How to Start a Veggie Garden

The growing season is just around the corner, and you’re probably already planning the start of your vegetable garden. You are not the only one. A lot of people have found the joy of gardening and the thrill of growing their own produce. Newbie gardeners might have a number of questions about the best way to get their gardens growing. This article was written for them.

Vegetable Bliss

In addition to the exquisite flavor of vine-ripened foods, there are several other benefits to starting a vegetable garden. You can harvest fresh fully ripened vegetables when you need them, and did I mention the flavor is phenomenal? You can save money at the grocery store growing your own food. And gardening is a fun way to get some exercise while you reconnect with nature.

Simple Pleasures

Prepare to plant your vegetable garden by first stopping. Take a few minutes to think about the vegetables you normally buy at the grocery store. For my family I get lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, and peppers. Your list is your launch point. After you have your list figure out what your vegetables need for soil, water, sunlight and space. Your yard might not let you grow all of your favorites, but you’ll be able to grow at least a couple of them.

Here are a couple of tips: if there are others you know who has vegetable gardens, you may be able to help each other. You can grow some of their favorites and they can grow yours. If you make it a community project, everyone can benefit. You might even consider a container garden. Then you can decide where you want to put your crops and you can use high quality potting soil, the kind that keeps your garden thriving.

Get an Early Start

Before the growing season begins is the best time to start planning your garden. You will give yourself plenty of time to get the seeds, pick out the tools you need and plan your plot space. Give yourself a weekly task list so you can budget your time, then a couple of weeks before the last frost you can kick it into high gear. A great way to get a jump on the season is to start your seeds indoors. As soon as the soil outside has warmed you can transplant the healthy seedlings and harvest sooner.

Rough Drawings

Grab some graph paper and draw out the space you need for your garden. Give yourself some wiggle room to try out different vegetables in various spots. Take the time to plan out your garden and you will add eye appeal to your plot. A good general tip is to put the tall, vine-laden vegetables along a wall or fence, in the back of the garden. This gives them the support they need. Remember to consider the space each plant needs to grow, so they can give you the most yields. You might consider using herbs, like curly parsley, to add color and decoration as well as a tasty garnish for your dinner plate.

Getting Dirty

Now it’s time to put a little elbow grease into the mix, getting your seeds and seedlings into the ground. Keeping up with the weeding doesn’t have to be too laborious. You can minimize the work considerably by putting mulch or strips of fabric (held down with rocks) between the rows. Remember to water your garden regularly. And give it some fertilizer every couple of weeks. A 12-14-11 or 10-10-10 will do nicely.


That will get you started on your new journey. In addition to getting dirty, gardening offers a lot for your mind. Over time you will learn the fine points of each of your favorite vegetables. You’ll learn what it takes to make them grow and yield the maximum they can. And to top it off, you will be able to boast to your friends and family, as they gush over the flavor or your meals, “I grew that.”

A Garden Shed For Gardeners

I am a recent devotee of gardening.  Although I grew up surrounded by gardens I never really noticed them. Once a became a serious gardener, I needed a gardening garden shed more than anything.

I put a lot of thought into creating the perfect garden shed.  It took over one year of planning but I think I got it perfect.  I have a potting table on the outside wall at the back of the shed. This is the dirty area and I want to keep it hidden. I have a water connection and a sink and a large 36 inch tall table top. Beneath the table I have stainless steel shelving that that hold bags of potting soil, empty pots, blood meal, bone meal, etc. On hook above the table top I have small hand shovels and two different types of clippers.  The roof at the back over hangs by 24 inches so I am protected from drizzles as is my work space.  This is the utilitarian part of my gardening shed.

The interior of the shed is cleaner and very inviting. I use the large counter tops to hold mini-green houses and other specimens that I am trying to propagate. Anything that is new or fragile spends a week or two in front of the window of the garden shed basking in the sunlight but protected from the wind and other elements.

I have washed the interior walls with a light sage green wash.  The colour was slightly too light after the first coat but after a few coats it was perfect.

I have a variety of different shelving systems and storage containers in my garden shed. Gardening can be a bit of a dirty business so I find that I’m drawn to plastic storage systems. These are easy to clean with a damp cloth are are very durable.   I have a bank of drawers that I use to store my seeds. I believe this storage unit was originally designed to store screws or nails but is perfect for storing seeds. In fact, I likely saved money by buying a system designed for a work shop. Items that are specially designed for gardeners tend to be pricey.  I have larger shelving systems to store things such as my bulb planter and sprinklers.  My collection of galvanized steel watering cans are kept below the counter as are my plaid rubber boats.  I keep an old fleece sweater on a hook on the back of the door.

I also have a comfy lawn chair and foot stool where I can sit and read my new gardening magazines and gardening reference books.  I also have a radio to keep me company while I pot. or transplant.  I love every aspect of my gardeners garden shed and spend as much time as possible putzing around in it.

The outside of my shed is a board and batten shed design with an offset roof line.   The the 18 inches between roof lines I installed an old farm house paned window.  This window acts like a sky light and I rarely need additional light in my garden shed.  The entire look is very whimsical. I wanted my shed to look like it could be found in a fairy dell and inhabited by a garden gnome family. I have two large paned windows that play host to overflowing window boxes. I change the flowers in the window boxes every year from some seeds I have started in the spring.

In planning my garden shed, I knew that I wanted to create a special space just for me.  Although others in my family are permitted entry they all know that it is my special spot.  I love to bring out my coffee first thing in the morning to inspect any recent growth or to have a few quiet moments with a new gardening magazine.  It took a long time to plan this shed by I know it was worthwhile.  I have the perfect gardening garden shed.

How To Avoid Injuries From The Garden Fork

Tripped over the garden rake – again? Hunting for the garden fork? Oh there it is, stuck in the compost heap but looking very rusty. Sound familiar? If you have a garden of any shape or size, you will at some stage have to consider some garden tool storage.

There are a number of reasons why you should think about this, sooner or later. Here are just three

1. Garden tools particularly good quality ones, don’t come cheap. Why waste all that money by leaving your tools to rot in the garden?

2. Safety. If you have ever tripped over a garden rake you will know what I mean. If you have kids, the imperative to safeguard them has to be higher as well.

3. Organisation. Think of all the time you spend looking for the tool you used 2 weeks ago. Now just where did you leave it?

So having decided that you need to get yourself organised, what sort of garden tool storage should you be looking for? Well it depends on what you have and what you intend to get in the future. If you just have a few hand tools, a wooden box might work. On the other hand if you have spades, forks rakes and larger items like lawn mowers, you might want to think about a shed.

The advantages of a garden shed and the storage it gives cannot be underestimated. Even the smallest shed will give you enough space to get your tools somewhere dry and accessible. Most people want somewhere to put items that take up space but they don’t immediately want to get rid off into a garage or a loft space and if you don’t have either, a shed gives you that alternative, they are cheaper and easier to erect than a garage apart from anything else.

For garden tool storage they can rarely be beaten. You know that the tools are in there, you can even draw around the tools and hang them on the walls of the shed. You can see at a glance then, whether you have brought the tool in or left it stuck in the soil somewhere. That may be a bit organised for some, but you get the picture.

For more information on garden tool storage and garden sheds visit my website.