Successfully grow fresh vegetables at home
Growing your own fresh herbs and vegetables saves money, time and is a great way to spend quality family time with your children in a dynamic learning environment. There are some common reasons why home vegetable gardens fail. I have provided my top tips to ensure that this is not YOU. I believe that anyone can grow fresh food at home and have it available to regularly add to family meals.
The main reasons people fail at their attempt to grow fresh vegetables at home include:
- Planting food the family does not enjoy eating
- Failure to follow planting and care guidelines
- Forgetting to water your plants
- Incorrect planting position or environment
- Not involving the whole family in the process
Any of these reason individually, or combined can lead to never trying again and loosing the valuable opportunity to experience the excitement and satisfaction that comes from harvest your own home grown fresh food that you can use in family meals.
Many people I have spoken to over the last 4 years have told me that they would love to have fresh organic ingredients on hand that could be collected as required and added to family meals.
This is not a dream, it is part of our lifestyle. I collect fresh ingredients from our vegetable garden daily for family meals. During the summer months I purchase very few vegetables and no herbs from the store. During the remaining seasons of the year I collect ingredients for our family meals on a regular basis.
Growing your own fresh herbs and vegetables saves our family money and it also saves me valuable time. I do not need to go to the shops for “top ups” of fresh vegetables or herbs very often as I can collect them as required from our backyard.
These are my tips to avoid failure when growing your own vegetables at home:
- Plant food that your family enjoys eating. Planting vegetables and herbs that are often used in your family meals is a guaranteed way of ensuring that your fresh produce is used and enjoyed. It will be sought and used often, celebrated and enjoyed at the family meal table as everyone marvels at the amazing flavour and skills of the gardeners who grew it. A success in the garden and enjoyment of the fresh food shared will encourage you to grow more.
- All plants need to be grown in the right conditions. This includes climate or region, temperature range, the correct spacing and in a certain soil type. Growing notes on seed packets or on plant labels will provide critical information and it is important that this is followed if you expect your plants to flourish and produce fresh harvests.
- Water, along with soil is one of the critical elements that will determine if your plants prosper or not. When growing from seed it is important to note that the soil should not be allowed to dry out or the seeds will fail to germinate and grow. Most plants need regular water. One of the most common things people who have failed to grow tell me is that they forget to water their plants and the plants die. Yes, if you forget to care for your plants they will die. They require water, food and some protection against pests and extreme weather conditions. If remembering to water your plants is an issue for you then read on and download a free watering chart to help you stay on track.
- Each plant will have a preference for shade, full sun and possibly soil types. You will not be able to grow tropical plants in a temperate climate, nor will you get blueberries if you plant in an alkaline soil. This is not tricky, simply follow the planting guides. Plant things at the right time of year and as they are suited to your planting space. Planting vegetables that need full sun in a shaded location won’t work.
- The garden provides a dynamic learning environment. It teaches responsibility, decision making, an understanding of seasonality, perseverance, co-operation, natural cycles, and good food habits. A vegetable garden most importantly provides the opportunity for every member of the family to play a role, to be involved, to spend valuable family time together and the opportunity to celebrate your achievements and harvest as family meals. Children are likely to want to eat vegetables that they have planted and cared for. The plants they have watched grow and fruit until they are ready for harvest, those they have touched, sniffed and watched, keenly anticipating the harvest are those you can confidently add to the meal table and know they will try them (at the very least). After their involvement in the growing process the harvest can represent a celebration of their achievement and success. It is the perfect way to expand your child’s exposure to new flavours and ingredients they may otherwise refuse to try or eat.
This is the basic framework I created for the Kitchen Garden Box. It is based on growing from seed. The Kitchen Garden Box removes the guess work from growing your own vegetable garden. If you are after a seasonal step by step guide to planting, growing, harvesting and cooking a years worth of fresh produce it will take you through the process, all the while providing fresh ingredients for your family meals.
Guarantee your success in the garden with the Kitchen Garden Box. Start the new year by getting outside with the kids to grow your own fresh food for family meals this year. It is simpler than you think.
Get your copy of my Water Roster so that you never again forget to water your vegetables or herbs.
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