Time to Plant Vegetables in Your Garden
Grow Food not Lawns!
The issue of climate throughout the world is having a dramatic impact on the crops that are usually grown in that specific location. The cause of this climate change may be down to global warming, tropical storms, volcanic eruptions or perhaps it is just following a circular trend of weather that is notoriously hard to predict. For the average household, the impact of food instability is going to be seen in rising food bills and a scarcity of those products that we usually expect to see in abundance.
Is now the time for us to make use of the spare space in our own homes?
Should we grow our own fruit and vegetables in our own gardens?
In my own opinion, I think now is the ideal time to experiment with a certain degree of self sufficiency with regard to fruit and vegetables. Until some of the more erratic weather patterns even out, it would seem to be a very prudent idea. Our gardens usually consist a nice grass lawn that needs mowing every so often. But with a little bit of planning and hard work. That same piece of land could reap a nice harvest of tasty and healthy produce.
Food can be Grown Everywhere
Even if you only have a small amount of garden to grow produce, you will be surprised on what a small space can yield. For those who don't have access to a garden, it is amazing what you can grow indoors with the correct equipment and conditions. As long as you have the right amount of sunlight you can encourage items such as grapes, tomatoes, chilli, cress, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce to grow in self contained boxes or up the side of your building.
I am very fortunate that my home has a front and a back garden, so my front garden is the children's play area and the rear is for reserved for crops. What you are able to plant and grow is dependent on where you live in the world and obviously if it is in the colder months; then you are limited to what you can actually do.
It is now nearing the end of winter and we have dug over the garden where the sun hits for the longest duration. Although I don't have a lot of space I have researched what I can grow and what extra work we need to do, so we can get a bumper harvest! By bumper harvest at least a couple of carrots and tomatoes for the children to nibble on.
Through the winter months I have been busy removing obstacles around the garden that will impact the level of sun my growing area receives. I live on an area that used to be ancient woodland and I have had to really remove lots of root systems that have an effect on the soil drainage. My growing area now slopes so the water run off no longer swamps the area my vegetables will be grown in. I have raised the top soil up to help the planted vegetables a lot more room for root growth.
I have also pruned the surrounding area of bushes to allow more light into the growing area, a larger area receiving more natural light will increase the energy that my vegetables need in order to grow. If I had left the garden's thick coverage of rose bushes then I would only be able to grow rhubarb!
With my children I have already sown the peppers and tomato plants inside to protect them from the cold. I have been told leaving them on the window ledge for a few weeks and then transferring the first shoots to individual pots will give a good yield. Once they start to sprout I will leave them on the sunny patio for a few more weeks, taking care to bring them inside at night or a cold snap. When the plants hit April, I will plant against the garden fence and allow them to grow naturally until the time is right for harvest.
In my raised growing area we have decided to grow carrots on one row, Leeks on the second row and are hoping the lettuce will be a success when planted a bit later on. We are going to sow the first two rows sometime after Valentines Day but much is dependent on the weather at this time of the year.
Do you grow your own produce?
Now is the right time for me to plant my little vegetable patch, and in this my first disciplined attempt to grow the vegetables with the children I think it will be fun. I have done my research on what vegetables will grow in my garden's soil type and I am growing food that the children and myself will enjoy. I am not expecting a bumper harvest but I am expecting to learn about a subject I have ignored for too long. Hopefully sharing this experience with the children will educate them on the healthiness of vegetables and the effort required to bring our food from field to the table.
Wish us look, we may need it!
© 2013 Andrew Stewart