Imagine picking a bowlful of lettuce, a few tomatoes, cucumbers, green onion and radishes and making a healthy homegrown salad!
Or picking a few strawberries with your kids for on top of their cereal and having a healthy breakfast to start the day off right.
This is not some far-fetched dream. It IS possible, even if you have never grown anything before.
It can be overwhelming to bite off too much (pun intended!), so it’s important to start as simply as you can and then build on that experience.
Gain small wins in the first year to keep things manageable.
And you might realistically not have the space yet for an extensive vegetable garden with fruit trees like I have.
Maybe you’re in an apartment, condo or renting a house where you can’t use the backyard.
Or you only have at most an hour a week that you can free up to start on your journey to homegrown food.
So let’s look at this together and see what you can do with the right advice.
Starting Small But With Big Impact With A Salad Container Garden
The easiest way to get started is with a salad container garden. It is compact, self-contained, relatively inexpensive, easy to care for and you can take it with you if you tend to move around a lot.
This should give you most of the fixings for a healthy, fresh salad or toppings for a super sandwich or sub.
What can you grow in one? Really depends if you already have a container on hand or are really limited to a certain size. Plus you don’t want to have a huge container that will be too heavy to move if you ever need to.
At a minimum either a tomato or pepper plant in the middle and lettuce around the perimeter. And you can also throw in some green onions as they take up very little space. Yum!
Learn more about how to plant one up in this video:
The only care your salad container garden will need is watering and occasional fertilizing with a soluble fish or seaweed fertilizer. And of course picking the fresh lettuce and tomatoes!
Got a big family? Think you’re ready to start a bigger salad garden? Here are two choices for cost-effective small raised bed that you just literally unfold and add soil. Portable too so you can empty the soil and take it with you if you’re renting.
Grow The Juiciest, Freshest Strawberries At Home
Another great way to start is with a container of strawberry plants.
There are so many options for containers, some are specially designed for strawberries, while others are a simple DIY project anyone can do.
Strawberries are great in that they don’t need a deep container to grow in. They have shallow roots.
And they are the perfect topping for yoghurt, granola or cereal for breakfast. They can also be added to smoothies or for a refreshing dessert, on ice cream or vanilla pudding!
Similar to a salad container garden, care consists of watering and fertilizing and of course picking. Yummm!
For more inspiration read the case study Balcony Barbara – Balcony Gardening for Beginners as she starts off with a strawberry container as her first homegrown food!
Do I Really Need To Buy Anything?
As a beginner you’ll likely be overwhelmed the first time you step into a garden centre or nursery. Or if you look in a gardening tool catalogue.
You don’t need 90% of that stuff just to get started.
Check out my buying guide of the 10 Must Have Gardening Tools That You Need To Start Gardening for the tools that you actually need. You can either shop online on Amazon with the supplied links or at your local nursery, garden centre or even big box store/home improvement store.
You also can find household items to use in your first gardening efforts. Read about 5 Household Items That Are Very Useful In The Garden
And if you’re on a budget and really need to save money when first starting out, there are some great tips in this article: Vegetable Gardening on a Budget: 21 Ways to Save Money When Growing Food
Need More Help?
Do you need more help? Here are some additional resources that will help you stay on track and keep that motivation going into your second year! Remember YOU’VE GOT THIS!
If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Family Raised Bed Garden Guide This is a free PDF that covers the major steps of starting a manageable raised bed garden.
When you subscribe to the email list to get the free download, you’ll also get instant access to the Downloadables Library. This resource contains lots of handy checklists, worksheets, cheatsheets and other info you’ll find valuable as you move along your homegrown journey.
If you’re already an email subscriber, you’ll find the guide in the Downloadables Library – get the link in the weekly emails you receive.
JOIN THE FREE FACEBOOK GROUP
Join a community of others just like you to share experiences, get answers to questions and get inspired to grow food!
Click here to answer a few simple questions and request to join the Healthy Fresh Homegrown Facebook group. You’ll usually be approved in one to two days and then you can introduce yourself and start interacting.
GET ONE-ON-ONE HELP
Do you work best with a trainer or teacher that can keep you accountable and can answer your specific questions rather than getting generic help that doesn’t apply to you?
Consider getting garden coaching. What is garden coaching? These are sessions that are online, one-on-one and usually are an hour in length.
For more information and to book your first session, go to Garden Coaching for Growing Food At Home