Your goal this month is to plant a garden by the end of the month. Depending on where you live, you may have already been able to start planting cold-tolerant plants in March. But here in the upper Midwest, mid-April is the earliest we can expect to be in the garden and most of our planting doesn’t start until May.
Producing your own food is the cornerstone of self-reliance. There are a many good reasons to garden. This is my list of Top Ten Reasons to Garden. In a nutshell, gardening:
- Saves you money.
- Gives you more nutritious food
- Gives you food with better flavor.
- Saves the environment
- Provides stress relief.
- Is great exercise.
- Makes you healthier.
- Ensures you have safe food.
- Improves your home’s value.
- Creates connections.
Be sure to include the children
Reason #10 to garden (creates connections) is also a good reason to include your children when gardening. But there are many others. Children who garden:
- Are better at problem solving.
- Have stronger bodies.
- Are better at math.
- Learn how to be responsible.
- Have better, healthier eating habits.
- Learn creativity.
- Create stronger family ties.
That’s a lot of good stuff coming from a garden.
Where do I start?
Start with PHC’s growing library of articles on Gardening Basics.
And as you might expect, there’s an app just for gardening beginners. Gardroid guides you through the steps for planning and planting your first garden. Plus there are lots of other great online resources.
Mother Earth News is my all-time favorite place to for how-to and inspiration. I’ve found this garden planner to very helpful for landscaping plans. This page will help you find vegetable garden plan that is right for you.
The most important thing is to start slow. Pace yourself, especially if you are new to gardening. Just choose four or five things to grow. It’s too easy to get all excited with the wide variety of vegetables you can grow and over-plant. But then you’ll likely find yourself overwhelmed in mid-summer, unable to keep up with all the weeds and the abundance of food.
Every one has a reason for why they don’t garden. But there’s really no reason not to garden. No matter what you think the obstacles are to your gardening, there’s a way to work around them. Check out my list of garden solutions and find the garden plan that will work best for you.