Staying healthy isn’t easy, especially considering the often-high cost of healthful, nutritious produce. Everyone wants to live a more healthful lifestyle, but not all of us have the budget to blow on a week’s worth of organic fruits and veggies from a specialty grocery store.
The solution? Planting your own edible garden. If you have the time and the space, a garden can supplement your healthy eating habits, cut your grocery costs and serve as a project for the whole family can dig into. Here are a few tips for planning your own backyard edible garden:
Survey Your Space
Pick out a nice large, sunny spot to build your garden, whether it be in-ground, container or raised bed. Traditional in-ground gardens are flexible as to what plants you can grow, while container gardens and raised beds allow you more control over the soil. Also, be sure to invest in high-quality gardening tools, including a trowel, a rake, a shovel, shears and a watering can, as well as gardening gloves and a sun hat.
Plan Your Produce
Consider which fruits and vegetables you’ll actually put to use in the kitchen after you’ve grown them. Do your kids go wild for berries? Plant them in a few different varieties. Like the sound of arugula but know you’ll rarely use it? Put your space to more practical use rather than planting those seeds.
You should be cognizant of growing seasons before you begin planting. The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner is a great tool to determine when and where to plant exactly the produce you want. You can also share your plans with your friends and family—maybe you’ll even inspire them to plant their own gardens.
You’ll also want to draw up visual plans of how you’ll actually lay out your plants in the garden. It’s a good idea to keep similar foods together, like lettuce with kale and raspberries with blueberries. Plant for the season, and perhaps try something new!
Decorate Your Garden
It’s not enough to just plant and watch your garden grow. Put some creativity into your new outdoor growing space with some laser cut plant markers, or hang some plants from your fence with wire hangers. This is your chance to really make your garden yours. If you have kids, this is the perfect opportunity to get them involved with planting and decorating.
Summer is all about relaxing and spending time outside with family and friends, so begin with a new edible garden. With some time and a little bit of work, you can be on your way to harvesting wholesome, healthy foods for you and your family.