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7 Steps to Grow Your Own Food This Spring

Who doesn't look forward to the beauty of spring and its promise of warmer weather to come? With those first signs of winter finally fading into another year, our thoughts begin to turn to thoughts of fresh produce and all the delicious flavors of summer. If you were to grow your own garden, you could not only have fun, but also eat healthier and save a huge bundle of money. So, why not plant a family garden this year

You may be thinking the cost will outweigh the benefit, but growing your own garden is far more affordable than you might think. According to the National Gardening Association, it costs a mere $70 per year for the average family to plant a vegetable garden which will produce about $600 worth of food. That kind of return is too good to pass on, especially if you were already thinking of planting a garden in the first place.

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Here are seven simple steps to help you grow your own garden:

Plan Out Your Garden

In order to bring your garden together, start by doing some research on what kind of food you want to grow. Depending on the region of the country you live in, your options will vary.

Next, determine how much time you can realistically devote to cultivating your garden. After all, caring for certain kinds of plants will require more effort to grow and maintain than others.

Whatever options you choose, make sure they are foods you and your family are excited about so it is ultimately worth the effort to grow them.

Get the Right Materials

You'll need these essentials to grow a great garden:

  • Good seeds or starter plants
  • Fertilizer
  • Mulching materials
  • Hoe
  • Spade
  • Garden rake
  • Trowel
  • Measuring stick
  • Planting line
  • Hand cultivator
  • Seed drill
  • Hoses and sprinklers

Pick the Right Spot

Location, location, location - it really is everything. That holds especially true for where you plant the seeds for your garden. To properly sprout and flourish, seeds need a minimum of 6 hours of sun daily. Your seedlings will also need plenty of water, so it's important to choose an easily accessible spot that you can easily tend to regularly.

Choose the Right Time of Year

It takes patience to plan and plant a garden, and that is no less true when it comes to waiting for your garden to grow. That starts by choosing the best time of year to plant your seeds. This is important because plants and herbs only tolerate certain kinds of weather at certain times of the year. If you miss the window of time to start your garden, you can either pay extra for more established starter plants or wait until next year.

Water Your Soil Regularly

Since water is a key ingredient for growing a healthy garden, it's important to schedule regular watering. You must be sure to maintain even soil moisture, or else your plant's roots will eventually dry out in spots, stunting the plant's growth. It's also important to water deeply, wait for the soil to partially dry, then water again. If you don't, you risk growing bitter tasting produce. The best way to overcome this challenge is to install a drip irrigation system that has an automatic timer.

Mulching

Aside from watering the soil regularly, you must be sure to apply a 2 to 3-inch layer of organic mulch over your plant beds. This will cool the soil, reduce weeds, and help prevent soil moisture fluctuations by minimizing evaporation.

Pick Your Food

And here comes the payoff - harvesting your fresh, delicious, homegrown food as it ripens to maturity. Even if you pick more than you can possibly eat, throw a party or give some to your friends and neighbors. Who knew gardening could help your social life? The reason it is important to pick your fruits and veggies as they ripen is twofold; plants stop producing if ripe produce is not harvested, and nothing draws pests and disease to your garden faster than overripe produce.

Another Way to Grow Something

Perhaps you've come up against a growing number of expenses, or several things are coming due at the same time. Auto title loans provide a short-term option that could help you pay off bills, consolidate debts, and cover other expenses when money is tight. And speaking of tight, another great part about planting a family garden is the opportunity to bond with your kids. Just think of the great memories you will harvest along with all the tasty food.