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Are you interested in starting a garden but are unsure of how to begin? Rest assured, creating your own backyard garden isn’t a difficult undertaking and you can get help from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) through the ‘Backyard Garden Project’. Although the project has since ended, you can still get assistance by contacting their offices.

 

Benefits of a backyard garden

There are numerous benefits of having a backyard garden. A backyard gardener can save money by having a steady supply of fresh fruits and vegetables without relying on outside sources. Gardening is also a fun, wholesome activity that you can enjoy with your entire family and it helps to alleviate any mental stress. Additionally, growing your own produce means you can add to your income as any excess produce that is not consumed can be sold.

 

Supplies Checklist  

By now, you must be brimming with enthusiasm to start your backyard garden.  Use the following checklist to ensure that you have everything that you need to begin:

  • Have you identified a space for your garden?
  • Do you have a variety of seeds and gardening tools such as a tilling fork or shovel?
  • Do you have any fertilizer?

 

Tips for the beginner backyard gardener  

  • Do your research

Before you begin to plant a seed, consult with RADA about soil conditions, pest control strategies and plant care.

  • Start small

It does not matter where you live, backyard gardens are easily created in containers which can be stored on balconies or on rooftops.

  • Prepare the soil

Loosen the soil with a fork so that plants can grow easily and this also helps the garden to be well drained.

  • Add compost

Compost consisting of materials such as dead leaves, branches, grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds can be spread on the soil as it helps plants to grow.

  • Nurture your garden

Plan to spend a lot of time in your garden, especially in the beginning, to uproot those pesky weeds.

 

Start your own backyard garden today and enjoy the treasure of cultivating your own produce.

 

For additional information, contact:

Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA)

Head Office

Hope Gardens

Kingston 6

Telephone: (876) 977-1158-62/ Toll-Free (1-888-ASK RADA)             

Email: executive@rada.gov.jm

Website: https://rada.gov.jm

            

            Link for RADA online videos on ‘How to be a master gardener – backyard gardening

             series.’  https://rada.gov.jm/how-be-master-gardener-backyard-gardening-series-part-1

 

 

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