The benefits of gardening have been well-documented and widely talked about. However, not everyone has the time or energy to regularly tend to their garden. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to make your own home garden — you just need to know how!
Read on for seven tips that busy moms can use in order to have a green thumb and grow their own vegetables without spending all day outside:
Once you know how many plants you’re going to plant indoors and outdoors, get organized. Label which plants are placed where and make sure that they receive the proper sunlight. For example, if you’re planting inside, choose an area near a window but not directly in front of it because this can cause your plants to become sunburned. Make sure that there is enough room between the soil and the top of the container so that air can circulate freely and water can drain out of the bottom.
When planting multiple things in one container without having them take up too much space, or when using pots that aren’t transparent or don’t have clear markings on their sides, mark each pot for watering with its corresponding plant name. Although a bit of dirt on a plant may not seem like a big deal, too much can kill it from being suffocated.
Start with Smaller Plants
In order to have the biggest fruit-and-vegetable harvest, start off with smaller plants that are less likely to get overgrown by their neighbors — this will also decrease your work in the long run! Think about starting off with cherry tomatoes and bell peppers, which are low-maintenance and hardy, instead of beets and carrots.
If you do want to go for large fruits and vegetables, look into growing them in containers so that they take up less space and don’t interfere or compete with other plants. Remember: some veggies grow faster than others, so look at seed packets before planting them!
Utilize Different Gardening Tools and Gadgets
Gardening has become more high-tech nowadays. There are now so-called smart lawn irrigation system that monitors moisture and delivers water only where its needed. There are also soil moisture meters that can tell you whether your plant needs water right away, though these are usually more expensive.
There are also apps that tracks and provide information about your garden. Garden Journal, for example, will tell you when a specific plant needs watering or pruning. On the other hand, iNaturalist can determine the creatures that appear in your garden, and whether they’re harmful to your plants or not.
Plant the Right Seeds
If you want to have a good harvest next season, collect seeds from your vegetables. If you don’t eat these veggies often enough to keep saving their seeds for future planting seasons, take note of which ones were successful in coming back year after year in your garden — this is usually an indicator that they’re easy to grow!
Make It a Family Activity
Gardening can become more fun when you involve your family in it. Make a contest out of who can harvest the most fruit and vegetables every week, or take turns picking which plant you’re going to invest time into growing next.
Plus, when children are involved, they are more likely to gain an appreciation of nature and may become more willing to eat fruits and vegetables.
Participate in a Community Garden
If planting your own garden doesn’t work out or if you don’t have enough time to tend to it, consider joining a community garden. Being a part of a community garden is also a great way to get to know other gardeners in your area. You can, as a group, share tips and advice about caring for your plants and maybe split the chores. This ensures that your plants will be well taken care of even if, sometimes, you’re too busy to be around and tend to your fruits and vegetables.
Not only will it give you opportunities to socialize with like-minded people and meet life-long friends as an adult, you’re also guaranteed to get fresh produce on your table regularly.
Gardening is not easy. It requires time and effort to grow a plant from seed. Moms, who are already busy with work and/or childcare may not participate in gardening activities, even if they want to. However, there are ways to make gardening more simple and less time-consuming. As long as you follow these tips, you may be able to grow a thriving and bountiful garden despite your busy schedule.