Now that we’re all spending more time at home, gardening is a fun hobby and a great way to spend time together as a family. Not only does it give your family an interactive hobby, but there’s nothing quite like heading to your backyard and picking a fresh tomato to enjoy in your dinner’s salad. And if you have young children or picky eaters, eating something they grew themselves makes dinnertime fights about vegetables a thing of the past.
Determine The Size
While it’s great to have a large vegetable garden in our own backyard, the time and space commitment it requires are a little too ambitious for most people. If this is your first garden, try starting out with a garden that is 10 feet long by seven feet wide. This will give you enough room for two rows of vegetables with a foot in between each row. Make sure your space gets direct sunlight for at least five to six hours a day, and that it isn’t too far away from a water source. Once you’ve selected your spot, be sure to contact Duke Energy by calling 811 at least three days before you dig to make sure your garden area isn’t over a utility line. This service is free, and this step shouldn’t be skipped for safety reasons.
Prepare The Soil
If you don’t want to rent a tiller from a hardware store for an hour, you can prep your soil with a shovel and a sturdy rake. Using your shovel, dig in about eight to ten inches deep to create the rows. Place the soil on the sides of the rows and remove rocks, large sticks and weeds from it. Also, consider making a pathway midway through your rows. This will allow easier access when it’s time to harvest your vegetables.
Plant Your Vegetables
While you can grow from seeds, a first-year garden will perform better using plantings. Some vegetables that grow well in Ohio include: tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peas, carrots, peppers, spinach, squash, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower and kale. Corn also grows well, but it can easily take over a small garden. Herbs also grow great here, and they freeze/dry well to enjoy year-round. Once planted, break up the soil on the sides and use it to surround your plantings. If you’re not a fan of constant weeding, place a 2-inch layer of standard or organic mulch between your rows. Not only will this help reduce weeds, but mulch also helps the ground retain water.
When it comes to watering, the goal is for the soil to stick in your hand and form into a ball. If it barely holds together in the palm of your hand, or if the surface looks hard or cracked, it’s time to water. It’s best to water in the morning so plants are dry at night. Each plant is different, but a good average is that plants need about six inches of water per week.
We hope these tips will help you and your family enjoy your time at home as you grow your garden and prepare your vegetables for your meals. At SFM Insurance, we’ve been invested in our communities and our clients’ protection and happiness since 1877. Give us a call at 937-382-2546 and let’s talk about the ways we can help you with your homeowner’s insurance to make sure you have the right coverage at the right price. For more tips and our latest updates, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!