6 Tips for Growing Your Own Garden
Here at Catering by Seasons, we think local, organically grown food is important. We try to include it in the meals we serve to you at no extra charge, when we can. Our Seeds to Celebrations initiative is nationally recognized for outstanding grown-to-order cuisine. Still, we want to take things further.
It is great to support local farms and eat healthy seasonal food at your wedding or event, but what if you could eat it everyday? And what if you could do it without breaking the bank?
The truth is, you can. We all can embrace the local food movement by growing our own! We’ve put together 5 tips for growing your own garden at home.
1. Start out small
Sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach, or the space that you have available. You don’t need a lot of land or fancy raised garden beds (although they do look so nice). Try container gardening on your apartment patio or a small deck. If you do have more room, create a small plot with a few varieties of your favorite vegetables and fruits. Learn which take up more space, like watermelon, pumpkins and squash, and which can grow vertically in a tower or on a trellis, like tomatoes and beans.
Year after year, you can figure out what works, what you want to change, and where you can expand.
2. Grow what you like
If you have trouble eating your veggies, try produce you are more likely to eat, like potatoes, hot or sweet peppers, watermelon and strawberries. You might be surprised what you can grow at home!
You can also use many veggies and herbs for spices, sauces and dips. There are lots of fun ways to sneak seasonal veggies into kids meals too!
3. Try something new
There are so many delicious seasonal recipes to try! Consider working backwards, looking through cookbooks and online recipes for meals that sound delicious. Then, see what ingredients you can grow at home. You can plan out your garden one great recipe at a time. This process may seem to take forever, but in the end when you have home-grown veggies and fruits on your plate, it will be well worth it.
CSA farm shares and farmers markets can be another great source of unique recipes. Farm share members are always looking for new ways to cook and serve up veggies like kale, beets, kohlrabi and others that you may not even be able to find in the grocery store.
4. You don’t have to start from seed
One big mistake that novice gardeners make is starting from seed. So much work goes into making sure those tiny little seeds get just the right amount of water and sunlight, but if you plant them too early or too late, you may reap no rewards for all your hard work. To make things easier, even experienced gardeners will often opt for seedlings instead. Check your local nurseries, farmers markets and CSAs for organic varieties of your favorite summer veggies. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash are all popular, and you can get them rooted in tiny pots, ready to be tucked in the ground.
5. Recycle your food
There are many veggies and fruits you can grow from scraps found in your kitchen. Potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and lettuce can all be propagated for more garden-fresh harvests. Take a look at this growing guide for more information:
If you don’t want to regrow from scraps, you could also consider using them in a compost pile. Combine food scraps from the kitchen (no meat or bones) with yard clippings to make rich soil for your garden.
6. Be patient
In many ways, gardening is all about making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. But on a yearly cycle, some mistakes may seem detrimental. If bugs get to your squash plants or a drought knocks out your tomatoes, you might have to try again the next year. But over time, you can learn what works best, or if you don’t like it, you can try something else. Remember, it’s a growing process!
Have you started your own garden? Share photos with us at @cateringbyseasonsdc on Instagram and Like Us on Facebook for more gardening tips and seasonal recipes!
Interested in planning your own grown-to-order event? Contact us today to speak with an event manager about the possibilities with Seasons.
Posted in: Garden and Partner Farms
Tags: catering by seasons, farm to table, garden, gardening ideas, gardening tips, locally grown, seasonal meals, seeds to celebrations, summer garden ideas, vegetable gardening
Catering By Seasons exceeded my expectation. I used them for a brunch at my house after my son’s bar mitzvah. The level of professionalism along with their responsiveness made me feel at ease right away.
It was a pleasure to work with Alberto Trevizo and Catering by Seasons. Alberto was knowledgeable and pleasant to work with, and was very accommodating when we had to postpone our wedding one year.
Alberto is the best catering manager ever!! Everything about working with Catering by Season, from the planning, communication, to the execution was phenomenal!