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Author: admin, 15.04.2014. Category: Vegetable Garden

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. Intensive vegetable gardening is the name given to a way of using garden space and soil nutrients to produce high yields of flavorful crops.
The intensive planting method of vegetable gardening is perhaps the most efficient and effective of all growing methods. Modern vegetable gardeners call intensive garden by many names: the Chinese way to garden, French intensive gardening, biodynamic gardening, and more recently Postage Stamp and Square Foot gardening.
Backyard gardeners can easily employ intensive gardening methods to increase both the variety and yield of crops they grow.
Companion planting: The term companion planting can mean different things to different gardeners. Crop rotation: Crop rotation means planting crops in an order that maintains or enhances soil fertility. You can implement an intensive gardening program in your vegetable garden by introducing each of these elements into your garden—in just the order presented here. My name is Steve Albert and I created Harvest to Table for the beginner and veteran gardner alike. Easy Measurement ConverterThe Measurement Converter can help you figure out the metric equivalents for the measurements used in the recipes on this site. My book is a veritable encyclopedia that provides simple guidance to the kitchen gardener and cook to bring fresh, inexpensive, and healthy food from your garden to your table. 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.
Two thousand years ago similar approaches were in use in Latin America, Europe, and parts of Asia.
The site for planting is cleared of all weeds and debris then 3 to 4 inches of organic matter is spread over the site and dug or tilled into the soil. Plants are arranged two three or more plants or rows across a single bed—called a narrow bed or wide row.
Companion planting can include: (1) Planting different kinds of crops together in a garden bed to make the best use of garden space and each crop’s growing habit to increase the overall yield. The goal here is to find easy solutions to common garden problems and to help you bring great food from your garden to your table. 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. Just more than 100 years ago, market vegetable gardeners around Paris began using this method to supply fresh vegetables to urban shoppers; intensive planting produced enough food for a large population on relatively scarce land. Aged compost, well-rotted manure, grass clippings, chopped leaves, or combinations of these are the most nutrient-rich amendments for vegetable growing. Seeds are sown or transplants are set in the garden so that their leaves grow to just touch at maturity; nearly every inch of growing space in a bed is used for growing. A simple raised bed can be created by simply hoeing up soil to make a bed that is higher than the surrounding soil.
For example follow a crop of spring lettuce with summer growing tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants. This type of companion planting is called inter-cropping, for example, planting a low growing crop that requires shade between two taller growing crops. Heavy feeders include tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, corn, eggplants, beets, lettuce, and other leafy crops. 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 is best to add amendments to the soil a month or more before planting; this allows nutrients to disperse throughout the soil. Then late in the summer, follow the summer-growing crops with cool-season crops such as lettuce or spinach. Heavy feeders are planted after light feeders; light feeders include garlic, onions, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, and turnips.
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.
Later a mulch of compost is spread across the bed to prevent rain and wind from washing or blowing away the soil. The number of plants in a narrow bed or wide row varies according to how far the gardener can reach. Succession planting takes a bit of planning; you will need to know how many days to maturity each crop takes and how many days you have in your growing season—that is the number of days from the last frost in spring to the first frost in fall. 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 soil can be pre-warmed with plastic mulch—black or clear plastic sheeting spread—before sowing or transplanting crops. Once a bed or wide row is planted, the gardener never steps onto the growing soil; she simply reaches arm’s length into the bed to plant, tend, and harvest each crop. A raised bed should not be wider than the gardener’s reach to the center of the bed from either side—3 to 5 feet is common.
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. Raised beds should not be any longer than the distance the gardener wants to walk to get to the other side; don’t be tempted to cut across your raised beds.
This type of companion planting is based on folk tradition and has not been scientifically proven. A permanent raised bed can be created by bordering the bed a frame of lumber, cement blocks, or stones. For example, old-time garden tradition says planting dill next to cabbage will improve the flavor of the cabbage.
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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