Gardening offers a number of benefits from improving health to saving money on groceries. You will be amazed at watching your peppers and tomatoes grow in your own garden. Growing a vegetable garden seems to be a daunting task especially for a novice. However, with a little knowledge and experience, it is actually much simpler than it sounds. Ready to jump into vegetable gardening? Here is everything you need to know about starting a vegetable garden from picking the right location to choosing the plants to grow.
Everything you need to know about starting a vegetable garden: Find the right location
Picking the right site is one of the basics that you need to do when starting a vegetable garden. Choosing a wrong site can lead to failure in growing plants. Here are the recommended places to for a vegetable garden.
Why is it important to find areas that receive much sunlight? For your information most vegetable requires full sun to grow well especially cucumbers, squash, and eggplant. It means that these veggies require 6 – 8 of direct sunlight every day in order to thrive. However, there are some vegetables that need partial sun such as broccoli and cabbage. Therefore, it all depends on what vegetables you plant.
It is important to plant vegetables in a stable environment which means areas without much wind, traffic foot traffic, or rain. They are just too tough on garden plants. A place with severe winds, for example, can cause plants’ leaves become shredded. Besides, strong winds may cause wounding and bruising of veggies and fruits.
Meanwhile too much rain in the garden can lead to some problem. Even though rain is a welcome treat for most plants, too much of it can slow down the growth of vegetable plants. It affects the plant growth in a way that it leaches nutrient in the soil. Excess moisture due to heavy rain also contributes to some plant diseases.
Moist, well-drained soil
Let your plants grow in moist, well-drained soil otherwise your plants will die. A well-drained soil allows water to seep into it reasonably quickly and not pool. There are things you can do to keep soil well-drained such as building raised beds or adding compost to the soil. In this way, the soil drainage can be better.
Deciding the size of the garden
It is always highly-recommended for a novice to start small. If a small garden can make you proud why complicate yourself with a big one? The bigger the size, the more problems you need to deal with. Even experienced gardeners need to deal with numerous problems. As your gardening skills increase, you can expand the size of your garden.
First of all, make 11 rows in your garden with the length of each row is10 feet In order to take full advantage of sunshine. Second, create a path in the middle for you to access the plants. There is no specific rules. Just make sure that you can easily reach the center of the row for watering and harvesting.
Choosing vegetables to plant
After the place is ready, the next thing to think about is what vegetables to be planted. For beginners, it is recommended to start with common vegetables that are relatively easy to grow such as peppers, zucchini squash, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, chard, and beets. As there are lots of choices, you might be overwhelmed.
There are some tips to choose the crops. First, plant vegetables that you and your family members like to consume. Second, find veggies that are not always available in the nearest groceries or markets. Or, they might be available but the prices are expensive. Therefore, growing those expensive vegetables can really save you some money.
It is also important to consider the season when the crops are growing. For instance, zucchinis and tomatoes are growing in summer. It means, those crops are not good choices if you plant to go having summer vacation unless you have someone look after the plants. If there is no one to handle the job, consider planting lettuce, kale, or another cool-season
Don’t forget to use only high-quality seeds. Buying individual plants is better than buying seed packets. Individual plants are more expensive but they have better quality. Meanwhile, low-quality seeds sometimes fail to germinate. Of course, you don’t want to waste your money and time on these cheap yet low-quality seeds, right? It’s better to spend a few extra pennies in the beginning. Don’t worry as it will pay off at harvest time.
Knowing where and when to plant
The next important thing is to know here and when to plant especially if you plan to grow a full garden with various types of crops. Some veggies belong to cool-season while some of them are warm-season. Cool-season crops such as spinach and root veggies should be planted after spring frost. Meanwhile, warm-season crops like peppers and tomatoes are planted later in the season in the same area.
If you want to plan perennial crops like some herbs, asparagus, or rhubarb, provide permanent beds or areas. It is because these veggies are annuals, meaning that they can be planted each year.
You should also know how long does it take for every crop to mature and how long is the harvest period. Bush beans and radishes, for example, mature quicker and have a shorter harvest period than other plants such tomatoes. There are also veggies that yield more than one crop per season. Knowing this information help you arrange your crops.
By knowing everything you need to know about starting a vegetable garden, you are ready to grow your favorite veggies. The beginning always becomes the most challenging but in the end, you can taste the sweet, juicy flavors and vibrant textures of fresh veggies that you grow on your own. In addition to help you eat more vegetables without going to groceries, a vegetable garden can also relieve stress due to great amount of fresh air and sunshine in the garden.