Have you ever thought of growing your own vegetables? It’s not as hard as you may think. As long as you have an area around your home that receives adequate sunshine and maintain a regular watering schedule, you can enjoy your own fresh crops every summer. Here are some tips to help get the beginner gardener started!
A garden doesn’t have to span your whole backyard to reap rewards. For beginners, start by creating a small garden space in the backyard. Tomatoes and cucumbers are generally a good starting point for beginners, as they require only moderate attention; plenty of sun and regular watering. You will however, need to think about how you will support the plant stocks as they grow. Generally, sturdy cages or stakes are the simplest solution and easy to install.
Grow Up to Make the Most Out of a Small Space
Growing your crops up, with the help of cages, trellises, or other structures will help you fit more into a small garden space. It is also helpful for pest control and monitoring crop growth, as everything is more easily visible and there are less places for critters to hide. Certain vegetables varieties are better for this than others. Crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, squash, melons, and more all grow well on cages or trellises and allow you to better maximize your use of a small garden space.
Opt for a Larger Diversity of Small Quantities
When you are just starting to garden, it is best to opt for a larger variety of crops in smaller quantities rather than take up half the garden with one vegetable. This helps ensure you have time to pick all of the crops, as they will mature at different time, and helps prevent waste. This is a particularly good strategy for beginner gardeners that are excited about the process and will likely want to sample and enjoy the fruits – or vegetables – of their labour, rather than sell or give away their crops to friends and family.
Integrate Into Your Landscape Design
A garden should be both functional and add to the overall appeal of your yard. Planning out your garden space beforehand and taking time to craft it with care can make a big difference in its longevity, and could even help ensure you enjoy the process all summer long. Choose the location strategically, in an area that gets plenty of sunshine but is far enough away from your main outdoor living space that you won’t chance the kids kicking their soccer ball into your plants.
Gauge Your Capacity Before Considering Poultry and Livestock
It is especially important to start small if you are trying to raise animals. It is important not to overestimate your space if you are trying to raise chickens or pigs, at it is unfair and unhealthy for the animals to be living in cramped conditions. If you don’t think you have enough space, it would be best to skip the coop and source your eggs, meat and dairy products directly from a local farmer that does have the space. (Note: you cannot keep domestic farm animals and fowl on your property within the city of Ottawa, however such practices are allowed in rural areas)