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Home Gardens

By Khushi Multani

Have you heard the word “Home Gardens” a lot lately and are not aware of what it means? Let me solve your confusion and answer all of the fundamental questions which might arise after knowing what it means. 

Home gardens are a traditional concept that originated in the 19th century, in the era when the residents were very fond of homegrown vegetables or herbs.

Home gardens are not as fancy as they sound; it just refers to growing your fruits, vegetables, and beans in your yard. In the current period, maintaining a sustainable home garden relates to a sense of empowerment. You are in complete control of what you consume, and you will end up consuming what is best for your body health and quality-wise. 

Home gardening will help you maintain your health and eat organic food products without pesticides in them. The vegetables sold in the market usually contain many pesticides in them, which have adverse health repercussions. 

People assume that home gardening must be very time-consuming and expensive, but let me tell you the reality. The truth is that you just need to buy seeds of your choice, plant them in good soil, water them regularly and let mother earth do her magic. Remember that they are exposed to the right amount of sunlight which they need for healthy growth. 

It is not all expensive as all that one requires to spend money is on the seeds, and the rest is provided by nature. It might turn out to be costly if you go large at the beginning itself. It is always better to start at a small scale as it provides you with the right experience to know whether you are ready for such responsibility or not. It is profitable to start small as you have to pay attention to only one or two saplings.

Owning a home garden is not only fun but also rewarding.

In the beginning, knowing your plant is what is of utmost need and necessity. You can read about the plants that you are willing to grow on the internet and gain knowledge through it. Another suggestion that might prove helpful is that you can learn and understand what keeps your plant healthy from a professional at this, and you can soon become an expert yourself. The suggested plants to grow in your backyard are spinach, cauliflower, green peas, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, etc. Peppers, Eggplants, and beet are quick-growing plants and are something you should generally start with.

FACTORS:

A decent home garden must include these several points, such as the right location choice, determining the garden’s size, deciding on the types and varieties of veggies to be planted.

A few factors that might prove to be helpful while learning about and making a home garden are:

  1. Site Selection:

The main factors you need to keep in mind while selecting a site location are sunlight, water, and soil. The place where you will be planting your seeds or plant should have very fertile, loose, rich, and well-drained soil. The ground should not be of a type wherein it remains wet, or the water gets collected in. The place should have easy access to water, and if not always, then at least the water supply should be nearby. The plants don’t need as much water to grow as the seeds do need. The vegetables need 6 hours of direct sunlight and should be growing in an area with healthy sunlight. The plants should not be grown inside the home or be exposed to any UV-light.

  1. Size of the garden:

One of the most critical factors for successful gardening is determined by the garden’s size you choose to build for yourself. The mistake that new gardens make is that they get excited, and in excitement, they end up making a big garden for themselves. This creates an issue as it needs a lot of maintenance, and an individual who is new to this won’t be able to handle something so significant initially itself. If the garden is l be easy to manage. 

The main idea behind considering the size should also be to know your reason for gardening, the type of vegetable to be grown, and the size of the family you will be growing vegetables for. Do you want to know what it means in-depth?

I’ll make it easy for you to understand:

  • The reason for gardening is that if you like to do gardening for leisure purposes, then planting a small pot of flowers should be sufficient. But if your reason for growing vegetables is to store or freeze them, you should go for gardening on a preferably larger scale. 
  • The type of vegetables to be grown: some vegetables tend to take a lot of space, making it difficult for you to do gardening in a smaller area. Most vegetables usually take up 3feet of space, so if you plan to plant four types of seeds or plants, you might need 40feet wide. 
  • Size of the family: Yes, you guessed it right. It just means that if you have a more prominent family, it will be easier to take care of a big field, and if not, then vice-versa.
  1. What to grow?

Deciding what is suitable to grow can prove to be the most challenging question to answer. Many people don’t know which crop will be the right one to grow in their garden.

Here are few tips that can help you while choosing what to grow:

  • Grow vegetables that are liked in your family and will be eaten.
  • You can grow different types of vegetables to add variety to your diet.
  • Veggies like radish, beetroot, and turnip yield quickly and do not acquire much space. In comparison, vegetables like tomatoes and bush beans produce over a more extended period and require a lot of space.
  • Growing vegetables that are expensive to buy in the market is quite a wise choice: for example zucchini, broccoli.
  1. Location in the garden:

Before deciding which location you will allocate to which plant, namely, maturity, space, and height, there are three things to keep in mind.

This means that you draw a rough sketch before you start planting and growing the vegetables, for actual.

Plant vine crops near a fence, as they will get support while growing. 

Tall vegetables like tomatoes, corn, and okra can preferably be grown on the north side to bush short-length vegetables like bush beans from the sunlight.

Tip- You should plant small, fast-maturing plants between the big ones.

  1. Time for Plantation:

There are two main seasons during which one can plant vegetables, the summer season and the winter season. The warm season crops won’t grow in the soil which has cold temperature due to the frostiness. Thus, the vegetables that grow in the summer should be planted at the end of the spring to get matured before the next cold season. On the other hand, cold season crops should be produced before the soil gets warm in the spring season. These crops can tolerate lower temperatures. They can be planted in the last summer as well in order to yield after the first frost in fall.

  1. Keep a record:

Keeping a record is one of the most important ways of growing and improving your gardening. If you keep notes, you can know your mistakes and continuously improve them the next time. You also keep track of your success, and it makes you proud of yourself and motivates you to keep doing this. Also, it will help you in the next planting season.

TOOLS NEEDED FOR HOME GARDEN:

  1. Hand Trowel:

It is one of the most critical and essential hand tools for planting, potting, seedling, transplanting.

  1. Rake:

A rake is used for leveling the soil or for gathering the debris and leaves that fall. It will also help you remove clogs, stones, and rocks from the ground before planting the seeds or saplings. 

  1. Hoe: 

A garden hoe is a very essential for edging your lawn, cultivating the soil, and various other gardening tasks. Different types of gardens usually have different types of hoe. If you are doing vegetable gardening, then you should go with a sturdy, wide hoe. They are generally helpful in preparing garden beds and cutting down weeds.

  1. Pruning Shears:

Also known as secateurs, it is used for shaping and trimming the dead growth of the plants. It is a very useful and handful tool around the garden.

  1. Gloves:

While gardening is an exciting hobby, it can equally blister and hurt your fingers. Thus, having a good pair of gloves is always a good idea to protect yourself. Always buy a pair of gloves which are comfortable and should fit you completely. A poor fit can lead to slipping the gloves and causing harm to your fingers. 

  1. Spade: 

Spade completes a gardening kit. You need to use a spade for almost every task, such as transplanting, digging, trenching, lifting sod, edging, and much more. These square shovels are garden horses.

  1. Wheelbarrow:

It is a lifesaver. It will ease your task of carrying your gardening tools from one place to another. You can dump everything in a wheelbarrow and transport it anywhere you are working.

TIPS TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN YOUR GARDEN:

A few pointers that will make gardening a fun task, even for beginners.

  • Label everything that you plant in your garden.
  • Do not crowd plant, i.e., close to each other.
  • Use compost from your household or garden.
  • Use suitable fertilizers for your garden and your plants.
  • It would be best if you always sifted through the plants and their roots before buying them.
  • Keep an eye on the bugs in your garden.
  • Water your plants enough and regularly.
  • Don’t forget to clean up during the spring period, especially for yellowish or damaged leaves.
  • The right time to water your grass is between 4:00 am-8:00 am.
  • Do not over-water your soil as it can lead to mold formation and harm your plants.
  • Always get rid of the weeds.
  • Store your seeds correctly.
  • You should try and practice crop rotation. Crop rotation means that you will grow different seeds in one pot (one seed at a time) and thus passing the nutrients to the other plant that will be growing. 
  • Try to plant your seedlings in vibrant color pots; if you use pits, add an extra scenic view to your garden.
  • You have to learn to be patient, and nature shows its magic in these beautiful plants.

ADVANTAGES:

  1. It provides you and your family with fresh and organic vegetables.
  2. They are high in nutrition.
  3. It saves money.
  4. It has a tremendous and positive environmental impact.
  5. It is an enjoyable activity.
  6. It provides you with easy access to vegetables whenever you want them.
  7. It gives control over the chemical use in your veggies.
  8. You receive pleasure from holding your own creation and watching it grow through time.

CONCLUSION:

Home gardening is absolutely a recommended activity for you to do as it provides you with nutritional value and benefits and keeps your health in check. It might sound a little tedious initially, but it is worth all the effort and time you will put into it. That being said, it will be a fantastic experience to see nature play its course with your hard work and love, and warmth. Enjoy your experience and don’t forget to have fun.

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