Spring is a good time to start your own garden on the balcony or in a backyard. There are many benefits of growing greens and vegetables at home. It will lower the cost of buying organic vegetables at supermarkets; reduce the environmental impact of transporting and warehousing food, and make your meals more personal and interesting. By growing veggies at your place, you will be sure that no harmful chemicals and pesticides were used, so you’ll get truly healthy products.
Many supermarkets and different shops provide their customers with various seeds. If you want to have a bigger variety, you can visit a plant and flower market. One of the biggest markets in Amsterdam is Intratuin on Nobelweg 10; there you can find all sorts of plants and everything you might need to set up your little garden.
For the best organization of your garden, you need to consider companion planting. Certain combinations of plants are said to complement each other to boost growth and vitality. However, some plants do not go well together. Thus, you should always take into account what you would like to grow in your garden before you begin to add plants, be sure to do your research so that you do not encounter difficulties. Some good pairings are:
- Carrot/Spring Onions
- Cucumber/Radish or Dill
You can often sow seeds directly into your garden by simply following the instructions on the back of the packet. However, it is better to sow seeds in a seed bed first. You don’t need much space, so you can reuse a paper cup as a pot; when the second pair of leaves emerges you can transplant them to your garden by simply removing the bottom part of the cup. For a tutorial on how to make a paper pot, click the link on the bottom of this blog.
Another tip for the sustainable garden is setting up a compost bin. By adding compost to you garden, you will not only save money on fertilizers, but also will introduce new and beneficial microorganisms that will help the soil, encourage plant growth, and prevent plant disease. To set up a compost bin, start by collecting compostable ingredients such as table scraps (fruits, vegetables, eggshells, tea leaves, etc.), coffee grounds, shredded paper, and weeds. Avoid composting meat, fish scraps and bones, as they will attract unwanted pests.
Creating a food garden at home is a simple and effective way to reduce your impact on the environment. It will give you the experience of pleasure that comes from growing your own food. You will also enjoy the taste of pesticide-free and truly fresh food.