Jun 13 2012
My grandparents were school principals who owned a mango farm. My mom loved to grow roses and a variety of vegetables in the garden back in her Plainville days. Then, there’s me: the amateur brownish green thumb that had a lot of hits and misses during the past 4 years. Together with my hard-working husband, we continue with our ongoing quest for the best home-based organic garden in Connecticut. Here are some tips that we hope will inspire you to grow a garden of your own.
Organic Food Costs Rising
According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey, U.S. sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Sales in 2010 represented 7.7 percent growth over 2009 sales. With the price of food and inflation rising up on yearly basis, it’s a great time to go back to basics. While it initially appears that you may be spending an awful a lot of time and money towards these projects, we feel the payout will be worth it in the long run.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Vegetables
- You know where they came from.
- They are fresher and juicier than what you buy at the grocery store.
- You can grow a variety of plants that are not available at a conventional grocery store at a cheaper price, such as heirloom tomatoes.
- It’s an all you can eat buffet.
- When you get your kids involved, they can get dirty while learning patience and have pride knowing they help put food on the table.
Planning Your Garden
Seeds are cheaper to buy. I love using the seed starter trays because the heat of the plastic domes allows the seeds to germinate at a faster rate than when you place each seed directly into the ground. If you prefer to buy plants, you are better off visiting a local nursery. The prices are often more reasonable than the popular home improvement centers and you have the added advantage of an experienced garden expert on site. If you plan on starting a traditional garden on your own, please call your electric company before you dig. In Connecticut it’s the law.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of digging, you can always go for a raised bed garden. You can purchase it at the garden center or make your own, like this one. You can also go for a container gardens too.
Did you know that tomato plants hate it when their leaves get wet? Or that certain herbs and flowers act as natural pest repellents? Here’s some websites that have been extremely helpful this year:
- Companion Plants – Find out what plants help each other grow
- Tips for Top Notch Tomatoes
- How to Make a Tomato Fort
We learn something new every year and enjoy the challenges that come along the way. We had a great crop of cherry tomatoes last year. I brought in several samples for my friends and colleagues at the Customer Care Center and they were all gone within minutes. In the next blog, we have a lot of great recipes to share. The key to successful gardening is that plants need sun, water, food and love. There are plenty of free resources for the beginner gardener. If you know a thing or two about gardening, we’d love to hear from you. You can check out our progress on my Pinterest page. What tips can you share?