As we shelter-in-place and work remotely, a silver lining is that many of us are taking up hobbies and activities that we’ve previously been too busy to prioritize. One of those is gardening. As the weather warms in Michiana, many people are starting their own vegetable gardens for the first time.

You might be wondering why Healy Group personal insurance advisors are blogging about starting your own garden. In the true Healy Spirit, we are committed to supporting our clients and friends during these times. Gardening is something we enjoy, and it’s a great way to create something positive in difficult circumstances.

In addition to passing time, there are several good reasons to start your own garden:

  • You’ll know exactly where your food was grown, and what went into growing it.
  • You and your family can enjoy great-tasting vegetables you carefully tended.
  • Many people find gardening provides both physical and mental benefits and gives them an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Finally, there’s that sense of satisfaction that comes from watching your garden grow and seeing the literal fruits of your labors.

So, how do you get started?


Three Easy Steps to Your First Home Garden

Here are some important tips from the Purdue Extension Service for Home Gardeners, which provides helpful community resources on agriculture and other topics.

Pick the Right Site

“Good planning is essential to successful gardening,” according to the Purdue website. “Start your garden off right by selecting a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, if possible.  Good drainage of excess water is critical.”

Here’s what to consider before marking your garden plot:

  • Sunlight. Look for a shade-free site. Vegetables need bright sunshine during the day.
  • Soil. How is the natural vegetation? If weeds and grass are healthy on the site, the soil will probably be good for vegetables, too.
  • Surroundings. The roots of trees and large shrubs can suck the nutrients away from your vegetables.
  • Proximity. Make it easy on yourself, plant with water access nearby. Otherwise, you might be less enthusiastic about caring for your garden.

Choose What to Plant

Check with local gardening organizations or search online for what vegetables are best for your specific situation and climate. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you are getting ready to plant.

  • Season. Plant your seeds or transplants at the right time to avoid damage from temperatures that to too hot or too cold.
  • Depth. If you plant your seeds too shallow, they may wash away or dry out or not come up at all. Follow the gardening center’s instructions for planting transplants to insure healthy rooting and growth.
  • Spacing. Each plant needs its share of sunlight, nutrients, and water. Spread your seeds or transplants, so they do not have to fight for it.

Water Wisely

The best way to water is by monitoring your garden, rather than simply adhering to a set schedule. Follow guidelines for your specific plants and avoid these common problems:

  • Frequent, shallow watering. This can promote root development in surface layers of the soil, making plants susceptible to stress and damage.
  • Overwatering. Yes, you can drown your plants; too much water can leave little to no oxygen in the soil.
  • Postponing Watering. Check your plants regularly. If they appear to need water, don’t wait.

For more specific advice on gardening in Michiana, check the Purdue Extension site. And don’t worry you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy homegrown food. You just need to be willing to put in a little time and effort—and get your hands dirty!

Have questions about home, auto or umbrella coverage? Contact us today. We look forward to your call.


About the Authors

Connie Greenwood, Personal Insurance Advisor

Connie Greenwood has 35 years of experience as an Insurance Advisor. She enjoys helping her clients and prospects understand their insurance options, and crafting insurance solutions tailored to their unique needs. Connie finds great joy in being a trusted advisor for her clients. She loves helping protect their financial welfare against unforeseen accidents and circumstances and bringing them peace of mind.


Tim Pingel, Personal Insurance Advisor

Tim Pingel has almost 20 years of experience as a personal insurance adviser. He provides individuals, couples, and families with home, auto, and umbrella insurance. His ultimate goal is to be his clients’ trusted adviser and expert, so they have the peace of mind and protection they deserve.