Array
Gardening

Here’s How To Grow A Vegetable Garden In Your Own Backyard

This homeowner and Style Spotter shares her easy, beginner's tips on starting an edible garden. You just need cuttings!

Shares
Photography: Jilson Tiu (portrait), @donnacpita on Instagram

I was never really into gardening—which makes my foray into backyard farming quite a surprise. I grew up with an amazing plant-whisperer-mother who could name every plant in sight, and constantly tended to our garden growing up. I always just watched and listened.

Forty two years later, I am now trying my hand at growing my own edible garden. Looking to becoming more self-sufficient and environmentally-friendly, we have made measures to make our home green through our solar panels, rain water catchment system,  and our small edible garden. Here, some gardening tips I’ve learned through trial and error.

Decide on what vegetables you really want to eat


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
CONTINUE READING BELOW
Recommended Videos

Don’t grow eggplants if your family doesn’t enjoy eating it. Don’t invest in lavender plants if you don’t like the smell. Think of what items you regularly buy at the grocery and see which ones you can grow at home. We use calamansi, kangkong, talbos ng kamote, and malunggay a lot so I decided on planting a lot of these on our front and back yards. I also enjoy tarragon tea so I’ve propagated it from cuttings.

You can re-grow a garden from grocery produce


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Pineapple tops, lettuce, cilantro, kangkong, and avocados are just some of the plants you can re-grow from what you would throw away after eating these items. Slice off the top of the pineapple and re-plant the leafy part. Plant some ginger root to make them grow bigger for future use. Chop off the top part of lettuce and put the bottom part in a shallow container with water to encourage it to develop roots.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

You can even grow sayote by simply leaving it by a window with sunlight and watch it sprout roots! Seeds from fruits you eat like avocado, tomatoes, and mangoes can be be sprouted, and then planted. I was surprised by how simply sticking stalks of kangkong into the ground made them grow! We used cut-up branches of malunggay to make a trellis and they sprouted leaves!

Start with low-maintenance plants


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Some plants need more care and attention than others, and I decided to stay clear of those simply because I cannot devote hours every day watching over them. Some low-maintenance plants I have are kangkong, kamote, calamansi, eggplant, dragonfruit, bananas, and malunggay.  If you have plants dying on you, learn from the experience and decide whether you want to try again with the same plant, or grow another kind.

Connect with other gardeners


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The guidance and generosity of veteran gardeners have been instrumental in my gardening journey. Join gardening groups online, surf the Internet for tips. I stumbled upon dragonfruits because a generous neighbor gave me cuttings and told me to simply “stick them into the ground”. That’s what we did and we’re expecting our first dragonfruit harvest in a few weeks! My kasambahays were also farmers back in the province and they’ve taught me how to take care of our small patch of fruits and vegetables.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

READ: 5 Online Gardening Groups You Must Follow Now

Watch and learn


Look at how different conditions affect your plants. Our kangkong and talbos ng kamote patch in the backyard was infested by insects after last year’s rainy season. Their leaves had holes and so we had to uproot everything and start all over again. A simple spray of dish soap and water helped manage the infestation. My rosemary shrub was also attacked by aphids. I’m using the same soap spray now to help my plant recuperate. See which locations potted plants like more. Does it like more morning sun or more shade? Keep an eye out to any changes your plants might be going through and take note.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

READ: Kitchen Herbs You Didn’t Know Could Repel Insects

You can start your own edible garden from a single pot of calamansi or tarragon. You don’t need a big plot of land and special equipment. Knowing where your food comes from and getting them fresh and for free are just some of the benefits of backyard farming. Have fun and enjoy the journey!

Donna Cuna-Pita is one of Real Living’s Style Spotters for home care and DIY projects. To see her beautiful home, click here. Follow Donna on Instagram @donnacpita

More on Realliving.com.ph

Shares

Read more stories about

Latest Stories

Ask the Pros: What Taxes Do I Need to Pay if I Want to Buy or Sell Property?

The list of applicable taxes differs depending on the mode of transfer

A 28sqm Paradise-Inspired Condo Unit for Senior Citizens

Wood tones and classic details complete this serene small space

10 Before-and-After Photos of a Total Home Renovation

Here's a closer look at the changes done by interior designer Sharlene Lanzarrote to improve the 63sqm space

The Pandemic Inspired this Homeowner to Turn an Open Space Into a Wet Kitchen

He was able to create a bigger cooking area that also houses a laundry nook and a breakfast bar where friends can hang out

This Quaint House in the Middle of a Rice Field Has a Swimming Pool

To be surrounded by nature is truly a gift enjoyed by the owners

This 8M Resort in Bulacan Has Spacious Villas You Can Book for Your Next Vacation

Check out this nature-themed accommodation just a stone's throw away from Manila in San Rafael, Bulacan

From Hostels to Luxe Apartments: Places to Stay in Poblacion, Makati City for Every Budget

You're sure to find an accommodation that's perfect if you're spending time with family or your barkada

How an Interior Designer Renovated a Two-Bedroom Unit Into a One-Bedroom Japanese-Industrial Home

IDr. Madelaine San Jose utilized the 30sqm space to create a minimalist and comforting haven complete with a spacious work area

Are You Dealing with a Dishonest Contractor? Slater Young Shares 3 Things You Need to Beware Of

In his Youtube channel, Slater Young shares how important it is to have other professionals who can check the contractor's work

A 60sqm Child-Friendly and Maaliwalas Condo Unit in Quezon City

The charming three-bedroom space features a Japanese-Scandinavian aesthetic that's calming and welcoming

The Ito Kish Story Enters Another Season

His retail space offers a multi-sensory experience

8 Things You Need to Do Before Buying a Lot, According to an Architect

Before you sign the papers finalizing the sale, you need to make sure the land is safe for building
Load More Stories