Grow Your Own Groceries!

So You Want to Grow Groceries?

The old saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees” is never more accurate then in today’s modern times. If you could grow money of trees, everyone would have one! 

While dollar bills will never sprout like leaves, you can grow money in your back yard.  That little sunny patch of yard or flower bed can yield a substantial amount of food for your family.  Your harvest will show as savings to your grocery bill. 

So how do you get started growing groceries? What do you need to get started? Here are the” bare root” basics for starting a garden:

  1. All fruit producing plants need a minimum of 6 hours sunlight daily.

  1. A soil or Growing Medium to support the plant and nourish the root structure.

  1. Adequate water supply for the plants needs.

  1. Protection from high winds or freezing temperatures.

Now, let’s take a look at each of the four items listed.

First off, your plants really will need 4-6 hours of sunlight to develop properly to set fruit. While some plants may set fruit with less light, they won’t produce well enough to satisfy your needs. Sunlight is the fuel that drives the plant to grow and set quality fruit.

 Now that you know the sunlight needs, you need to find the best sunny spot in your yard for your garden. Knowing the available sunlight provides you important information in what varieties of vegetables will grow well for your garden space. 

Keep record of how many hours of sunlight is available in your potential planting area. Look for the area(s) that gets morning sun or evening sun and record the number of hours you have direct sunlight in each area.  If you have sunlight 6 hours or more, fantastic! If you don’t, that is not a big problem either. Many varieties of vegetables will grow is semi-shade (you can still see a shadow), provided they have a few hours of direct sunlight each day.

All living things need water, particularly garden veggies. Their thirsty roots must have water to set the best quality fruit. Regular light watering keeps growing consistent reduces the chance of disease from plant stress and insures your plants grow quality produce.

Plants, like people, need protection from extreme weather and temperatures. Some plants take cold better then heat and vise versa. All above ground plants need protection from high winds that can break or damage stems and leaves.

Root crops can take a bit more extremes in weather as they produce below ground. You do have to keep the tops protected as growth stops if the tops are broken off or heavily damaged. Keep plant protection in mind as you decide the best spot for your garden.

All you have to do is meet these 4 plant requirements and you are ready to start growing your own groceries!

(c) A.L.Franklin 2010

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