Choosing The Plants For Our Garden

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We’re still preparing our garden plot but we are getting near to the time to be thinking about getting plants and starting seeds for our food garden project. It’s important to consider the right plants for the right climate and amounts of sunlight that will be available in our turned up plots for growing.

Partial Sun:

Some plants only require partial sunlight to fully mature.
Some plants only require partial sunlight to fully mature.

Photo credit : www.gardeningknowhow.com

We have a number of spots that will only get partial sun, about 4 to 5 hours per day. We want to be sure to make the best use of our space and we’re planning plants suitable for partial sun for these areas. With a little research I found that the best plants for these shady areas is going to consist mostly of salad mix.

shade tolerant plants

It is generally considered that plants that are grown for their stalks or leaves do well in partial sunlight

Lettuce and other leafy vegetables are great for areas with partial sun.
Lettuce and other leafy vegetables are great for areas with partial sun.

Lettuce, spinach and other greens such as kale, mustard or collard greens do well in partial sun .

Some bush and vine bean plants such as green beans and peas only need partial sun.

Large leaf plants like cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and leaf lettuce are well suited to partial sun.

Bulbs like onions and garlic, along with chives, scallions and green onions are also good edibles to grow in partially sunlit areas.

These veggies can be grown in shady areas.
These veggies can be grown in shady areas.

Photo credit : www.ifood.tv

Other spices that can be grown in partial sun are thyme, coriander, parsley and mint.

Some fruits like strawberries will also do well in partially sunlit areas. You should test the plants in partial sun while still potted by placing them in these areas for a few hours a day before planting to acclimate the plant to its new home. If it begins to look wilted or like its not doing well you might want to consider another spot with a bit more sun.

These sweet babies can be grow in shadier areas.
These sweet babies can be grow in shadier areas.

Photo credit : www.howtogrowstuff.com

There are many places around our home that we can take advantage of these commonly grown edibles and use extra space for something useful. This is a nice list that can be grown in most of the growing zones or even inside near sunlit windows or on balcony’s that don’t get much sun.

Full Sun:

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Plants that bear fruit or vegetables generally need full sun for the fruit to ripen. Tomato plants are a perfect example of this. There are a wide variety of plants that can be grown in moderate growing zones and we intend to make use of more than a few of them.

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Plants that bear fruit such as tomatoes, different kind of peppers including bell peppers, jalapeno’s and banana peppers need full sun for the fruit to fully ripen.

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Photo credit : www.dreamstime.com

Root edibles like potatoes and sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips and beets will also flourish with many hours of sunlight.

Vine plants like pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers and various kinds of squash also require full sun for their fruits to gain any size and maturity.

Corn plants will require a lot of sun and a nice area all to themselves so they have room to grow and produce ears of sweet corn for us to enjoy this fall.

There’s a lot of options for growing your own and it’s up to you which veggies you put into your garden and your eventual diet.

Fresh vegetable

Unconventional Plant Options:

We’re going to plant some sugar cane and some peanuts in our garden plot. The idea of being able to make our own sweetener and peanut butter is too tempting not to give it a shot.

This looks easy enough.
This looks easy enough.

There are also some wild edibles native to our area that we plan to try to cultivate and process for use. These would be wild raspberries, wild grapes and mint. We already have some raspberry bushes and mint growing, we’ll try to find some wild grapevines and transplant them to our garden plot in a spot chosen just for them.

Wild raspberries
Wild raspberries

The mint is already here and cultivating that will consist mainly of cutting it back as mint is very invasive and will take over if you let it.

Growing our own food will allow us to monitor the amount of harmful stuff that goes into our bodies. Commercial food producers seem to have forgotten about safety standards in my opinion and with companies like Monsanto in charge of the commercial food supply I’m thinking growing your own is a better idea than ever before.

Food dependency isn't healthy
Food dependency isn’t healthy

With a garden full of fresh veggies your food options will be abound with fresh (not packaged) options for family meals and snacks. It will most certainly take some effort to make tomato sauce and salsa from tomatoes and pickles from cucumbers but I think the benefits of doing so speak for themselves.

Storing the excess you grow will also come into play as you will soon realize you’ll need to can or freeze the surplus to be able to make good use of it and not let it go to waste. Growing food and other food sustainability ideas are on the rise., and growing your own has never been more popular.

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Photo credit : www.doityourself.com

Gardening is an interesting and rewarding hobby and growing your own veggies can increase your household food supply at a much reduced cost than purchasing commercialized foods. The health benefits of growing your own are endless and with a little practice you can be growing your own in no time.

Whether you have a large yard or are limited on space, there’s a way to bring a vegetable garden into reality for you and your family.

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There’s no time like the present, Spring has sprung and food sustainability is in my future.

What will you be eating this fall?

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Spring Has Sprung…..Breaking Ground for a Big Garden

We should all grow food.
We should all grow food.

Photo credit to primephysique.com

So today we began tearing up a spot in the backyard to plant a big garden. To begin with, we’re tearing off the top layer of grass to expose the fertile soil directly underneath.

We have decided to stack the strips of sod(we’re cutting them out in semi-uniform shape) into a sod wall that will completely surround the garden to help keep out unwanted pests.

Once we have all the grass up and the soil exposed we’ll turn the soil (by hand with a shovel) and get it ready to distribute our seeds and starts.

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Were planning the regular garden staples, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, cucumbers and some other edibles that we can make good use of (good use being eat them lol).

Choose veggies according to your grow zone for best results
Choose veggies according to your grow zone for best results

Photo credit to 365barrington.com

We will also be trying some unconventional plants for our area or growing zone. Were centered in the breadbasket of America so we have many options for garden veggies and other edibles.

We planted a smaller garden last year and did well with lots of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, melons and a bunch of other fresh green goodies. We had an overabundance of fresh salsa, homemade tomato sauces, pickles and spices.

Throw some tomatoes, onions, peppers and a little spice into a food processor and Bam..Salsa
Throw some tomatoes, onions, peppers and a little spice into a food processor and Bam..Salsa

This year we intend to have a larger crop, with enough surplus to store and make use of through the winter months. One of the new plants we intend to try this year is sugarcane. We aren’t sure yet how we plan to process the sugar out of the cane but we’re thinking maybe we can boil the inner stalk into a molasses or sweet syrup we can use as our household sweetener.

We want to try sugar cane but not yet sure how we will process for use.
We want to try sugar cane but not yet sure how we will process for use.

Photo credit to www.picstopin.com

The idea of having a garden and the self sustainability it can help to provide is enticing to say the least. Free food, well it’s not free, as many hours will be spent cultivating the crops and harvesting, not to mention processing and making them ready for use(eating). Gardening is a lot of work and a big garden is sure to take a big work effort to ensure its success.

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Photo credit www.barnesandnoble.com

We’re all set and have already begun. So what about you? What are your thoughts on gardening? Are you putting out one of your own or helping someone else with theirs? Will you enjoy the benefits of your own home grown fruits and vegetables this fall or will you continue to buy them at your local supermarket?

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Growing your own will ensure you know exactly what you and your family are eating. It takes some effort but real effort will pay off with edible rewards.

Happy Growing and Eat Fresh, (Not that fake Subway eat fresh) Really Fresh, the old school way.