When people think about homesteading, one of the first things they picture is a big garden. Producing one’s own food is so intrinsically tied to self-sufficiency it’s hard to to have one without the other. However, starting a garden can be really intimidating for a lot of people – but we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be.
People think that there are magic secrets to having a successful garden and special tips you need to follow to get anything to sprout. Online searches can be overwhelming because many internet experts delve deeply into obscure techniques that are far beyond the skill sets of beginners. Also, because of all the ‘expert’ information out there, a lot of people give up on their garden dreams before they even gave it a try.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In this post we hope to show you that starting an off grid garden can be a lot more simple than people make it. Hopefully our techniques will give you the confidence to start planting your own produce and feel less overwhelmed.
Our Easy-to-Follow Garden Starting Method
We don’t claim to be garden experts, but we’ve got some techniques that have worked really well for us that doesn’t even involve fancy homesteading tools. Want our secret for starting a garden? You’re going to want to grab your notebooks for this one. Ready?
We got some dirt. We got some seeds. Then we put those seeds in the dirt. We water the dirt (read this post to learn about the off grid water systems we’ve considered). Then, we cross our fingers and hope things grow. It’s just that simple!
Earlier this spring we made a mulch of straw and pine needles that we layered over the garden bed so that when it breaks down the resulting compost will increase the soil’s fertility. This mulch hasn’t broken down much yet and it’s pretty thick. We figured it would prevent some of our seeds from sprouting, so we pulled it back when we were ready to plant.
Next, I simply planted our seeds in the garden bed. I sowed them a quarter inch deep and three inches apart. My technique is to plant two or three seeds in each section because it ensures that a plant will grow in that spot. If all the seeds come up the extra plants are easy to weed out.
We aren’t garden gurus but are willing to take action anyways.
We aren’t garden gurus. We could write books about all the things we still have to learn about organic agriculture. But that didn’t stop us from starting our garden. Gardening is a skill that you can learn as you go and experimentation is completely okay. You don’t have to be an expert before you even begin.
Finally, always remember that if NOTHING grows and your garden is a complete failure, you can most likely still go to the grocery store to get food. Even when living off grid, in most cases there is still SOMEWHERE you can go to get groceries.
Gardening doesn’t have to be the only technique you rely on to get food. Give yourself permission to experiment a bit, maybe even to fail. After all, how else do you expect to learn?
We hope this post has given you the encouragement you needed to start a hobby you’ve been putting off, whether it’s gardening or something else. If it did, feel free to tell us about it! We love hearing from you all.
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