Home based gardens – How can you get a ‘green thumb’?

Author : teriann

If you grew up in rural Jamaica, it was common that your parents had a backyard where they grew a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Food was was often taken from the garden to the kitchen table with very little fanfare and everyone enjoyed having fresh ingredients. Unfortunately, this activity has not always been practiced in heavily populated town areas such as Kingston.

For many going to the market or supermarket was the only way of getting fruits and vegetables on their dinner table.  Recent events with the COVID -19 pandemic however, has encouraged persons to start thinking about planting fruits and vegetables at home in order to supplement their meals without having to leave home and purchase them in a market.

Challenges in Starting a Home Garden

There are several challenges that have to be overcome when thinking of starting a garden in your home. These challenges include preparing the land, dealing with insects and other pests, knowledge about soil and type of plants to grow, space and time.

How do these challenges affect the average potential home gardener? Well, some persons simply do not have the physical stamina necessary to prepare the land for planting as this often requires heavy lifting and digging. The way to overcome this is to get some help from family members, even children can participate in this activity.

Then there are the insects to contend with including ants,slugs and worms.  Insects can be extremely detrimental to your garden vegetable plants.T here are several pesticides that are used but there are natural deterrents as well just needs a little research to find out which ones to try.

All gardeners need to know the type of soil they have before they start to plant.  There is clay  soil, sandy soil and loam soil. It is important to note that vegetables can grow in any of these soils just some better than others.
You need to know what kind of soil you have so that you will know what to plant. Sandy soils dry out quicker. Clay soils hold water in longer. Loam soils is a mixture of clay and loam and are almost nearly perfect.

We all can’t have Loamy soil. But we can learn about the soils we have and work with them to grow our own gardens.

Space can be an issue, especially if you live in an apartment with very little land space.  If you have no room for a backyard garden, container gardening is a viable option. You can start a  garden anywhere with a little creativity.
As for time, well right now everyone has a little extra time on their hands, so why not make it useful?

How to start

After you do the relevant research, you are ready to start. Get some seeds from your local store for your vegetables or fruits or you can use seeds from the actual fruit.  Then ensure that you position the seeds properly, some vegetables need a lot of sunlight while others very little. It is also important to water your plants regularly and keep on the look out for any weeds that might creep in your garden.

You don’t have to be a perfect garden, if your desire is to grow your own vegetable garden, then just start. Figure out your space, observe what you have and what you need, test your soil, plan it out and take action.
Focus on the end result, fresh fruits and vegetables right at your fingertips.

So what’s your take? Do you have a home garden? How did you overcome challenges to start your garden? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner Online Writer

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