By Sarah Ransom

Growing your own food is becoming increasingly popular across the United States, and with Tennessee residents, as it can help provide financial benefits and give access to high nutrient foods for your family. Natalie Bumgarner, of The University of Tennessee writes that “the bounty of a fresh harvest, and the activity, enhances personal health and well-being.” However, growing your own food is not always as easy as it may seem.
If you are going to be growing your own crops, be sure to have a basic understanding of the best crop maintenance that is needed so you can take full advantage of growing your own food.
The University of Tennessee’s Extension service program has prepared a variety of fact sheets to help inform producers of information to help increase success in production.
There are seventeen essential elements needed for plants to grow and reproduce.
Some of these are obtained primarily from water and air, but some additional nutrients come from the soil, which is why it is so imperative for you to make sure your soil is in the best condition possible.
Testing your soil is the best way to know if it will produce the best crops. The root systems of your plants are the most vital part of their ability to take water and nutrients to the plant, when transplanting, be extra careful with the root structure. Fertilizers, both chemical and organic, can be used to help manage the nutrients readily available in your soil.
For more on fertilizers, visit www.extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W346-C.pdf.
Remember, sometimes fertilization can also be very beneficial during the growing season. Garden crops can benefit greatly for nutrient additions during their growing season. Regardless of how you choose to fertilize, be sure to follow recommended uses and amounts to keep from harming the plants or yourself.
Source – https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W346-C.pdf