Why Have a Garden?
The benefits of having a small garden are many and practical. You may think you do not have enough room for a garden, but I am here to tell you it does not take as much room as you think. Most people only want to plant four or five items and that doesn’t take up much room unless you are planting items like green beans or peas. Those items can be done in a small place if you have the right kind of trellis for the vines to climb up. Finding room is worth the resulting benefits!
Pick out some of your favorite vegetables that you hate paying high prices for at the supermarket and plant those items. My family loves home grown tomatoes and you know how high those can get at the store! We always plant tomatoes, okra, bell peppers, and squash for sure. What we don’t eat I freeze for the winter.
Nothing in the world taste better than picking your vegetables right off the vine, cooking them on the stove, and eating them right then. Fresh food just has a different taste than food that has been transported to the store several days or even a week earlier. Most vegetables are picked a little before they are ripe just so they will not ruin by the time they get to the store.
Other benefits of having a small garden are how much money it saves you, and the feeling of achievement it gives you to eat something you have grown. It’s also a great way to exercise. All the benefits listed above are great reasons in themselves for having a small garden, but the best reason of all for a garden is that everything tastes deliciously good!
When we plant tomatoes we usually purchase small plants at Walmart, but the rest of our garden we plant seeds. In just a couple of weeks the plants are coming up and before long you are harvesting some really great food!
How Much Room Does It Take?
The size of your garden is up to you but remember that just a few plants can yield quite a bit of food. Our tomatoes are planted along the side of our gazebo and we only have five. We love tomatoes and eat a lot of them. You may need only a couple of plants.
Our squash we actually plant in large containers at the back of the gazebo. These containers are raised so we can work without bending. The bell peppers and okra are planted in a tilled plot of land off to the side of the house.
Plants can be placed strategically around your yard if you don’t have one plot for a garden. Container gardening is quite easy as well and even works well for people in apartments and a small patio. If you want fresh veggies, it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box.
How Much Time is Involved In Gardening?
The time it takes depends on the size of your garden but for a small one, such as mine, it’s not that time-consuming. It takes a bit of watering and weeding every couple of days, which takes less than 20 minutes for mine.
The part that does take some time is processing the harvest. Tomatoes are no problem as you just pick and store them, however, the rest of the vegetables take more time. You can chop or slice the peppers and store them in the freezer. For the squash, you need to slice and blanch it before freezing.
Okra is one of the most time-consuming but we love it. We usually harvest enough to last us a full year. Once you pick the okra (every couple of days since it grows so fast), cut it up into slices for frying or soup and place them on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer and once the okra is completely frozen you place in a freezer bag.
Freezing first makes it easy to take out the amount of okra you need without having to use the entire bag.
There are many benefits to having your own garden, but the best one is the satisfaction you feel from creating your own food. Give it a try. You’ll love it!