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With roughly 20 or more percent of households hopping onto growing food in their own backyard, it’s clear to see that many people are digging into the ground to play with the dirt. Being able to grow your own food and know where your food comes from is more than a trend–it’s essential to our planet, and our health.
We don’t blame them for this trend at all as gardening, particularly growing your own food provides a plethora of benefits to you. With this in mind, below we share some essentials that you need to know if you want to be jumping into the bandwagon or even to improve your own crops.
First, let’s cover the basics of what a plant needs. Plants are much like people as each one has their own unique needs. Some need a lot of sun and little water while others need a lot of water and good soil to flourish. While it’s important to be mindful of this, it’s also fun to experiment and figure out which plants will best work with other plants. If you’ve got a pot outside you’re going to want one that loves direct sunlight and can handle whatever type of climate you are in.
On top of plants wanting the proper soil, nutrients, water, and sun, they’re going to be in need of the right temperature as well. Each plant has ideal temperatures they want to be in in order to grow. In order to understand what’s the best climate, you’re going to need to know the plant hardiness zones. These zones are based on the coldest winter temperatures. All that they do is to help in figuring out what kind of plants like what specific locations. This is key when you are planting perennial plants such as trees, shrubs as well as a variety of flowers. By knowing this these types of plants can live for several years when planting in the right places. It also is helpful in knowing the growing season length as well. In short, it’s the average amount of time each year where temperatures are about freezing during day and night. Knowing this is key when you have plants that only live for a single year like flowers and vegetables. You want to make sure that your crops are given enough time to fully mature before the end of growing season.
The last essential we want to cover is putting together a watering strategy. As mentioned above each plant is picky about their needs. There are a variety of factors involved such as whether the air is hotter or drier which will determine how much moisture the speed in which moisture is pulled from plants and soil. Furthermore, the type of soil that you are using will also require a certain amount of water a plant is going to need as well. Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to ensure there is enough water to cover the ground with about one inch of water every week. It’s also smart to water like that once or twice per week rather than water it a little every day. The last trick you can do if you are unsure is to use the finger test. Stick your finger into the soil and see if the soil is moist or dry. If it’s moist then avoid watering while dry soil means you want to water it. On top of this, when you are watering you want to go for either a sprinkler or a watering can as dumping the water on the plant as it could damage the plant if you do that.