With grocery store prices still high, many people are turning to a more sustainable source of food: gardens.
Whether you own your home or rent an apartment, there is a way for you to begin growing vegetables.
Homeowners have a few options including starting a backyard garden in a plot or raised bed, creating large planters or growing indoors. If you're in an apartment, you may grow on a balcony or start your plants inside in the best sun spots.
Here are some tips and tricks. Before you know it, you'll have pots full of lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and other tasty things to cook.
If you need to start your garden inside, consider working with your windowsills or on furniture placed near windows. Try and find the spots with the most sun. Some benefits to gardening inside include fewer bugs, more access to harvest, easier watering and more. The downfall? You might need to pick and choose which plants you really want, due to space restrictions. Use the vertical space in your home or apartment with things such as wall planters or hanging planters suspended from shelves or the ceiling to help add more space.
If this is your first time creating a garden, start small. Don't take on a giant garden plot for your first adventure. Local hardware stores sell self-watering planters that will hold a few plants. They're great for beginners who aren't yet ready to commit to a huge part of their yard. Some varieties of vegetables do fine in larger planters and don't need a ton of space. These are great for having around your patio.
Make raised beds
If you have space in your yard, a raised bed is a great method for starting a garden. Local stores sell blocks that help create corners and you can use planks of wood to make the bed any size you want. Raised beds help keep the plants contained, animals out and make things more manageable. If you make it a taller bed, it's easier on your back, as well. Just note the taller beds have a more limited lifespan due to how long the wood will hold.
Check the labels
Seed or plant labels will help you determine if it's a vegetable that will thrive in your garden. Different varieties of lettuce or tomatoes might require different levels of sunlight and water. They also might like to be planted at different times of the year. Some vegetables love the fall and winter while others need the early spring sun and water.
Grow your own seedlings or find a swap
Before you plant seeds outside, most of them need to be a bit more mature to withstand the elements. Consider starting your seedlings in a sunny windowsill or in your basement under grow lights. If you don't have the time or patience for that, look for seedling swaps online in your community group. Oftentimes people who grow seedlings don't have enough space in their garden for everything so they will give or trade seedlings with other gardeners. The other way is to purchase already mature, but young plants from a local nursery and get started with those.