Produce costs are on the rise, and more and more people are taking on gardening. There are many different ways one can garden as well as many varieties of things to grow. Container gardens, in-ground gardens, raised bed gardens, and window boxes. You can even find unique gardens for indoor or patios.
There are many reasons why one might want to start a garden. Everyone needs proper nutrition, plus fruits and vegetables daily. Find the reasons you might want to garden and beginner gardening tips below.
During the pandemic, food insecurity has increased causing a lot of interest in gardening. If you are one with food insecurity, starting a garden might be for you.
Start Small as a New Gardener
Whenever people think about becoming a gardener, they start watching videos from experts and see huge gardening beds filled with thriving plants and bountiful harvests. But these individuals have been doing this for quite a while, perfecting their green thumb and learning what it takes to succeed.
It would be nice if you could simply listen to some instructions, follow them exactly as prescribed, and then be able to proclaim you’re a successful gardener. But unfortunately, there are too many variables in the gardening world for there to be a cookie-cutter routine that works for everyone.
You can even start learning plant care by getting potted plants for your home and patio. From Christmas cactus to pothos each plant has specific things you need to do to keep it thriving. Learn about how much sun and water it needs. As you get used to caring for them, you can expand to more outdoor plants.
You have varying climates from one city to the next. Insects and pests of other sorts aren’t all the same, either. Humidity and rain conditions can affect the quality of a harvest. Even the way your soil is compiled will differ from someone one state over.
Because of these gardening challenges you want to take your time learning the ins and outs of gardening. Research about gardening on your plot of land or in your containers before you start investing huge amounts of money, time, and effort.
Cost of Gardening
Getting started with gardening can definitely cost more than just buying produce at the store. You need fertilizer, seeds, watering tools, and much more. But once you’re able to use them successfully every season, you will recoup your money.
The last thing you want to do is plant a half-acre of vegetables if you’ve never grown anything before. You might end up with an entire garden spoiled from poor irrigation or lack of pollination. Or, you will end up with way more produce than you can eat.
It’s best to start small and begin with vegetables that you know you’ll enjoy growing. Then begin with a small number of plants to nurture to fruition. Start with one or two containers or a small 4×4 plot of a gardening bed outdoors.
You can scale up over time. If you’re capable of handling the routine and working out issues that arise with your plants in a small area, then you’ll easily be able to care for and address any problems with a larger area. Tending to a garden is a daily thing. There is always weeding and watering to do.
As a gardener, you’re almost like a parent to these seedlings. You have to take care of all of their needs nutrients, protection from pests, and more. You’ll have a much easier (and enjoyable) time knowing you aren’t overwhelmed with an enormous workload than if you did just enough to enjoy and learn from a smaller area.
Smart Gardening Gadgets – Beginner Gardening Tips
If you want your garden to succeed, there are many things you have to do. Ensure your plants have the best chance to survive and thrive from seed to harvest. If you were only growing one plant, that might be easier to do. Growing multiple vegetables makes it harder to regulate everything.
Luckily, technology has made it easier for those who want to garden, but who may not exactly have the green thumb others were blessed with. You’ll find a myriad of smart gadgets that have you doing the minimal steps needed to grow your own food.
As talked about above, there are many sizes and kinds of gardens. There are smart gardens that come in many sizes. Ranging from the size of a bread box that grows 3 pods of plants to large tower gardens that can be placed somewhere in your home, adding greenery and decorative effect.
These gadgets have many different features. Some are solely hydroponic, while others have a soil and self-watering mix. Many of them are self-cleaning, ensuring your plants are never in danger of becoming molded and wilted.
These smart gardens have built-in LED lighting systems that provide the plants with all they need to grow. They sometimes come with a dome that’s placed over the seed pod initially and removed once the greenhouse effect has helped it to sprout.
Accessories for Smart Gardens
The companies who sell these smart gardens have refill pods that you can order, and they carry things like lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, peas, herbs, and more. You can grow the same plant in one garden or mix it up.
The smart gardening gadgets are not just self-sustained indoor gardens, however. There are also gadgets you can use in other gardens of your choice. There are sensors you can buy that will report back to you about the current stats of your garden, even outdoors.
For example, it might tell you how moist the soil is, how much sunlight the plant is getting, and what the state of your soil is. Knowing if the plant needs to be fertilized takes all the guesswork out of the equation.
These intelligent sensors can be used indoors and out, on your food gardens, or even in gardens created for decorative purposes. It’s one more step to ensure you’re able to grow the best and most nutritious food for your well-being.
Analyzing Your Needs
Starting smaller and growing as the years go by is best. This will help you discover how much produce your family actually needs and uses during a growing season. Many people overestimate and then end up spoiling produce they can’t use up in time. Using smart gardens or smaller deck/patio or container gardens at first will help give you an idea of gardening. Maybe you will like it, maybe you won’t.
When your garden starts pumping out amazing products, it’s time to start looking into canning and freezing things. Gardening gives a feeling of accomplishment. Putting a meal on the table and it contains things you grew with your own hands. That is a great feeling!
Growing a Food Garden in an Urban Setting
Thinking you can’t garden because you live in an urban setting. In reality, that’s far from the truth and many gardening strategies cater to those living in the city and in small spaces.
You just have to plan differently than someone who has an acre of wide-open space in the country or a large suburban backyard to grow food in. Your space is more contained, and may even have limited light if towering buildings don’t allow for much.
In some instances, the city or building owners will allow limited space to be used for the community to grow food together. But you might want to grow an urban garden that’s reserved for you and your family.
Where to Set up a Garden
You might be growing food on your balcony, in your apartment, or on the roof of your building, depending on what’s allowed and what isn’t. You can use gardening strategies that don’t rely on ample plots of soil, such as hydroponic gardening, container gardening, vertical gardening, and more.
Vertical gardening makes the most of your growing space because the plants are positioned upwards, rather than horizontally. Hydroponic gardening is when you’re growing food in nutrient-rich water.
What to Grow in Smaller Gardens
When you’re growing a garden in an urban area, consider making the most of your space by planting the most nutritional crops for the space, like microgreens, which can be grown fast and added to salads.
Some of the easiest crops to grow in containers within a cityscape are things like tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and peppers. Some leafy greens like lettuce will do well in pots where you have limited space, too.
Types of Garden Containers
Remember that not only can you grow things in containers on the ground, but you can take up all available space to grow your food garden in. Besides vertical containers, you can find hanging pots to grow things in.
These are especially good if you live in a tall apartment building and have a small balcony to work with. Some hanging planters will grow the vegetables upside down, such as certain tomato planters.
You can also grow a garden inside as part of your room decor with the greenery it creates, so look for attractive planters and containers that work well in your space and use those to bring warmth and inviting nature to the room.
Beginner Garden Tips Final Thoughts
While gardening might not be for everyone, it is for every place. A simple garden on your counter that can give fresh herbs is easy. Or a patio filled with all sorts of veggies in containers. Regardless of your garden style enjoy it. Supplying your own fruits and veggies is very rewarding.