The gout health benefits of a vegetable garden
Since we suffer from gout, a good hobby for the summertime that can keep us physically active and insure that we eat healthy so that we keep those uric acid levels low is to start a vegetable garden in your backyard at home. Vegetable garden you say? Ya! It’s a great way to cut your grocery bill in the summer and actually eat organically following through with your gout diet! Did I mention how much tastier those garden veggies are? Best of all it’s super easy! So let’s get started!
Step one is choose a spot! If it’s your first time, start small maybe with an area of 2 to 3 meters square so you get the hang of it better. For beginners, raised beds also makes vegetable gardening more manageable. My mom for example has a big vegetable garden and so do my uncles, we Greeks love to work in our vegetable gardens especially when the tomatoes are perfectly ripe, they make the best Greek salad! If you want a bigger vegetable garden it provides you with the space to add more tasty veggies. Your spot must be in an area where the sun can hit it 6 to 8 hours a day and have it close enough to a faucet so that watering your vegetable garden won’t be a problem although a long extended hose can help out with that. Protection from wind and frost is also important if you can address it.
Step two is to pick the vegetables you want to grow and buy the seeds. You can find the seeds online or even at Wal-Mart. Take into consideration the amount each plant can produce and if you’ve got lots of extra make sure to either freeze it or do like my mom does and give it away to friends and family. They’ll sure appreciate it! Don’t forget to consult the seed packets for spacing, height and spread requirements.
Step three you want to plan the soil and plot by designing plantings in single wide rows (row cropping) including paths of 30 to 60 centimeters wide for you to be able to walk around. When planting the seeds make sure to first squeeze a handful of soil and it if falls apart when you open your fingers, you know it’s dry enough to begin digging. Using a garden fork and shovel turn the soil inside-out at about 30 centimeters removing all the roots. Then add about 3 centimeters of composted manure working that in the ground. Then rake the surface to smoothen it out and you are ready to plant!
Step four is to read the seed-packet instructions and plant away! Remember to keep the soil moist until the plants begin first growing out. Your plants will need watering on a daily basis except on days when it’s raining.
Finally, you are ready for harvesting. Many vegetables can be harvested at several stages like lettuce for example, can be picked several times and it will continue to produce. Cucumber and zucchini can also be harvested when they are just a few inches long or you can let it grow to its’ full size before harvesting. The general rule is if it looks good enough to eat, it’s ready to be picked and eaten! And the more you pick, the more the plant will produce!
If you don’t have a garden in the backyard to plant, then buy some containers and plant your seeds in them and put them on your deck, roof or balcony. They will produce you veggies just the same. In addition to vegetables you can also plant spices that you can use all year long in your salads and cooking. You can plant tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, green peppers, zucchini, squash, berries, pumpkins, spices like basil, rhubarb, parsley and whatever your heart desires. Vegetable gardens are a great way to eat healthy and remain focused on your gout diet.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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