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As the world becomes increasingly connected, more and more people are turning to homestead. Growing your food is a great way to become self-sufficient, save money, and reduce your environmental impact. Here are tips from environmental expert Vikki Gerrard La Crosse for growing your food as a beginner homesteader.
How to Grow Your Own Food: Tips From Vikki Gerrard La Crosse for Beginner Homesteaders
When homesteading, starting with just a few plants or crops you think you will enjoy growing is best. This will help you get used to gardening basics and prevent you from getting overwhelmed by too many plants or too much land right away.
Choose the Right Location
One of the most critical factors in successful homesteading is finding the right location for your garden or farm. Make sure the area receives enough sunlight and has access to water and nutrients like compost or fertilizer if needed. Before choosing a spot for it, you should also consider whether any animals or pests might be attracted to your garden.
Plant at the Right Time of Year
Before planting anything in your garden, take some time to plan out what types of crops you want to grow. Doing this ahead of time will ensure that everything is spaced out properly so that all of your plants have adequate room to grow without competing for resources like sunlight or water. This will also help prevent overlap between different harvesting seasons so that your crops stay fresh year-round!
Pick Appropriate Plants
Not all plants are created equal — some thrive better in specific environments than others. Research what type of environment works best for each plant variety you choose. Additionally, ensure that any plants picked are compatible with one another; certain plants may have different light requirements or water needs which could cause one plant to overtake another if planted too close together.
Use Companion Planting
Companion planting is an age-old practice of planting certain types of plants together. This maximizes their growth potential while minimizing pest damage or disease outbreaks in other plants nearby.
Prepare Your Soil Before Planting
Before planting anything in your garden, be sure to properly prepare the soil by tilling it, adding compost or fertilizer if needed, and amending pH levels if necessary so that plants can easily absorb nutrients without becoming leached away from rainwater runoff. Doing this step before planting will ensure that your efforts yield maximum results!
Maintain Regular Watering Habits
Maintaining regular watering habits for all plants is essential for their health and growth rate; don’t overdo it, either! Too much water can lead to root rot which will kill off any chance of success for a given crop—so make sure you’re not overwatering and keeping tabs on what kind of watering schedule works best for each plant variety within your garden!
Invest in Quality Tools
High-quality tools are essential for any successful homesteading project. Invest in quality shovels, rakes, hoes, and other implements to last longer and make your gardening tasks more manageable. And don’t forget about a good pair of gloves; they protect your hands from blisters and splinters while keeping dirt out of your nails!
Grow in Containers
If you don’t have space or aren’t sure about committing to an entire garden plot, container gardening is a great option. Some vegetables that do well in containers include tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce. Herbs like chives, mint, oregano, parsley, and thyme are also suitable for container gardening because they don’t require a lot of space.
Rotate Crops Regularly
Rotating crops is vital for maintaining soil fertility levels and helps prevent insect infestations and diseases from taking hold in your garden. This involves planting different plants in other locations each year so that pests cannot build up resistance against certain crops and spread from plant to plant throughout the season.
Composting Is Essential
Composting is essential to any organic gardening system as it helps maintain soil fertility levels by adding nutrients back into the soil after harvest season. Composting also helps improve water retention levels in sandy soils while improving drainage in clay soils, making it easier for plants to absorb water and nutrients from the ground.
Growing food takes time; even with proper planning and preparation, it can still be months before you finally see results from your hard work! Be patient throughout the entire process—even if things don’t turn out exactly how you expected them—and remember why you decided to start homesteading in the first place—for a healthier lifestyle!
Keeping detailed records of when different crops were planted, harvested, and fertilized is essential for keeping track of what works best for your garden over time and allows you to make adjustments going forward if needed! It’s also helpful when planning future harvests so that you don’t overtax yourself or miss out on any potential crops due to a lack of records-keeping!
Growing your food can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be intimidating if you’ve never done it before! Following these tips from Vikki Gerrard La Crosse will help ensure that as a beginner homesteader, you have success with growing your food! With patience and practice, anyone can master the art of growing their food!