April showers bring May flowers—but they also bring May vegetables! Along with the bread baking craze that’s sweeping the locked down nation, many Americans are using this time to explore a pastime that’s good for the body and the soul: gardening.
While food shortages aren’t really a problem for most people right now, the idea of being able to cut a few sprigs of rosemary or pluck some tomatoes instead of going to the grocery store is very appealing. This effort will keep people out of the stores, provide wholesome, organic fruits and vegetables, and offer daily exercise and quiet time outside. All good these days.
Great news too is that backyard gardening has never been easier. You don’t need a lot of land and, with the use of hydroponic techniques, you don’t even need soil anymore! Just a few tips to get you started:
- Research. Do some reading—or talk to a local horticulturist—about what plants will do best in your region. You should also test your soil for pH and basic nutrients to know what you’ll need to add to keep your plants healthy.
- Plan it out. Take measurements and draw out your garden. If you have limited space, consider a vertical garden (using a trellis or a hanging planter).
- Stock your shed. Have handy a hoe, a rake for dirt and one for leaves, a shovel, a watering can, as well as any fertilizer or soil you need.
- Be prepared for surplus. Even you may get sick of rhubarb and cucumber sandwiches, so jar or can what you are able to save and then consider donating to a local foodbank or school.
- Love your garden but don’t over-love. Make sure to pull weeds when they’re small, before they have time to do damage. Water but don’t over-water (seeds and roots can rot if you add water to already wet soil).
Enjoy the peace and quiet and a nice healthy burst to your diet. And remember, people (but especially kids!) are more likely to eat a vegetable they grew themselves so plant on!