Avoid Grocery Store Lines by Planting a Vegetable Garden in Maine
Don’t get stuck like a schmuck waiting in the grocery line for an hour. There isn’t a person in the U.S. that hasn’t woken up to our dependence on grocery stores. Perhaps you’ve spent hours on a sunny day waiting in a grocery store line, sweating under your mask. Or, in an effort to avoid grocery store lines, you’ve repeatedly failed to reserve an elusive curbside pick-up time. Frustrated and hungry, like many of us you resort to take out… yet again.
While it probably isn’t feasible to cut out grocery trips entirely, you can become far less reliant with your own backyard garden. If the above scenario hasn’t convinced you, here are a few more reasons for planting a vegetable garden in Maine:
- Save money. It’s no secret that growing your own veggies cuts down your fast food, eating out, and grocery bill.
- Make money. Plop extra produce in a bucket, post a sign with a price, leave it out front of your house, and enjoy a little extra cash.
- Trust it’s source. How fresh are your veggies, really? Are they actually organic? Who else has handled them, and do they have COVID? When you grow your own food, you know its history.
- Educational activity. If you have a kid in your life, no doubt they will be delighted to track the progress of your garden from seed to plant.
- Promote healthy diet. Less processed food + more whole food = healthier. With veggies easily accessible you’ll be less tempted to purchase processed meals.
- It’s fun! Maybe when you think of a garden, you think of backbreaking labor in the hot sun. Instead, think of it as an excuse to spend time outside soaking up vitamin D and the satisfaction of growing your own food.
Consider your location and soil
Wherever you live, it’s crucial to research which vegetables will grow in your climate and location. Is your yard in full sun? Full shade? What condition is the soil in? Will it need amending?
Know what to plant and when to plant it
You don’t have to be a botanist to know that different vegetables have unique planting schedules. Review a planting chart like this one for an idea of when to plant your desired veggie. In coastal Maine, plant 10-14 days earlier than the recommended date. In northern Maine, plant 10-14 days later.
Plant and care for seeds
Begin planting seeds as recommended and follow directions for spacing and depth of planting, also detailed in this planting chart. Water plants with a rain-like mist throughout the growing season and remove weeds as needed. It may be worth mulching if you’d like to reduce weeding.
Stay organized (you’ll thank yourself next year)
Noting down plants and other steps you take will help you decide what works vs. what doesn’t next planting season. Don’t forget to do a bit of spring cleaning in your garden shed if you haven’t already. Before you start loading your shed up with supplies, establishing a system to organize garden tools isn’t a bad idea either.
Now that you’ve done your research, you’re well on your way to avoiding grocery store lines with a vegetable garden in Maine. When it’s time to harvest and reap the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor, all that effort will be worth it.