Food gardening was once viewed as an activity generally restricted to the elderly and country bumpkins. However, growing fruits, vegetables, berries, and herbs has become increasingly popular for many people. According to the National Gardening Association, 35% of U.S. households grew food at home or in community gardens in 2013, a 17% increase compared to 2008. During that period, the number of millennial gardeners grew more than other age groups, and urban gardens outnumbered those in rural areas.
The savings that can be enjoyed by growing your own food have certainly contributed to this increased interest, but they’re not the only reason. More people have come to realize that homegrown foods taste better and allow for a certain degree of control over food quality concerns, including the use of pesticides and artificial additives.
Gardening can make a real difference for your fridge and your finances. According to the National Gardening Association, you can grow a half-pound of produce per square foot of garden space. And in 2008, on average, gardeners earned a $530 return on a $70 investment in a garden. However, the key to those results is a well-maintained plot.
Growing food is commonly oversimplified, and many people start without a strategy or a realistic idea of the time and money that’s required. Some suffer through season after season of disappointing results, while others get disillusioned and quit gardening altogether. Thankfully, whether you retired your gardening gloves after one season or you’re seeking a better outcome, there are many ways to improve.
- Learn Your Environment
- Use Better Planting Strategies
- Reduce Gardening Costs
- Harvest Smarter
- Reduce Food Waste