Why One of Your New Year's Resolution Should or Should Not Include Starting a Kitchen Garden?
Many of us enter the new years with a list of "New Year's Resolutions". Sometimes we make long lists and frankly can't accomplish any of them so the key really is to set attainable resolutions so you can be successful. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it is to manage our expectations sometimes. ;) 2021 will give us a great opportunity to reflect back and rest our priorities for sure. So for those of you wanting to start a garden (eat healthier, destress, start a new hobby), I wanted to give you some help.
To start off with, I want to talk about some of the amazing benefits a garden provides. Not only will you be able to grow your own organic, pesticide free healthy food but there also other health benefits that come from starting a garden. Of course growing your healthy vegetables will help you eat better. Every gardener can attest to the fact that homegrown fruits and vegetables from the garden taste WAY better than those store bought. Hands down! But other little known benefits of gardening include:
Help our Ecosystem
Build your self-esteem,
Bond with others,
Boost your immune system
When you built a garden and start to successfully grow things you really get such a confidence boost. Even if it is only one snap pea that grows on the plant, plucking that pea off the plant you just grew and eating it will make you feel so accomplished. Even when you become a more experienced gardener this feeling never goes away. In addition, gardening reduces stress because it allows your mind to focus on something new. It is also such a methodical process sometimes like sowing seeds that you can let your mind wander and since you are outside and creating something new your mind most likely will wander to happy memories. As your garden flourishes, you will inevitably have too much of some varieties and this provides a great opportunity to share the bounty of your garden with others and create stronger bonds with those around you. But if those benefits weren't enough, gardening also helps your immune system by helping you eat better and get a healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sun. All these benefits will hopefully help you accomplish your goal of starting a garden.
My best advice for those that want to garden for the first time is to start small. It is surprising how much you can grow from just one garden bed. I would recommend starting with a some wine barrels or horse troughs as
you can easily purchase these items and plop them on your site (make sure to drill holes in the bottom if there aren't already ones). The most important thing will be to make sure your new garden can have water hooked up to it. No one can remember to hand water a garden not even me! Then fill the bottom portion of your new gardens beds with rocks or gravel (reuse things on-site if possible), then fill the remainder of the container with fresh potting soil mix. In your first season of growing things start off with easy plants to grow. An easy way to determine this is to visit a plant nursery and see what starter vegetables they have the most of and start with those. Read the tiny labels attached to determine spacing for your new plants and then plant away.