For most of us, eating food straight off a plant is very impractical, but it is the best way to receive the most nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Most of us do not live near our food resources or have the correct weather to grow everything we need year round, but some fresh food can be possible.
Home gardening has become more popular in recent years due to a better understanding of the benefits of fresh food. I myself garden as a hobby, but the hobby allows us to reap the benefits of some farm to table fresh food in the spring, summer and fall.
While it may seem overwhelming to begin gardening, there are a few things that may help any novice gardener begin their journey this spring.
Check out your local resources: I live in a county where Master Gardeners provide the community with free classes. I have attended a couple of the classes, and the information provided has been very valuable to my understanding and success. Class topics range from vegetable gardening, fruit tree, grass, container gardening and more.
Start small: Starting small is wise. Because each fruit bearing plant varies on its needs and care, beginning with too much at once can become overwhelming. Starting small and slowly learning can make for a more successful process.
Check out the internet: As with anything else, just about every aspect of gardening is on the internet. As I stand in my garden, I have been known to watch YouTube videos to diagnose a withering plant, identify pests and discover how to harvest seeds.
Two summers ago, I had very healthy bell pepper plants that had multiple blooms for two weeks, but they produced no peppers. Finding this strange, I googled the issue and learned that a lack of magnesium in the ground could prevent peppers from growing. I sprinkled a little Epsom salt at the base of the plants, watered them and in a few days had multiple peppers on every plant.
Make sure you have good dirt: Dirt is very important. Because dirt can be purchased, this can be an easy step, but it is easy to forget that nutrients need to be added to the dirt periodically to ensure that the plants have what is required to grow. Just as humans need vitamins and nutrients to remain healthy, plants need the same. Nutrients can be easily added through store bought fertilizer or fresh compost.
Do not give up: For most people, gardening is not quickly learned. It is something that is learned overtime. Sometimes plants die in the process, but it is normal and to be expected. Even the most experienced gardeners will not always experience success due to unexpected weather patterns, plant disease or an unmanageable pest infestation.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.