Your own vegetable garden — where do you start?

Starting your own garden can be a very rewarding process. However, it might be a bit daunting initially. Where do you start, what do you do first?

There are four things to consider before you get going.

Why do you want to grow your own food? Maybe you are thinking that you would enjoy this as a hobby, something to do when you want to relax after a tough day at work. Or perhaps you want to grow your own, healthy food, that you know never had any toxins near it. Perhaps you are inspired to grow heirloom plants, using seeds that have a long history and will produce plants that humans haven’t tampered with. All of these are great reasons for spending time with plants, a most rewarding experience.

The second question is, how much money would you like to invest in your new garden? If money is not an issue, you can build lovely beds, fill them with organic matter and set up an irrigation system that will make your life a lot easier. If your budget is limited, you can still do a lot. Start a compost heap or save your scraps in something like a Bokashi bucket, which starts breaking down the plants before you use them in the garden.

Thirdly, how much time will you be able to spend? Will you approach this as a hobby, and do you intend to spend a specific number of hours per week? Make sure the work is manageable within your schedule and other responsibilities.

The fourth question is, how much space do you have for growing vegetables? Do you have access to a sizable piece of land? Or do you live in an apartment with barely any space to spare, having only a container or two for your plants? Either of these and anything in-between can work. Don’t let the idea of “not enough space” limit you. With creative thinking and a clever utilization of the space you do have, you can get started.

For me, watching tiny plants emerge from the soil gives me immense pleasure. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a tiny plant appearing, establishing itself and then thriving, growing at speed before it starts producing. My garden is a space where I can relax and appreciate the abundance of nature. Healthy food is an absolute bonus!

Scriptwriter and content writer.