More and more people are finding the joy of getting their hands dirty and starting their own gardens for the home. The National Gardening Association (NGA) reports a 17 percent growth of food gardens in America – a number only expected to increase as the local food movement rises in popularity.
These so-called “Locavores” – If they cannot farm the produce themselves – crave food that is locally and responsibly sourced. Although the local food movement’s roots seem to be fad-like, becoming more involved in one’s health and future is beneficial to everyone’s wellbeing, and that’s why we’re seeing such a growth in food gardens across the country.
And unlike many fads, it isn’t very expensive to get started on making a garden today –pick up the following items and you’re good to go!
Getting started on your planting project has to begin with the right space for your garden to grow. What kind of yard are you working with? Do you have lots of acreage with virtually unlimited potential or are you in an apartment complex, looking to spruce up your balcony space?
If you have the yard for it, you can buy the wood needed to make your own custom-sized raised garden box at a flea market or lumber yard. Many flea markets will also carry premade planter boxes or pots for you to simply drop your vegetables or flowers into until they are strong enough to be transitioned into the ground.
After setting up your gardening box, you are going to need a few tools. The larger your gardening, the more tools you are likely going to need. One of the major appeals to gardening is the reduction of food costs. If you are thrifty and new to gardening, try starting small with the bare essentials – a watering can, a small trowel and some nutrient-rich soil.
If you have a larger yard and garden setup, you might benefit from the use of larger equipment – such as a rototiller, shovel, hoe, or digging fork. However, the amount of tools you need is subjective and is entirely dependent on how much work and effort you are willing to put into your project.
Nutrients and Soil
Just like people, flowers and vegetables need nutrients in order to grow and prosper. In particular, they need phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. These nutrients can be found in soil naturally or added separately later.
Plants need something to grow in, and soil is the perfect vehicle for containing all the water and nutrients required to grow strong. Soil can be tested to find out whether or not it has an optimum pH level and is rich with the proper nutrients to support healthy growth. However, soil purchased from a farmer’s market is likely to have already been tested and is ready for application. If you are using planter box or pot, you should ask the merchant if they know the correct potting mixes to use for specific plants.
Make it Custom
Now that you have all the functional essentials to make your garden thrive, it’s time to have some fun with it. If you’re working with a large yard, consider browsing your local flea market for unique décor items such as small statues, garden signs, and whatever antique items catch your eye. Depending on the quality of flea markets in your area, a simple weekend trip could score you all of the above and more.
Closing Garden Thoughts
Now that you’ve planned out where your garden is going to be, what you’re growing, and just how much time you’re going to spend on it – you’re all set! Now get out there and start growing your own food.
Have you ever scored any good steals by shopping for your garden supplies at the flea market?