With the eat local movement gaining popularity, there’s no time like the spring to dive into your backyard and plant fruits and vegetables just steps from your kitchen door. Aside from the benefits of healthy eating, gardening is a great way to burn calories. Plus, growing your produce at home will save you money. Here are a few tips from Niki Jabbour, author of The Year Round Vegetable Gardener to help your produce bloom.
Pick the Right Site
The ideal spot will have at least eight hours a day of sunshine and decent soil. Worried about the soil? You can also build a raised bed and fill it with garden soil and compost.
Start with a manageable raised bed or a few pots of your favourite crops. Once you’ve mastered planting, tending and harvesting you can expand your garden next year.
Keep Your Soil Healthy
Adding organic fertilizers, like fish emulsion or liquid kelp, can boost crops during summer. Use a mulch of straw or shredded leaves to keep soil cool and moist.
Plant Your Menu
Focus your garden on the fruits and veggies you know your family will like to eat. Quick growing veggies like leaf lettuce, radishes or spinach can fill in empty areas of the garden and will be ready to harvest after a month. Herbs are another easy-to-grow addition and, if you like to cook, can save you money.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May 2015.