(BPT) - People have become more health-conscious in the last year, seeking relaxing activities and projects that give them a sense of accomplishment. According to the National Gardening Association, 67% of Americans are growing or planning to grow their own fruits, herbs and vegetables in 2021, and there are more than 18.3 million new gardeners trying their hand at growing their own flowers or produce.
While growing your own edible garden can be exciting, there are a few things to consider before you start. It can all feel a bit overwhelming, but with tips from Garrett Magee, the design mastermind behind the landscape design firm Manscapers, you can create the ultimate edible garden — no matter the time of year or where you live. Here are a few suggestions to help your garden sprout:
1) Think about what you already eat
Before you start digging, plan your edible garden by looking inside your fridge to see what kinds of produce you buy from the grocery store for inspiration. By growing fruits and veggies you like, you don’t have to worry about them going to waste. If you have kids, grow the fruits and veggies they enjoy too.
2) Start small
When building your edible garden, start small by growing plants out of a window box or small garden bed. As you get more comfortable, slowly expand and scale up the following year. Fruit and vegetable gardens are typically low maintenance, but they’re never no maintenance, so be patient and stay on a regular schedule — you'll develop your green thumb in no time.
3) Grow a vertical garden if you live in a big city
If you live in an urban environment or don’t have a traditional back yard, every square inch of space is precious. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to garden. Focus on growing your produce up rather than out with tools like a garden trellis, which works well for supporting high-climbing plants like cucumbers.
4) Go green
For the quickest turnaround on your homegrown crops, focus on leafy greens like lettuce, kale, spinach and herbs. These vegetables are easy to grow, whether in a window box or a big backyard garden. Plus, you can continuously harvest them throughout the season.
Important tip: When harvesting leafy greens, use scissors to cut off the outer leaves at the base of the stem. That way, they can grow new leaves in the center.
5) Find more ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into your life
Growing an edible garden can help you to eat more of the fresh produce you love. However, you can also incorporate fruits and veggies into your daily routine with a Naked Juice smoothie. Naked Rainbow Machine is a sippable rainbow made from the juices of apples, mangoes, bananas, kiwis, blueberries, blackberries and red beets. “Beets are not only one of the ingredients but also my favorite superfood,” says Magee. “They are a great end-of-season vegetable and can be planted at the end of spring or from June to September.”
For more ways to enjoy your favorite fruits and veggies in innovative forms, check out nakedjuice.com.