Introduction: How to Grow Your Own Food!
In today's world we are never sure where are food comes from, how it’s made, or who touches it before it makes it to our homes. But here's the solution… grow your own food! This task may seem like a big project but in reality it’s simple as putting a yogurt cup in a window sill!
Step 1: Prep Before You Plant
Before you start planting, you must plan! To start your planning phase you must first… know what region you are in, what plants you would like to grow, IF and WHEN the plant will grow in that region's climate, and where you can grow your plant. If you are unsure of your climate/region, or if a certain plant can grow where you live, search online or head down to your local library for information. You also need to have a space for your plant to grow, a space with adequate sunlight and easily accessible for watering. Depending on your plant choice this could be a pot in a window sill, or planted in the ground outside, again this info can be found in a book or online. To finish the planning phase you will want to write up a timeline of your planting project. This timeline should consist of when you will gather your supplies, when you will begin planting, and the estimated growing period which is normally found on the back of the seed pouch. You can create a timeline on a calendar, or on paper. It is very important that you identify what plant you would like to grow during the prep stage and BEFORE you create a timeline, because certain plants can only grow in certain months/seasons (depending on your region).
**DISCLAIMER: Information on the plant is normally found on the back of the seed pouch, some of this info includes proper growing regions, plant height, amount of light, planting depth, and days to maturity.
Step 2: Gather Your Supplies
When you have completed your timeline you must gather the supplies needed to plant. You can find ALL supplies at Lowes, Home depot, or a local gardening store (such as Family Tree Nursery, Liberty Missouri). Gather all essential (non-optional) materials.
A planting pot (there must be holes in the bottom), a seedling tray, or any cup that’s at least 3” deep
A small garden shovel, and trimmers (optional)
- Garden gloves, shoes that can get wet and dirty, clothes that can get wet and dirty
- Watering can, hose, water spicket
- 1 bag of Potting Soil
- Seeds of your choosing
- Garden Fertilizer
- (optional) Bug repellent
- (optional) Animal repellent
- (optional) Weed killer
- (optional) Sun lamp
- (optional) Paper/ Calendar
Step 3: Preparing the Pot
Start at the location of the desired garden, have all your materials on or around you. Take your pot and sit it where you’d like the pot to sit for the duration of the plant growth, due to it becoming more heavy with soil and water, it will not be moved easily. Next open the bag of soil and dump in pot about ¾ of the way. At this point check the back of the soil bag, there may be some information about wetting the soil before planting, if so follow these instructions.
Step 4: Creating the Hole
Now depending on your plant you will need to make a small hole that is appropriate in depth, this depth normally will be double the width of the seed… which is normally about ¼ of an inch, or if you’re unsure refer to the back of the seed packet. To make the hole you can use a small shovel, or your hands. If you choose to use your hands you can simply stick your finger in the soil, and once you pull finger out lightly pat down area of the hole to make it the correct depth.
Step 5: Planting the Seed
After the hole has been created, open the seed packet and take out a single seed. Place the seed in the divot. Then cover the seed with soil, so it appears there was never a divot. Repeat this process for other seeds, make sure there is space between the seeds (found on back of seed packet, or about a inch).
Step 6: Watering
Once the seeds have been planted they need to be watered everyday. Take your watering can and fill it with water. Then water the plant until the soil is moist, make sure that ALL of the soil is moist, not just the area around the plants. It’s very important that the soil is moist and not soggy or soaked, this could drown the plant. However only water your plant ONCE a day, the soil should become slightly dry between waterings.
Step 7: Result
Once you have completed these steps, and a short time later, you will have started your own source of food! By planting, caring and raising your own seed you will be able to use the plant on or in breakfast, lunches or dinner.