Provided by rawpixel.com
With the recent pandemic many people are trying to avoid grocery stores as much as possible, and with extra time at home, alternative means of acquiring food are being sought out.
One popular alternative to securing your needed nutrients is at home gardening.
Gardening promotes physical exercise and stress reduction, it increases positive brain exercises and reduces depression.
Whether it is from a small planter with a tomato or a backyard garden with corn, squash, or potatoes. No matter the size of your supplemental gardening project three stages of gardening exist no matter size you must have proper preparation, maintenance, and termination.
The first part of preparation is figuring out what to plant. Finding a position that provides the most sunlight throughout the day.
Next, Identify the quality of the soil. This can be done with a simple soil test kit that can be obtained from the local agricultural extension office. The test will assist you in knowing if you need to supplement a needed ingredient such as potassium, nitrogen, and potash.
After preparing your soil has been prepared, identifying in a garden layout where plants will be placed and those that are grown next to one another. Certain species of plants can inhibit or promote their neighbour’s growth.
Another requirement to prepare the soil is removing stones and other debris. As plants grow upward and outward they also require downward growth, and rocks will retard root structure that will weaken the plants base.
After the seeds are planted and start germinating that brings you to the next stage, maintenance of the plants.
Young shoots are much desired by most insects. So they are preyed upon unless you apply “anti-bug” steps of protection.
To prevent destructive invaders you have two options. One is to go with store-bought chemicals or a herbal holistic method.
There are many plants that can be added to a garden to naturally reduce the invasion of pests such as beetles, slugs, rabbits and deer. Mint, basil, lavender, lemongrass can be planted to deter an invasion. Small containers of beer can be placed out to attract and drown certain pests. Applying lye can be sprinkled around or on the plant leaves.
You should be aware of what your plants should be looking like, so when weeds start showing up you know what to remove. This will also help later when it’s time for harvesting your plants.
Which brings us to the third stage, termination of your garden.
Once the vegetables are ripe you may start pulling them off the plant but be aware that not all vegetables, even on the same plant, will ripen all the way at the same time. To tell if the vegetable is ripe check for colouration, softness, and size.
After all the plants have been harvested you have some options: if the plant is to come back next year then leave it in the ground, you could remove and dispose of the stalks and stems, or you could do the healthier option for the soil and either make compost or till the remains back into the ground and let the worms dispose of them.
Composting may not be the best option for residential areas as the decay of organic matter does release a smell that some may consider repulsive, but if you live in a non-residential area then composting is a good option.
Composting allows organic remains to be decomposed and transformed into humus for the next generation of plants adding needed nutrients and adding an organic bed to aid in retaining moisture around the roots.
This guide didn’t go into specifics for every plant. There are unique planting times and maintenance procedures for some plants that going into may seem biased for the best results. Along with adding food to your table.
Encourage other members of your family to take part in your new hobby and increase above all the other mentioned benefits. Family bonding will make life long memories.