backyard gardenNothing beats the taste and health advantages of homegrown vegetables.  Backyard farming is not only good for the environment but also good for the community health.

“We want everyone to at least try growing their own food,” said author and longtime organic farming guru Barbara Damrosch. “It’s so wonderful when you do.”

“Gardening opens up a whole new spectrum of things you can eat,” Damrosch said. “You’re expanding your horizons.”

The beginners with backyard gardens should preferably start with a simple “salad garden” that fits into a 3-by-6-foot space. It may include a cherry tomato held upright in a cage-style trellis, plus beds of mixed leaf lettuce, Asian greens and spicy greens such as arugula, scallions, radishes and herbs. Growing l lettuces and greens will enable you trimming what you need and they grow back quickly.

Location is the greatest mantra for a vegetable garden. There must be sufficient sunlight. Even a shady area in backyard garden with good soil wouldn’t serve the purpose. You can improve your soil, but you can’t change lack of light.  The best spot for a garden is where it’s in constant view. Locate the garden in the sunniest area, near a source of water.

Raised beds in the garden will help you solve problems before they start. Raised beds are useful for growing a garden in areas with heavy soil or poor water drainage. They also make it easier to keep the garden neat and tidy. You will avoid walking on the garden soil, which can cause compaction, impeding air and water flow through the soil. Pest and weed control are easier and it makes gardening more comfortable on your back.

Create raised beds about 14 to 18 inches high, and no more than 4 feet wide, with pathways between the beds. Leave about 4 feet of space between the beds to more easily maneuver a wheelbarrow.

Your backyard garden should be growing what you like to eat. Therefore, you also need to know the crops , vegetables, and plants that could be planted and grown at particular time of the year. And remember to water the garden; keep the soil moist, especially when seeds are germinating.

Documentation of your gardening activities and garden’s development would be of extreme help in long run. Taking pictures, before and after, and maintaining a garden diary would be a good habit.

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