Did you know gardening was once a daily activity for people, Yes it was! People planted their own food right in their backyards.

A lot of people have moved away from agriculture and settled well into the urban life, where gardening is not very attractive because of scarce land and busy lives. However,  gardening is still very useful!

Starting a garden in your home is not only a way to save more money, but it also saves you from those frequent trips to the hospital.

Backyard gardening

Credit: http://garden.hlisted.com

One awesome reason why you should have a garden is that It’s fun! It is a great way to spend some quality time with your family and it provides you with a place to get away and spend some time outdoors.

Learning what to plant in your garden and how best to take care of them for harvesting could seem like a big job but we promise, it’s  easier than you think. Honest!

Planning your garden right means you enjoy a beautiful blossoming garden without having to spend a lot of time tending to it. And the icing on the cake, growing a garden with vegetables and flowers means you’ve combined natural champions that can turn your home into an award-worthy tropical garden!

Let’s look at the benefits of growing your own food:

It helps you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Which is marvelous for your digestive system.
You decide what kinds of fertilizers and pesticides come in contact with your food.
It lets you control when to harvest your food. Vegetables that ripen in the garden have more nutrients than some store-bought vegetables that must be picked early.
You get to save  money!

Ready to grow your own food? Awesome! Just some details you need to see to first:

1. Decide what to plant: Whatever you decide to plant, the first important thing is to start small. A lot of gardeners get excited at the prospect of having their personal gardens and end up planting more than they need. This could turn out to be  unpleasant in two ways:

a. You get overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to do;

b. You end up wasting the food. Not good at all

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For instance, if you want to grow vegetables such as tomatoes or peppers, you do not have to plant a lot because they keep providing throughout the season. If however, you want to plant carrots, you may need to plant more of them because they only produce once.

Very important, you also need to plant only the things you’d really like to eat.

2.  Decide how much space you need: Once you’ve decided what you want to  plant, you should have a rough idea of how much space you’d need. This is where you have to get realistic and quite possibly trim down the number of things you want to plant.

If you are going for a vegetable garden however, you don’t need a lot of space to begin with. You can choose to grow in containers and arrange on your balcony.

3. Pick the perfect spot: Your garden needs three basic things. It doesn’t matter if it’s in containers on your kitchen window or if it’s a 10 x 10 foot garden. They are:

a. Lots and lots of sun: if you are going for vegetables they need lots of direct sun! If they don’t get it, they won’t grow to full potential and will be susceptible to insects and pests.

b. Water: With the exception of drought resistant plants, you need to water up your plants. One thing you need to remember is, the closer your garden is to a source of water, the easier it will be for you.

c. Good soil: Regardless of what you are planting, this is non-negotiable. Moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter is one of the most preferred.

4. Test and fix your soil: For best results, it’s best to test and fix your soil before you start gardening.

For instance, you can check the drainage by soaking the soil with a hose, waiting a day, then digging up a handful of soil. Squeeze the soil hard. If water streams out, you’ll probably want to add compost or organic matter to improve the drainage.

Credit: https://goodsoilgirls.wordpress.com/

Next, open your hand.

If the soil hasn’t formed a ball, or if the ball falls apart at the slightest touch, the soil is probably too sandy. (Add organic matter like manure to improve sandy soil.)

If the ball holds together even if you poke it fairly hard, you have too much clay in your soil. (Organic matter improves clay soil too.)

What you want is for the ball to break into crumbs when you poke it — like a chocolate cake. If it does that, the soil is ideal!

Get on it will you? We would love to know how far you’ve gone and if you need any help.

Be patient with your garden as you go through the necessary steps. Before long, you will have an amazing and healthy garden all to yourself!