to grow during each season. For example, pepper and tomato plants love warmer soil, so it’s best to plant them after the last frost date in your area. If you’re having a difficult time figuring out what might grow best where you live, take a trip to your local plant nursery. They’ll have a better understanding of what grows well and why.

Start Your Garden

  • Pick your soil wisely. You could simply use standard potting soil, or a mixture of soil specifically meant for the type of plant you’re trying to grow, but whatever route you take, always try and use containment free soil. Growing your own food means having greater control and an overall understanding of what’s feeding the food that will later feed you. Staying clear of nasty chemicals in the soil means not consuming those chemicals yourself at the dinner table.

 

On another note, the soil in your backyard might not be ideal for the plant you’re trying to grow. You might get lucky and have a successful and happy harvest, but know roughly what kind of soil content your plant will thrive off of before you plant it in the ground or container.

 

  • Let there be light! Some plants need more light than others, some are more happy in indirect light, whatever the case, most plants that produce fruits or vegetables need at least 6 hours of good sunlight each day. Find a spot in your backyard that will allow for your plants to bask in the sun.

 

  • Access to water. Now, this is obvious, but your plants will need water to survive. If you’re new to gardening however—and I say this from genuine experience—there is such a thing as giving your plants a little “too much love”. Overwatering is a thing, and it’s safe to say that not all plants need or want the same amount of water each day. Thankfully, when you purchase most seeds or established plants, they’ll come with a nifty tag that gives you information on the relative amount of sun and water that the plant does well with.

 

Starting your own garden can be as much of a mental boost as it is for your physical nutrition. It’s rewarding to see your hard work in the garden pay off on a dinner plate. It brings you closer to the food you’re eating, can save you money on overpriced produce, and gives you a greater appreciation of the work that can go into your meals. And of course, growing food for the first time takes a bit of trial and error. Don’t be discouraged if something goes wrong the first time around. It’ll make your future successful harvest that much greater.

This post was shared on Going Green.



7 comments on “The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

Amy on June 26, 2019 4:16 am

I grew up on a farm and have always loved a garden. It is different now that I live in the city, but perhaps even more precious. Thank you for the post. Found you at Classy Flamingos Blog Party.

Alice on June 29, 2019 3:59 am

Great post on growing your own food. I grew cherry tomatoes with ease and red grapes. I tried zucchini and squash but then I started getting moths and I had to remove those plants. Thanks for linking up with us at #omhgww

Linda on July 3, 2019 1:07 am

Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamingos. I love homegrown tomatoes. I always have something growing. http://blog.poinsettiadr.com/2019/07/classy-flamingos-blog-party-57.html

Cheryl | TimeToCraft on July 13, 2019 7:55 am

I love the idea of people planting up areas on the streets. I live in the countryside and we grow our own. Can’t imagine not doing so. When we first moved into the area and rented a place, I had to grow my tomatoes in containers. It taught me that I should never underestimate how much can grow in a small space. I have a big garden now and I make the most of it. #GoingGreen

Kevin H on July 17, 2019 8:17 am

Soil type is so important when it comes to growing any type of plant. Knowing what kind of soil you have in your garden is good knowledge to have – you can use a bough test kit or use a DIY method. If you have a compost heap you can also use that to help make your soil better for planting.

Nancy Wolff on July 17, 2019 3:06 pm

Kevin,
So true soil testing is very important when starting your garden!

Rosie (@greenrosielife) on July 22, 2019 1:32 pm

I have been growing veg since I was about 10 with just small breaks when I was at Uni and in shared accommodation – there’s just nothing better than fresh produce … although my fingers may object when picking Brussel sprouts off the plant when it is below freezing! A great post to add to #GoingGreen – thank you!

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