Are you new to vegetable gardening? Don’t worry; it is easier than it looks. Garden planning from start to finish will ensure a successful haul at the end of the season. If you’re not sure where to begin, this blog is perfect for you. This month, we will give you a free beginners guide on how to start a vegetable garden.
First and foremost, you must decide what you would like to grow. Additionally, you will have to be sure you have the proper space allotted for your garden. Keeping in mind, there must be enough sunlight to provide nourishment. If you are learning, it is better off to start small. Also, it is smart to locate near an outdoor water source. If watering becomes a chore, you may be less likely to stay consistent. Later, we will give you insight into the most natural plants for beginner garden planning.
To begin, think about how much space you have to grow. Plants need room to spread out, some more than others. Remember, taller plants may create shade and block the sunlight for smaller vegetables. When crops are planted too close, it becomes a competition. Sunlight, water, and nutrition will become scarce. Unfortunately, this will hinder plants from maturing. Are you using seeds? Check the package! Most seeds come with instructions. Or, if you buy starter plants ask the retailer. Many local farms sell starter plants and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Choosing a local farmer a
Thankfully, sowing right into the ground isn’t your only option. All you need is a container with drainage holes. Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the pot must be large enough for the plant to grow. While a starter plant appears small, its roots will spread out. Moreover, a larger container will hold more soil. This means more moisture. So, if you’re the forgetful type, choosing the bigger pot means you have to water less. For more information on container planting, check out this great article Growing Vegetables in Containers
Good soil is the key to your garden this year. Despite being the most important, it is often overlooked. A quality soil creates a growing environment filled with essential nutrients. Without this, your plants will struggle to grow. Remember, you should build your soil with different elements. Make it a goal to enrich your soil with compost. The combination of the two provides nutrients, holds moisture and creates better drainage. Here are a few add-ins to keep your soil in tip-top shape:
Bark. Made from various types of tree bark, this will help to improve soil structure.
Compost. Using compost materials will help to condition your soil. As we mentioned, it creates an excellent growing environment. Additionally, it encourages the production of beneficial bacteria that aids in the growth of vegetables.
Lime. Is your soil acidic? Lime will help to increase pH levels. Not to mention, it is also great for loosening tough clay soil.
Peat Moss. Commonly used, this material is easy to find. You can use peat moss for helping to condition, or to create water retention. However, it is not ideal for all plants due to its high acidity.
Most importantly, we must always remember that a combination of materials will help your garden thrive. Not to mention, local organic ingredients will prove to be better than commercially bought. Look around your area! You never know what you may be able to find.
Seeds or plants? Both are excellent options depending on what you decide to grow. Most garden vegetables work best seeded where they are intended to grow. For example, vegetables such as carrots, beets, lettuce, beans, cucumbers, and squash all prove to be easily grown from seed. When purchasing seeds, make sure they are of high quality. High-quality seeds equal to high-quality plants. Spending a few extra cents will pay off in the long run. We promise you that.
Although most vegetables grow easily from seed, there are a few we suggest buying as a started plant. Tomatoes, peppers, and melons should be purchased as seedlings and transplanted into your garden. As a note for next year, you can choose to start your own indoors 6-8 weeks before you intend to plant. This ensures your home-grown plants will be ready to go when you sow your seeds in the spring.
If you don’t have a green thumb, you can still grow a bounty of delicious vegetables. If you are just starting out, or you are looking for a garden with little effort, we have some foolproof vegetable options. With that being said, you will still need to give them some love. But when garden planning, these options are most likely to thrive.
Lettuce and Salad Greens. Lettuce and leafy greens grow quickly. They are easy to grow and easy to harvest. Create an instant salad pot by planting various types in a large container or pot. So, when its time for dinner you can hop outside and cut off some fresh greens for a nutritious salad. Easy as that.
Tomatoes. Probably one of the most popular vegetables in any garden. As we mentioned, seedlings are the best choice for tomatoes (Unless, you have already started them 6-8 weeks prior). Tomatoes only need sunlight, water, and support for their stalks. Luckily, there are many different varieties to choose from. You can even grow cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket in your backyard.
Cucumbers. Whether you’re looking for something crunchy to add to your salad, or ready to get pickling, cucumbers are a no brainer. If you are planting in containers, choose a bush variety over a vine variety. Also, be sure to read into the type of cucumber you want. You will find that some are better for slicing, while others are better for pickling.
Root Vegetables. Planting root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and radishes are not only easy to maintain but will keep you with fresh produce longer. These seeds can easily be sown in the spring and harvested in late summer, early fall.
Above all, remember to choose vegetables that you and your family will enjoy. Happy gardening!