This summer, amidst the beautiful sunny days and humid weather, I’ve been craving fresh fruit and crisp veggies every day. And what better way to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies than growing them yourself! Building your very own fruit and vegetable garden is a great outdoor summer activity and helps teach your children the process of gardening. Not to mention the fresh produce it yields for a tasty salad.
I’ve put together some of my tips for getting started and how to help grow your favourite foods in your own backyard. Have limited space? Not a problem, buy some planters from the store or build your own with empty 2L plastic soda bottles, laid on their side with a rectangle cut on top – voila, an eco friendly DIY planter.
No matter how you garden, the plants you choose, and/or the process you take, gardening is a great way to spend some quality family time outside. I’m sure it will help create amazing memories, lasting smiles, and delicious fruits and veggies!
Still waiting for your veggies to bloom? Try our new Peach Arugula Summer Salad with house made Black Sesame Vinaigrette.
1. Let there be light
Most veggies require tons of sunlight to produce a good yield, so find somewhere in your space that gets between 7-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you don’t have access to direct sunlight for that long, there are plenty of other things to garden that will turn out great, like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and peppers.
2. Superior soil
Life lesson of the day: Good soil is the key to a successful garden. Make sure you do a soil test to have a good understanding of the fertility and pH which will guide you in choosing your fertilizers. Some soils require chemical based fertilizers and some succeed with organic compost.
3. Plants need social distancing too
Don’t cram too many plants in one area, this will restrict your plant in growth and produce a much smaller yield. Instead, choose 4 to 5 plants to begin with and spread them out. This allows them the room to grow and allows you to understand the mechanics of gardening at a good pace.
4. Water wisely
When I started gardening I naturally thought hot summer + fear of veggies dehydrating = flooding my first veggie garden. Learn from my mistake and do not over water your plants. Most vegetable plants need one inch of water per week, including any natural rainfall. Over watering your plants can not only kill them but if a plant is wet for too long it can promote diseases.
5. What to plant
From my experience, these are the easiest fruits and vegetables to grow, and definitely gave me some beginners luck. Try blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, and cucumbers to get you started.
Nurin Moosa (Marketing Coordinator & wannabe dog mom)