How to Start  a Food Garden

Before you start planting or seeding, ask yourself what you are willing to invest, and what you wish to achieve. It is better to feel like you could have planted a little more, than having the feeling you couldn’t manage and failed. It’s very easy to overreach with vegetable gardens: Don’t set yourself up for failure. Start simple.

A bucket, some soil and a few seeds are all you need to start

Food can be grown everywhere: on balconies, roofs and sidewalks

No suitable outdoor space? Look for a community garden

Start with a single bed with some easy veggies

You can expand by adding more beds, fences and irrigation

Don’t go at it alone

Chances are that you are not the first to grow some vegetables in your area. Look and ask around. Growing food is much easier if you can avoid problems by looking at successful growers in your area. Everything you need to know, and all the materials you will need are obtainable online or at local nurseries. But it really helps if you know what issues you may encounter and local gardeners will be happy to give advice. Ask what pests have been around. Are there plant diseases in the area you should be aware of? What species are successful? It will help you avoid preventable mistakes. It is also fun to share seeds and seedlings, or share and compare produce.

Watering and weeding

If you think of growing food you need to be aware that between putting the seed (or the plug) in the soil and harvesting the produce, a lot needs to happen. Some plant species need to be kept in order, which means the plants they require some grooming in order to obtain a good yield. But most time will be spent removing weeds and making sure the soil has the right amount of moisture. If you have a small set up, manually weeding and watering will likely be sufficient. But when you have more than one bed, you might consider a form of mechanical irrigation and some kind of mulch. Whatever type of garden you build, make sure your planting bed has easy access to a water source.

The Hardware