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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”