Containers and Crops: Planting a Family Vegetable Garden No Matter Where You Live

Decide where you want to have your garden. A lot of people are joining the “Grow Food, Not Lawns” movement, but some municipalities are disallowing front-yard gardens for arguably arbitrary and illogical reasons.

So, a lot of people still opt for the back yard. It’s usually safe, and you can build a large garden, even if you have a small yard (think vertical gardens). A back yard garden of 20’ by 25’ (500 square feet) will feed a family of four with some left over for the neighbors.

When planning out your garden, in general, you want to think about root systems, the effect of shading from trees in your yard, and the amount of space you have available for growing. You don’t want your garden to be within 10 feet of the drip line of any trees, because the tree will sap the strength of your plants. Ideally, you’ll have no trees near the garden.

If you can’t avoid it, then you’ll have to create a barrier between the trees and the garden to protect your food. Your plants will want to face south, and they’ll need a minimum of 5 hours of direct sunlight per day. A sunlight calculator can help you figure out if your yard is good for a garden, or you can observe the path of shadows during the day from trees, fences, and other tall objects.

Draw a mock up of a garden on your lawn with some string and four posts stuck into the ground. Does the garden get enough light? If so, you’re ready to rock.

Preparing The Soil

Unless you’ve got very rocky soil, you should be good to go with the soil you’ve got now. You’ll want a minimum of 21 inches on the width of the pathway between rows so that you can get your wheelbarrow in there for harvesting. Also, try to keep the widths under 4 feet so that it’s easier to weed in the middle of the bed.

Getting The Family Excited

This might be difficult, but the real motivation is couched in playtime. When an activity is seen as fun, instead of work, the whole family will want to get out there and tend to the garden. Try to make a game out of everything you do. It will keep the youngest children motivated.

For your spouse or significant other, you can be a little more rational, showing them the cost savings and payoff for growing your own crops.

What To Make With Your Crops

Best Days has more than one great diabetic recipe that includes a lot of veggies, so you shouldn’t have trouble coming up with meals, even if you’re on the most restrictive of diets (and diabetics have one of the most restrictive diets on the planet).

Aside from that, you’ll have to experiment. Vegetables can be prepared in a variety of ways, with the best recipes including butter and salt. A quick steam or sautéing, and you can eat almost anything from your garden without a lot of fuss or cleanup.

Robert Mason is always trying to get his large family to eat better foods. A passionate writer, he then shares what works for him with hopes of helping other people live healthier. His informative posts appear mainly on health, wellness, lifestyle and family websites and blogs.

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