Gardening 101: How to Start a Vegetable Garden
A vegetable garden is an ideal way to save on your shopping bills and satisfy yourself with tasty food you made. You don’t need to own a large piece of land to start a vegetable garden. A small space is enough to plant a few vegetables.
Before starting your vegetable garden, make sure you’ve laid the groundwork for your new project. Here are some of the things you should take into account before planting your very first seed.
Pick a Plot
Decide where you’re going to erect your new garden. Avoid choosing a plot in a shadowed area where there’s only limited sunlight. Try to make sure there’s sunlight from midday and through the afternoon as this is when it’s hottest.
The amount of space you have really isn’t important. Most vegetables only need limited space before it’s time to harvest them. Start off small, in the beginning, and you can upgrade to an allotment later on to increase your bounty.
Decide What to Grow
With your first vegetable garden, start small. It’s easy to become overexcited and grow as much as you possibly can. When it comes to harvesting, you’ll find out you have more than you need. Try to grow as much as you need to feed your family.
Different types of plants require different levels of care and attention. Cabbages, for example, need protection from slugs and other garden pests. Potatoes can be placed into the ground and all they need is regular watering and sunlight.
Another factor is how often they produce. Tomatoes and squash keep producing throughout the year, whereas carrots and corn only produce once. The latter you’ll need to grow more of to sustain your family.
Prep the Plot
Before planting, you need to dig the soil and remove any pests from your plot. This is where you should consider purchasing a new set of basic gardening tools, which should include forks, shovels, and string. Take advantage of Home Depot coupons and you can get great deals on your gardening equipment.
In the spring, you need to prevent your soil from compacting. Plants can’t dig their roots through the soil if it’s compacted. As a general rule of thumb, if the soil breaks apart in your hand when you squeeze it you can dig.
Dig the garden over by using your fork or shovel to simply uproot and turn the soil. At the same time, remove any weeds you encounter. Add about 3 cm of compost to add nutrients to your soil. You can also add bone meal, if you desire.
Mark out your plots using string and stakes. It creates separate grids which you can use to organize your planting and tending.
Plant Your Seeds
Read the instructions on the back of the seed packet. Follow them and plant your seeds. Immediately after planting your seeds, give them a healthy dose of water to set them on their ways. Depending on the plant, you should start seeing new green shoots within the next week.
Tess is a professional gardener who spends her time helping people grow their own food. In her spare time, she writes articles and guides on the subject of gardening.