You don’t really want to garden, but you know fresh food is expensive and important to your body. At Giddy we make natural products that are great for your skin, but your body needs fresh healing nutrients in food form too. So how do you start when you’ve never gown anything, you’ve got limited space and no time?
Start with plants not seeds. Find a local nursery. Here in San Diego, I go to Hunter’s Nursery in Lemon Grove. There are lots of local nurseries that need your support to survive. The closer the nursery is to your house or apartment the better, because the move will be less stressful for the plant. Local nurseries often have very helpful plant experts, who love the plants and want you to be successful.
Pick the easiest plants to grow: Hybrid Tomatoes, Zucchini, Swiss Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Cilantro, Parsley. Your area may be great for growing something else. Your local nursey expert will know what plants grow well near you. Choose hybrid tomatoes as they are the easiest to grow and are resistant to common tomato diseases. Tomato plants need a wire cage to keep them growing upright unless you have the room for them to sprawl.
Bag It Up
Use grow bags to ensure you’ve got great dirt. Plants need great soil and it needs to be conditioned every year to replenish the nutrients that the plants remove. You can leap ahead with little effort if you use grow bags filled with fresh vegetable potting mix. This also minimizes the chance of growing a patch of weeds. You shouldn’t need to worry about buying any fertilizer when you start with a good potting mix. What’s grow bag? It can be planting bag that you buy specifically for growing or it can be a reusable fabric shopping bag. My mom uses the blue ones from Walmart for her garden. This way of container gardening is perfect for patios, balconies, or small yards.
Let the Sun Shine In
Place your bags in a sunny spot. The sugar in vegetables needs the warmth of the sun to develop. If you’re in a very warm climate you may need a spot that gives your plants a little bit of shade. Most of my garden is planted on the North side of a fence – this gives my plants some shade at the hottest time of day.
Water, but don’t drown
Plants like to be watered regularly, but not sit in water. Plant roots need to breathe, which is why so many plant labels say the plant needs “well drained soil.” The easiest way to ensure your plants are getting watered every day in the hot months is to set up a soaker hose on a timer. That way the watering is automated and you’re free to take off every weekend without coming home to wilted plants. Watering timers are pretty cheap and are very easy to attach to an outside faucet. Ten minutes a day is usually enough, but watering time will vary based on your climate.
Eat Your Harvest
Tomato and Zucchini plants are prolific producers. You can harvest leaves from the bottom of your Kale and Swiss Chard and let the plant keep growing. With very little investment and effort you should have more than you can eat. I give a lot of vegetables away to friends. But we also have a large dehydrator, which I use to preserve about half of our harvest. Vegetables rehydrate well on the trail and are a heck of a lot cheaper than buying already dehydrated. In a month as so I’ll post about basic dehydrating – without buying a dehydrator.
Good luck with your garden. We can’t wait to see pictures of your harvest. Tag us (@giddyheals) or use #giddygardens when posting on Instagram.