Once you’ve set realistic goals and prepared yourself for the homestead lifestyle, you can formally start your journey to self-sufficiency. Homesteading may sound simple and wonderful, but in reality, it is a process that involves hours upon hours of hard work and effort. To begin the process, one will need to set smaller, more achievable goals according to priority. There are several good ways to start a homestead; one of the best projects to begin with is creating a vegetable garden.
How to Create A Vegetable Garden
The first step to growing a healthy garden is marking off exactly where you want the beds to go. Consider your garden’s size, shape, and location to figure out the best set-up for you. Keep in mind that it can always be changed over time if necessary.
If you’re a beginner, start small and keep it simple. Select up to five types of vegetables to grow, and plant a few of each type. You’ll get plenty of fresh produce for your meals, and it will be easy to keep up with the chores. A good size for a beginner’s vegetable garden is 10×10 feet. A well-tended vegetable garden that size will usually produce more than a weed-filled or disease-ridden garden measures 25×50-feet.
Compost is a rich, balanced, natural organic fertilizer and an invaluable resource for gardeners and organic farmers. Finished compost is often mixed into the soil as an addition. It is also applied to the soil surface as mulch. Remember, soil health is everything. So, start composting today, even if it’s on a small scale.
Grow What You Love
Start by choosing easy vegetables that are also productive. If you choose what you and your family like to eat, then the work will always be worth it. It’s a good idea to grow veggies that are not readily available or herbs that are more expensive at your grocery store.
Grow Vines and Climbing Plants
No matter how small your garden, you can grow more by going vertical. Vegetables on vines are great for growing on trellises, arbors, pergolas, and fences. Even better, growing vegetable plants off the ground helps with air circulation and can prevent diseases and pests from attacking your crop.
Interplant Compatible Crops
Interplanting is another way to grow more vegetables in a small space. You can use the plants’ natural growth pattern to match crops together and maximize the space in the garden. These systems have been used by farmers for years to increase production, decrease erosion and save space. Choose the right pairings by knowing the specific requirements of your chosen plants.
Maximize Succession Planting
A good way to extend your harvest is Succession planting. By staggering crops or planting varieties with staggered maturing dates they will be mature at different times. Knowing how to time your crops well allows you to grow more than one crop in a given space throughout a growing season. That way, many gardeners can harvest three or even four crops from a single area.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands dirty, and make your heart happy!