TomorrowMakers

This is a good time to take steps towards living a more healthy, green, and wholesome life.

Here’s how to set up a vegetable garden at home and how it can save you money?

Have you ever looked at the vegetables you’re cooking or the fruits you’re cutting and wondered how thoroughly you need to wash them to ensure they are healthy for you and your family to consume? It’s not just the pesticides and insecticides that may have been used, but also the dust and germs during transport and handling that’s a cause of worry. 

If you’ve ever doubted whether you’re even getting all the right nutrients, or if the produce has been tampered with, you’re not alone. That’s a genuine concern, and health-conscious people are turning towards organic produce as a solution. 

You don’t need to go look up those fancy farmer’s markets in your area. Rather, consider growing a home garden – and yes, it’s absolutely possible in the city! You don’t need to have a lot of space; you can do it in your apartment. You don’t need to have a green thumb; you can easily learn along the way. 

Related: Love food? Here's how to turn your hobby into a career

Benefits of setting up a home garden

  • It boosts your health – When you’re growing fruits and vegetables in your very own home garden, it allows you to be in complete charge of what you and your family consume on a daily basis. You grow the things you like, in a way that’s safe and healthy, gain quick access to the fresh produce, and have complete awareness of what you’re putting in your body.
  • It saves you money – The financial benefit of having a home garden cannot be ignored. The US-based Burpee Seed Co. estimates that a family can harvest produce worth USD 1250 for every USD 50 they spend on seeds and fertiliser. You can save a significant amount of money once you master the art of taking care of your home garden and strategically grow only what your family consumes regularly.
  • It relieves stress and helps you relax – Spending time with your plants every day, watering them, and watching them grow can be a very therapeutic activity. It not only lets you spend time with nature and takes your mind off things but also provides a sense of accomplishment when you watch your produce grow. 
  • It allows more time with family – While home gardening can be a solitary activity, it’s more fun and rewarding if you get your family involved. Ask your spouse and children to give you a hand and watch everyone get invested in the daily well-being of the plants. Not only does this give you another thing to bond over with your family, but on days you’re busy, it gives you helping hands as well. 
  • It makes your lifestyle greener – Having a home garden allows you to do your part in becoming environmentally conscious and living a more eco-friendly life. It reduces your carbon footprint and helps reduce global warming. The absence of harmful chemicals and pesticides also allows you and your family to eat healthier. All this without costing you a lot of money as you no longer have to purchase produce from organic stores! Take this short quiz to find out if you are good at managing your monthly food expenses?

Related: 7 Ways to stay within your budget when eating out

What you need to ensure before getting started

  • Consider the space you have – In cities, it’s normal to have tiny apartments, but that’s okay because you don’t need a whole lot of space to start a home garden. You can opt for either container gardening or (if really cramped for space) consider vertical gardening. Whether you go for the traditional way or the more unconventional way, you will have to feel your way around and decide what suits your needs best.
  • Don’t overdo it – It’s natural to get excited when starting out but don’t make the mistake of getting a lot of home garden plants. Pick one or two plants to start with to understand if this is something you want to continue doing. Plant care can be tricky if you don’t have the time or the inclination for gardening, so don’t make a huge commitment right away.
  • Educate yourself – Once you pick your plants, educate yourself on their requirements and care. Some plants require part-shade – if they get too much sun, they won’t do well. These home garden plants include spinach, kale, peas, lettuce, radish, etc. On the other hand, plants like tomatoes, corn, potatoes, etc. require a lot of sun. Similarly, the amount and frequency of watering and harvesting also differ for different plants. 
  • Check the available sunlight – In addition to considering the types of fruits and vegetables you’re growing and the amount of sun they require, you need to check the sun availability in different spots in your home. East- and west-facing windows ensure that you get direct sun at least once a day – at sunrise and sunset respectively. South-facing windows are also great for abundant sunlight, as opposed to north-facing windows or balconies. 

Related: 3 Meal Planning Techniques for the modern woman

When you start your home garden, you’ll also have a new hobby and a whole new world that will open to you. You’ll feel more knowledgeable and will have an amazing conversation starter at social gatherings. Good luck honing your green thumb and leading a more healthy and sustainable way of living! Turning her passion into a successful career: How YouTuber - Nisha Madhulika – found her calling in her 50s

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