What are the main goals when growing you own food: eating healthy, saving time (not having to run to the grocery store) and most importantly saving money. Something else to consider is that you get more nutrient rich food. Food begins losing nutrients from the second it is picked. Then if you take into account the time it sits after getting picked, travel to the grocery store, lying in the produce bin and the time it sits in your kitchen/fridge before getting used, you’re looking at three weeks on average and a lot less nutrients.
If you don’t have much space you’re going to have to get selective on what you grow. But remember all of these can be grown in pots/containers and you can always go vertical. Just get yourself a staggered shelf and you’ll be able to fit a ton of plants in a small space. Here are some more tips on getting your edible garden started:
Tip #1: Grow all the herbs you normally use when cooking, having to buy them at the grocery store can get pricy and they don’t last too long either. Herbs can be easily propagated (multiplied) also love to be grown inside, as long as they are near a window and get adequate sunlight.
Tip #2: Grow the more expensive fruits and veggies at the store; green/red/yellow and orange peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries etc.
Tip #3: Determine what fruits and vegetables will grow where you live. You can easily do this by looking at the climate zones indicated on the seed packets or just buy plants. If you can’t find a certain plant at the store you can look online; there are many companies that will sell you seeds for all sorts of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Just remember to make sure they are for your climate zone.
Tip #4: Grow organic, you’ll be eliminating tons of pesticides/chemical fertilizers that you ingest and getting more nutrients (organic food is believed to be healthier than conventional). Your food will be as fresh as can be (zero travel time) and will not be contributing to carbon emissions because of zero travel distance. And considering that organics can cost substantially more; you’ll be saving even more money.
Tip #5: Choose easy to grow herbs, fruits and veggies. Here’s a list of some of the easier plants to grow that are on the expensive side in the supermarket and won’t take up too much room in your small garden:
*These guys you can grow from your own fridge. Just take old unused potatoes (I’m sure you have some in your fridge drawer right now). If they don’t have little plants growing on them yet then just leave them in the bin until they do. Then just simply plant them in a tall container with about 9 inches of organic soil, burying them a few inches deep. Then every time the plant grows about 6 inches tall throw in some more soil and bury it partially again (this will make the plant stronger).
The scallions can be supermarket bought. After using the greens to cook with, take the white rooted section and bury in a few inches of organic soil and you will soon have an endless supply of organic green onions.
If you decide to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your garden just note that they may attract more pests, but with determination and a little work you can have a successful and delicious edible small garden.