Fresh fruits and veggies could always be within arm’s reach if you had your own produce garden. When grocery costs rise, fresh produce is usually one of the most expensive items to acquire. With some apples costing as much as $7 per pound, it’s no wonder people are turning back to the days of victory gardening and growing their own food. Besides saving money, growing your own produce also helps you eat cleaner and care for the environment. Gardening is also good for your health and a great stress-relieving activity that can keep you active and in touch with nature. To help you learn the ropes, here are some basic beginner gardening tips on growing your own produce.

Assess Your Space

Depending on the type of crop, you may need a lot more space than you realize to give your seeds the greatest chance at thriving. Some backyard renovations may be in order, which could be a little costly if there’s no existing landscaping. Some homeowners even decide to go big and build their own greenhouse for year-round gardening. If this is the case, start budgeting now to get an idea of what your options are.

Building a greenhouse or renovating your backyard to be a produce garden could be done with loans or by selling insurance coverage you no longer need. You can sell your life insurance through a life settlement, which you can learn about in this guide. Start in the winter, or at least a few months before you want to plant your first seeds. This will give you plenty of time to learn how to build a basic garden plot and identify your needs.

Keep Your First Grow Small

A plentiful harvest might be on the horizon, but your first crop should be small and easy to manage. There will be a lot of learning along the way as you tend to your first seeds, so choose an easy to grow vegetable or fruit like tomatoes. As you learn, you can always add more produce and expand your plot. Before you get started, however, you should do some research about the soil in your geographic region. This will have a huge impact on the quality of your produce. The USDA Plant Hardness Zone Map will help you choose the right seeds for your area. This helps avoid the crushing disappointment first-time gardeners may experience if they choose a plant that is not likely to thrive in their climate.

Grow Indoors if You’re in an Apartment

You don’t have to be a homeowner to grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs. Apartment dwellers can maximize indoor space to cultivate a thriving garden indoors. Vertical planters, grow lights and seed starters will help you begin your indoor crops with ease. Be sure to talk to the botanical specialists at your local nursery, too. They have plenty of knowledge and helpful pointers to share. They love to talk about different plants and tell you what they know. If you live in an urban area, you may also be able to take part in a community garden. This is a great way to meet the neighbors and learn from others’ skills. There will always be plenty of pointers to go around when you talk to someone who has been growing for years.