If you’re vegetarian, you’re actively interested in your food. Yay! Part of being a vegetarian is eating lots of fresh vegetables, packed with nutrition that increase your health and vitality. You’re also reducing your carbon footprint and not participating in a lot of inhumane animal rearing methods. But non-participation is only one way of impacting the planet: try your hand at gardening.
The perks of growing your own vegetables are far reaching: not purchasing foods from many miles away, eating fresh vegetables at their nutritional peak, improving your soil, integrating exercise seamlessly into your life, and admiring the beauty you create right in your backyard!
If this all sounds good to you, the below will help you grow vegetables in any space you might have – from a house, to an apartment, to a shack. Start growing your vegetables now and enjoy the empowerment that comes with small-scale gardening.
Sprouts are the most minimal approach you can take to growing your own food, as it only requires seed and water and are ready to eat in a few days time, from start to finish.
1. Buy seeds: these can be purchased at your local health food store or co-op most of the time. If not, though, you can certainly find them at and gardening center or feed and seed shop.
2. Put seeds in a container: this can be anything from a plastic cup to a mason jar. Usually a couple table spoons will produce enough for you to eat for a few days.
3. Rinse container: Rinse the seeds once or twice a day, and drain thoroughly.
4. Eat them! After a few days of rinsing, they will sprout and grow. Once they’re an inch long, go ahead and eat them. It’s important to eat them quickly, though, as they do not hold well and are susceptible to mold.
Window sill herb gardensare another easy way to get your toes wet. They’re relatively easy to setup, and will provide you with fresh herbs (the secret to great cooking) year round.
1. Go To Your Garden Center: Grab four small planting pots or one long, rectangular pot. Grab a small bag of soil. Grab four herb transplants of your choice (parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, mint, and chives all do well in small pots).
2. Fill Pots With Soil: Leave enough room for your transplants to fit in.
3. Transplant: Gently squeeze the herbs container with one hand, and pull the herb from its base out of the container. Gently place it in its new container. Push down on the soil around the herb for firm root connection.
4. Place In Your Window: South facing windows are generally best, as these get the most sun. Any window with a good amount of light – and at least a little bit of direct sun exposure daily – will do.
Start A Potted Garden and reap the benefits of fresh, healthy food with little effort. A pot with some soil in it can You’ll be able to grow pretty much any vegetable you want and harvest at will.
1. Find a nice, sunny spot: In general, the more sun, the better. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day for vigorous growth, and some – like tomatoes – need at least 8 hours a day. Try to find a spot that gets southern exposure, but any reasonable place will do. If you live in an apartment, I’ve seen people use their parking spots as vegetable gardens – they just their spots up with pots! A great use of space.
2. Go To Your Garden Center: Get as many planting pots as you need – the bigger the better, as this will allow you to grow more vigorous vegetables, but any size will work. Think about what kind of space you have to work with and buy appropriately. Also, grab enough organic soil mix to fill these pots and a small box of complete organic fertilizer. Grab any seeds or vegetable transplants that look tasty – make sure these are appropriate for the season, as they won’t produce much if they aren’t in season (instructions will be labeled on the packets or boxes).
3. Fill pots with soil: Leave about an inch of room at the top, so you don’t make a mess and water will have room to pool. Some people put rocks in the bottom of pots for drainage and aeration, but I prefer to just fill the whole thing with soil – more nutrients for roots to spread to.
4. Apply a little fertilizer:make a divot where you plan on placing the seeds, or a deeper hole where the transplant will go. Sprinkle a little fertilizer – about a tablespoon.
5. Put seeds in the ground and cover: Appropriate seed planting depths should be listed on seed packet. Most seeds are from ¼’’ to 1’’ deep in the ground and there’s plenty of wiggle room here. Don’t worry too much about getting it exactly right.
6. Maintain:give a good, hearty initial watering, and then simply maintain them. A watering once every couple of days when it’s hot out will usually be more than enough.
7. Enjoy watching your veggies grow: Plant with something else once they’re harvested or have died out. And repeat!