Growing Vegetables and Herbs Naturally: An Expert’s Guide

Whether you want to be more self-sustaining or simply have fresh vegetables and herbs, there’s no better option than to grow your own. While a large garden can be a great joy, even a small one or container garden is still worth the effort. In general, growing vegetables and herbs simply means planting a seed, watering it, and watching it grow. However, if you’re new to gardening, this is a guide on how to naturally grow your vegetables and herbs in your garden. This guide will help you get started on the right foot and get a good yield from your plants.

Start with Location and Soil

Vegetable plants need nutrients. You can get them from fertilizer if you want but don’t think you have to choose commercial fertilizers. Some of the best fertilizers are homemade compost. If you can, put your food and yard scraps into a composter and after a few months, you’ll have compost that’s rich in nutrients. Mix the compost regularly. You can mix the broken down compost into your current soil or add it to the place where you plan to start your garden.

Just like real estate, when it comes to gardening, think location, location, location. Most herbs and vegetables need full sunlight to thrive. As a nutrient source, you’ll want to plan your garden to grow in a space that has at least eight hours of sunlight every day. If you don’t have a garden plot already set, make sure you check the sun patterns to decide the best location for the garden. If you’re doing a container garden on your porch or balcony, try to maximize the sunlight for your containers. Even if you can’t get a full eight hours of sunlight, you’ll still do better when you consider this.

Choose Your Plants

Depending on your physical location, some vegetables and herbs may grow better than others. Look at what grows best in your planting zone. If you’re unsure, consider visiting a local nursery and asking one of their experts for some advice. If you live in an area that has fairly hot weather in the summer months though, you can probably plant your preferred vegetables. Decide which vegetables and herbs you enjoy or use most often. Once you have this list, plan out your garden space. You may not have room for all of the vegetables you’d like to plant but pick your favourites, knowing that you can plant others next year.

Start Seeds Early

Get your seeds from an organic nursery or online gardening store. Most seeds come with a guide on when to start them. For the best option, it’s usually a good idea to start the seeds indoors. You can plant seeds in old ice cube tray containers or similar seed starting pots. Place them in a warm area where they’ll get plenty of sunlight such as near a window. Label them well since they’re easy to forget about. Most seeds will germinate within a week or two. Review your guide on when you should plant them outside for your gardening zone. Too early and you may have them freeze over.

Plant and Tend

Once you have your small plants and are ready to plant outside, check your seed guide again. Most plants will need to be planted at least a few inches apart. Map out your garden to decide which plants will go where and then plant them. You’ll probably need to water them, at least for the first few weeks until they’re established. Make sure that you weed them at least once a week to ensure that they can grow and thrive. It typically takes a few weeks before you get vegetables and maybe even longer, depending on what you grow. Harvest your herbs or vegetables when they’re mature and use them fresh or consider preserving them for later use.

Finally, make sure that you pay attention to your garden and what methods work best for your individual space. Most gardeners find that they learn lessons each year that they garden. Maybe you find out growing squash isn’t a good idea or some similar lesson. Regardless of your gardening results, stick with it and you’ll end up with fresh vegetables and herbs to enjoy.

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