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How to Grow Your own Food like this vegetable garden For Increased Security, Health, Financial and Happiness BenefitsLearning how to grow your own food is becoming more essential for financial and climate reasons. We have always been hunters and gatherers, but in today’s modern society we have shifted away from our natural instincts and become consumers.
Obvious factors in learning how to grow your own food include climate, soil, rainfall, and space. Depending on the type of soil in your region or that you have available, you may expect very high yields from a large area, or meager yields from small areas. No one can expect plants to thrive with minimal rainfall, so most food crops require substantial amounts of water from irrigation or rainfall.
If plenty of space is available, you may be able to grow plenty of food using conventional methods, but where space is limited, you may have to look at other techniques, including hydroponics, container gardening, sharecropping, and vertical gardening.
Learning how to grow your own food is more than just planting seeds and sitting back waiting to eat them. We often think of the vegetables we see in the produce section of a market as the garden vegetables, and in a sense, this is true, but to truly grow your own food, you need to consider your whole diet. This includes legumes, leaf vegetables, root vegetables, corn (a grain, looked at more closely later), and vine vegetables like squash, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins. Most people understand that fruits are a great source of vitamin C, but they also contribute many other vitamins and minerals to your diet, as well as offering a broader variety of taste to enjoy.
Growing grains is not what most people envision when they think of growing their own food, but grains are a staple in most diets. Often eaten as a vegetable with meals, corn is also a versatile grain that can be stored whole, un-shucked, shelled (removed from the cob, with whole kernels), or ground into meal for use in making breads or mush dishes like grits.
Most people are familiar with wheat, from which we get most of our flour for baking everything from breads to cakes and pastries. Another grain, oats for human consumption are processed more than wheat or corn, and the labor involved in harvest is equal to wheat. For wet areas, areas subject to flooding, or which can be flooded, rice is the obvious choice. This is where the instructions in this article cannot suffice to give comprehensive and accurate information specific to you. You will need to address specific issues in your planning, including wildlife encroachment, which may require fences or other permanent measures, sun exposures, since some plants require more sunlight to successfully produce than others, and topography, since tilling very steep ground is wrought with problems. When you are learning how to grow your own food, you want to make a list all of the possible crops that you want to grow on your land. If you are going to grow grains, you will need barns which will keep your stored harvest dry and safe from insects and vermin. You may be investing a considerable amount of money in start-up costs if you do not have any materials and equipment available at the beginning. If you have abundant land and sufficient equipment, you can start on a fairly large scale, but unless you have sufficient knowledge and experience, you will be gambling that the plants you select are suitable for your soil and climate.
When we are learning how to grow our own food, there is some terminology we also must learn like breaking the ground among others. Place your seeds in the furrow at the depth required for the particular crop you are planting. Because you are planting this crop in rows, you will be able to walk the center area between rows (the middles) to accomplish this, if you are doing this by hand.
If you see leaves which have been eaten, you will have to determine what is causing the damage. For common vegetables, you have several choices for storing them through the non-growing season. Stop applying all pesticides, fungicides, weed killers and sprays in and around your entire garden. Cover your gardening area with organic material such as leaves, dried grass and fine plant material from your own or other non-pesticide sprayed gardens. Get a bucketful of good compost from someone else’s garden or crumbly black sweet-smelling soil from under forest trees. You can use seeds when learning how to grow your own food and either start them indoors or just plant them outdoors, or you can obtain vegetables in 4″ square pots, a common size, or get some plants from friends or neighbors. While we have tried to ensure we included everything you will need, there are always exceptions, but we hope we have covered you well enough in our how to grow your own food. Proper vegetable garden orientation will assure that your plants are positioned the best way to achieve optimal growth and performance. Generally speaking, in the north, tall plants such as beans, peas and corn do best on the north side of the garden. Most experts believe that the best way to orient garden rows in the Northern hemisphere is north to south.
If you are planting on a steep slope, however, it’s best to keep rows perpendicular to the slope so that your plants and soil do not end up at the bottom of your hill. In many places where the summers get acutely hot, some shade is necessary, and the direction of vegetable garden rows is not extremely relevant. May 2, 2011 By Henrietta 4 Comments Since this is the first year that we are trying the Square foot gardening method in our new raised beds, I wanted to make sure that I had a good plan in place.  Usually I graph out our large gardens on graph paper in long rows of vegetables. I used the very easy to use, and fun Kitchen Garden Planner tool that I found on the Gardener’s Supply website to create our bed plans. Also, I have always tried to loosely follow companion planting guidelines in our vegetable gardens over the years.
Bed one will be nearest the house so that the pea and tomato cages and bamboo tepees won’t block the sunlight. Bed two will be farthest from the house as it only has a bean bamboo tepee in the center of the bed.
Some plants, such as the radishes and broccoli will be harvested before the surrounding plants get larger. I'll use the 3 sister guild as an example, which are 3 plants that were originally combined by Native Americans in such a way that the plants all helped each other out.
Just these 3 plants show us that companion plants can act as a scaffold, improve organic soil fertility, and decrease weeds and evaporation. Fortunately, when the anecdotal evidence comes from tens of thousands of gardeners and farmers over the last century and beyond, we know there's something to it.
Now, if I accidentally plant my onions right beside my beans, it's probably not going to be a big disaster. The rules at play here are more subtle, and it probably depends on many environmental factors.
But I've seen the effects of companion planting vegetables, so I follow many of the guidelines. That doesn't mean I don't break the rules, but I do find them to be a nice starting point when I'm planting every spring. Otherwise, it can be difficult to know where to begin when laying out 50 different crops in my organic garden. As you probably know, a monoculture is a big garden or field of just one crop, while companion planting looks at 2-3 plants.
The companion planting chart refers to how any two given plants will interact with each other. In it's simplest form, it just means that we combine a bunch of plants together in the garden in order to increase overall biodiversity and make use of different niches in the garden. With a lot of experimentation and observation, you can hit upon a collection of crops that work well together for your organic garden. We'll have reduced yields on some plants and others may not do well at all during the experimentation phase, but we should have better overall garden health and often improved yields overall. So if you usually plant straight rows, you may want to experiment with a polyculture this fall or next year.
Right-click on it to save it to your computer (save the link, not the image, in order to get a full page pdf).
The first and probably the most important step is deciding what crops you want to grow and where you will be growing them.
Since you are new to this type of gardening, however, you might be better off starting out with something smaller.
Draw it out on paper and list the vegetables you would like to incorporate into your garden.

Once you have established the layout, scan the surrounding landscape for a location to make sure it will fit in. Successful gardens need at least five hours of full sun, though eight hours would be ideal.
After the soil in your desired location has been properly worked, you are ready to begin planting your vegetable garden. All that is left now is the general maintenance of the garden, which in itself is just as important to achieve success.
It is probably a better idea to jump on your herb garden design in your mind and on paper first before actually starting to plant and arrange things in the real world. The easiest thing to do is to take a whole bunch of papers and start to sketch, just to get yourself going. As you might already know there are all sorts of different herbs and they grow in different ways. Here are 2 other websites with some other tips you can find on planning the herb garden design and information about herbs.
It always helps to think simple to begin with and learn slowly step by step, so I hope these tips were a good start and please do visit and read our other articles on herb garden design. Leafy vegetables like greens are the most shade tolerant while root and fruit crops, which largely depend on light for their flowers, require more sun. These can also be planted in succession, used as filler plants, and be picked anytime, so you have the opportunity to enjoy them from spring through fall. First of all, consider the price of food that keeps on increasing it seems with each passing day. There are many benefits of having your own vegetable garden, such as the reduced cost of food, increased security, health benefits, and a great hobby! A fast and fun way to learn what grows well in your climate is to visit a nearby farm or neighbors garden. This means growing quick producing plant varieties that can be harvested and stored for the winter. Consider the normal rainfall rate for your area, and the availability of irrigation when choosing crops.
This is a general list of the types of food you will want to consider growing in learning how to grow your own food. Leaf vegetables, like cabbage and lettuce, as well as vine vegetables like cucumbers and squash, are a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits also can often be preserved by drying or canning, so refrigeration is not required to store your surplus. They are filled with carbohydrates and fiber, and can be stored easily for long periods of time. Wheat stores well after harvest, but harvesting itself is more laborious than it is for corn, since the whole plant is usually cut down, sheaved (placed in piles), gathered and threshed (beaten to free the seeds), and ground into fine powder (flour).
Instead, we will look at basic growing requirements for different plants according to standard growing regions, as set forth by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) on their plant hardiness map[1] which you may be able to use by comparing climates in terms of latitude and elevation to your particular region. These are planted after the threat of frost, and require 75 to 90 days to produce fruit, which can continue producing as long as the plants are cared for until autumn frost. This group of plants includes squash, melons, and pumpkins, and is planted after the last expected frost, and takes between 45 days (cucumbers) to 130 days for pumpkins, to produce harvest-able fruit. This fruit (usually grouped with vegetables) can be planted in containers if kept warm, and transplanted into soil after the threat of frost, and will produce season-long as well.
There is a great difference in growing seasons with grains, as well as summer and winter varieties of many of these. Apples, pears, plums, and peaches are regarded as orchard fruits in most places, and do not require annual planting. You should try to have as diverse a selection as possible to meet nutrition requirements mentioned earlier.
Except in very cold regions, you may expect to be able to grow and harvest summer, fall, winter, and spring crops. It is likely that if you intend to produce all of the food you consume for yourself, you will find that a combination of storage and preservation methods will be useful. It can be done without high-tech gadgets in most fairly dry, warm climates, and has been done for centuries and centuries. This requires containers (which are reusable with the exception of lids, which may deteriorate over time) but does require proper preparation, cooking equipment, and skill. This, again, requires some cooking preparation, as well as a freezer and proper containers. This is a method for storing your underground root crops such as potatoes, rutabagas, beets, carrots, ect. You will also wind up with plenty of labor invested, which may translate into additional expense if you forgo a regular job to pursue this effort.
Here, we are considering the general method that would be used by someone who does not have this type of equipment and expertise.
You will want to keep the soil around the roots loosened without damaging the roots themselves.
Many animals find tender young plants in a garden more appetizing than native growth, so you will have to protect the plants from these, but insects are a much more prevalent problem with growing food. Many common garden vegetables are harvested as they become ripe, and continue to produce throughout the growing season with proper care.
Carrots, turnips and other root vegetables can be stored well into the winter months in the refrigerator or a root cellar.
If plants already grow there that you want somewhere else, dig them out with the shovel and plant them in the new location. Burying the organic material any deeper just kills the critters and wastes your energy because there may not be enough oxygen for them further down.
Make a kneeling board out of a small piece of scrap plywood to avoid compacting the soil and use an old cushion to help reduce the stress on your knees. Dig a hole slightly larger than the rootball, squeeze the sides of the pot to unstick the plant, moisten the rootball, fluff it’s roots sideways and plant it.
Crop arrangement in gardens is not a new practice and is one that deserves some attention if you are looking for maximum yield from your plants. Medium size crops such as tomatoes, cabbage, squash, pumpkins and broccoli in the center of the garden. A shade cloth is often used in some of the warmer regions of the country to keep the hot summer sun from destroying crops. Using this new method, each square foot block of our garden will be intensively planted to maximize our growing space and crowd out any weeds that dare set foot in our soil. It can be very beneficial to surround plants with ones that help each other grow, as well as try to distance the plants that do not make the best neighbors for each other.
We will be using the onions as they grow and will try replacing as we pull them to keep a fresh supply all summer.
Skeptics are quick to point out that a lot of this stuff comes from anecdotal evidence, which is partially true. And if I plant those onions next to my tomatoes instead, I'm not going to double my yields. Some are ready for harvest early, while others wait a while, even within the same food group, such as lettuces.
But even without all the planning, simply by combining these plants, we get increased biodiversity and the benefits that come with that.
Each bed may have 10-20 plants all mingling together, perhaps 15 food plants and 5 beneficials such as wild marigold, nasturtium, yarrow, chamomile, bee balm or any number of others. It’s usually better to grow only the vegetables in which you enjoy and those that are easier to grow. Catalogs, gardening books, and plant guides are helpful resources for any information you will need. You’ll want to set the tallest crops at the furthest point back and gradually work others towards the front. Depending on the types and amounts of crops you have chosen, they can be easily preserved by freezing or canning.
A little bit of planning ahead can really make a huge difference in the final result and can be a difference between really messy unpleasant herb garden design whereas with some effort from the start you could have a herb garden to feel proud of.

So you might want to use this in your herb garden design to either make everything blood together and have a lush period or design the herb garden in such a way as to have some bloom more or less all around the year.
While many vegetables need a lot of light, a select few will actually thrive in the cooler, darker areas of the shade garden.
Next we have the climate change condition, which dumps heavy rainfalls producing floods, and other upcoming disasters like droughts and other weather extremes, which not only affects the price, but the quantity of food available. We are talking substantial savings in food costs here, but it is also a somewhat labor intensive task. Other areas have year-long warm weather, where fresh vegetables and grain can be harvested on demand. You will need to prepare each different vegetable you intend to grow in basically the same way, but when you have prepared the soil for planting, you can plant as many different crops as you like at one time. In many early civilizations, and in some countries today, grain is the primary foodstuff for the population. Generally speaking, summer grains, such as corn and summer wheat, are planted near the end of winter when freezing temperatures are not expected to continue for more than a few weeks, and they take about 110 days to mature, then another 30-60 days to dry sufficiently to harvest for storing as seed. The trees that bear these fruits require pruning and maintenance and usually take 2-3 years before producing their first, modest crop.
You may be able to estimate a total yield per crop item by researching the growing success of others in your area, or by using information from the source you purchase your seed from. Before investing a great deal of time and money, research your local growing conditions, available crop selections, and your ability to manage this labor-intensive effort. Begin on a smaller scale when learning how to grow your own food, perhaps trying to grow a set percentage of your food requirements to give you an idea of the total yield you can expect, and work your way up to a self-sufficient level.
Mark out the area you intend to plant using stakes and rope, and with a hoe or plow, create a slightly raised bed in the loose soil in a line across the length of the plot.
After placing the seed in the furrow, cover them and tamp (gently pack down) the soil lightly so the seed bed (the covered furrow) does not dry out as quickly. You may find you are able to keep insect damage to a minimum by simply removing and killing them as you find them, but for serious problems, you may have to resort to chemical or biological control ( use of surrounding bug repellent plants ).
Grains, on the other hand, are most often harvested when they are fully ripened and dry on the plant. Drying produce is one option for long term preservation of meats, fruits, and vegetables, and for seed type crops like legumes, this will give excellent results. You will be inoculating your soil with all manner of soil organisms, little bugs, worms and other beneficial life forms that are going to do most of the work for you in improving your soil. Create paths of a minimum width to enable you to reach across a four foot wide bed from both sides. Mulch around it on the surface with organic material like leaves or straw to keep the soil moist underneath it. Just heap up all the clean organic material that you can get and mix it up occasionally, keeping it as moist as a wrung out sponge.
The direction that vegetables are planted is most important in areas where maximum sunlight is desired and not so influential in areas where the summers are exceptionally hot. Short-growing plants such as lettuce, radishes, beets, and onions will do best in the southernmost part of the garden.
I really love that I can edit the names of the plants to include ones they don’t show.
Even  though our raised bed are smaller that the normal garden, I can still practice companion planting and think I have done a decent job of it with this plan. There is full sun for most of the day in the area we selected for our beds so I think the placement of our plants, and the beds  themselves, will work out well. You only need to follow a few simple guidelines in order to become successful with your gardening venture. Plant rows (if you are using rows) north to south and allow approximately 2-3 feet of spacing between your rows, if possible.
You might already know the size of your garden, so you can immediately draw your dimensions, which gives you a much easier, more limited space to work with. So what you want to make sure is that in your herb garden design you are thinking both about the horizontal placement of the herbs but also the vertical because some herbs like mint can grow quite tall and you might need to contain it while others like thyme don’t go much in the vertical axes but do like to spread themselves.
The day may come when we go to the store and not be able to find the foods we would like, or that we need.
We have included a substantial set of instructions here for how to grow your own garden, and we hope that it helps you in your journey back to our roots! When the trees begin producing fruit, the yield should increase yearly, and after they become mature and established, a single tree can produce bushels of fruit each year. Using the list, and the planting plan you began earlier, you will need to calculate the amount of seeds you will need to plant. Beets, carrots, cauliflower, snow peas, cabbage, onions, turnips, collards, mustard greens, and many other vegetables actually prefer growing in cold weather if the ground does not freeze. The benefits of learning how to grow your own food will include having food that you can enjoy without the worry of herbicides, pesticides, and other contaminants, except those used at your discretion.
If you start out small, you won’t get overwhelmed by the scope of the project and want to quit altogether. On a small plot of land and due to financial constraints, you may have to revert to the use of pick, shovel and hoe. Harvesting is a labor intensive operation, and as you become experienced in growing, you will find that you need to reduce the production of some plants so that harvesting can be managed. Avoid the area next to buildings or fences because of possible contamination of the soil by paint, heavy metals or chemicals.
Water the root ball with a slow drip such as a bucket with a nail hole to allow air to be pulled down after the water.
It’s also nice that the tool automatically adds the correct amount of plants according to the square foot gardening idea. Clear the area of weeds and other debris, such as rocks, sticks, etc., and rake the surface smooth. Place each crop into the garden at its appropriate planting time-check seed packets or other resource. Alternatively, you might want certain herbs to be definitely included in your herb garden design, then this is also very good because you can put them where you like and then see what you have left to work with. Not only can shade offer temporary relief from intense summer heat for vegetables that like cooler weather, but shaded tolerant vegetables can actually be a source of both early and late harvests when planted in succession. If you have lots of room, plant an excess to allow for poor performance until you have a firm grasp of what you are doing. This type of storage is an effective way to save space and keep your produce fresh for longer periods of time. Some of the labor and costs will vary, for instance once your have dug up and initially prepared your garden, that is it. That way as you gain experience and confidence you can expand and take your new hobby to new levels without risking being overwhelmed. I used to know a couple and the husband (who was from Jamaica) maintained a fantastic garden.
You will probably use up lots of papers and toss the bad designs away, but that’s part of the whole fun of it, making your own herb garden design and seeing it before you grow it and then growing it and watching it come to existence as you planned it.
If you are very tight on space, consider your alternatives like indoors or vertical gardening or even rooftop. After that phase, all you need to do is maintenance like planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting!
You should clear away any large stones, roots and limbs, heavy accumulation of vegetation, and other debris before tilling.
The same holds true for financial investments, as after you have initially completed the garden, the only things you will need to purchase would be seeds and maybe some storage materials! For some of you when learning how to grow your own food, it may also mean marking off an area and digging up your lawn.
Just get 4 tall wooden stakes and some rope and mark off the new section you wish to designate as your new ‘garden’!

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  1. KISKA writes:
    Not have the room to support much agriculture, at the very.
  2. Kavkazec writes:
    Then stick into the and keep the crops rising.