As I mentioned a couple of days ago, we have officially begun our summer veggie garden. We planted tomatoes, bell peppers, mint, basil, thyme, and green beans. We plan to plant zucchini as well but since that grows relatively easy we will plant the seeds directly into the soil outside versus starting them inside first. Once the warm weather finally rolls around and there is no chance of freezing temperatures, we will transplant the plants into our outdoor garden. I’m already excited to start seeing sprouts!
Over the past couple of years we have had so much fun growing our own veggies in our backyard and enjoying the fresh taste of homegrown produce. Dana and I plan out what vegetables we want to plant and we draw out a plan for where will plant the seeds. This is our first year starting the plants indoors, and we are hoping that this will increase the chances of growing certain veggies that have failed us over the past years, namely bell peppers. We will see how it goes this year!
The following of this post is written by a guest blogger who offered to write about tips for starting up a vegetable garden. I happily obliged. I am super excited about this informative post topic! So without further ado, I present to you,
Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden
Growing your own vegetable garden is a great way to save money and to eat a healthy diet all year round. You can control what goes into your food so that you only get pure, fresh produce, and you can save money while you’re doing it. Plus, you’ll feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment at having grown your own food.
Growing a vegetable garden need not be overly difficult or complicated. You simply need to know how to get started and you can learn the rest as you go along. Here are a few tips for getting started with a vegetable garden:
Whether you decide to clear a stretch of land in your yard or you want to build a raised bed somewhere on your land, you’re going to need to buy a few supplies. Some supplies you may need include:
- Pots for growing your vegetables or starting seedlings
- Garden soil or potting soil
- Top soil to enrich the native soil
- Fertilizer (store-bought) or compost
- Garden utensils such as spades and hoes
- Seeds or seedlings
If you decide to build a bed, you may also need a raised-bed kit that you can buy from a nursery or the lumber to build it yourself. If you plan to grow climbing plants, you will also need to add stakes or trellises.
Type of Garden
There are many types of garden you can create, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few of the most common:
- Square-foot garden. You build a box that is marked off into manageable square-foot spaces. This makes it easier to manage your garden space, but it also requires more work to set up.
- Raised-bed garden. With this type of garden, you build a raised bed of pieces of lumber or by using a kit. The bed provides more nourished soil and helps to cut out weeds. However, again, this type of garden requires a lot of work to set up.
- Container garden. Possibly the easiest type of garden to set up is a container garden. Just fill your pots with soil and plant your seeds. The garden is easy to establish and can be grown anywhere — even an apartment. The drawback is that you are limited in the type of vegetables you can grow by the size of containers you can source.
- In-ground garden. Simply planting your seeds in a section of your yard that you have cleared of grass is an easy way to get started. The downside is that you will spend a lot of time fighting weeds and keeping the soil nourished.
The type of garden you choose to create should depend on your long-term plans, what you intend to grow, and how much work you are willing to put into creating it.
(Garden photo from Melanie’s yard–they made this garden bed themselves)
Where to Plant
All plants need plenty of sunshine to thrive, but some need more than others. You will need to determine what you want to grow so you know where you need to plant your garden so that the plants get the amount of sun that they need.
Almost all vegetables require full sun to thrive and will need 6 to 8 hours of sun. Some vegetables that can do well in partial shade include almost all varieties of lettuce, spinach, and peas (if you live in a hot climate). For everything else, plan for full sun.
What to Plant
When you’re just getting started, it’s best to choose crops that are easy to plant and don’t require a lot of fuss. There’s a great learning curve to garden, and you don’t want to make it too difficult on yourself. Plus, you’ll feel discouraged if everything you plant starts to die.
Some plants that are known to be easy to grow include:
- Green beans
On the flip side, some of the hardest plants to grow include:
- Sweet potatoes
Be sure to read about what’s required of each of the types of vegetables you would like to grow before you get started to be sure you are up for the challenge.
Starting a vegetable garden doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require that you do a little research before you get started. Before you know it, you’ll be off and growing a bounty of vegetables that will provide healthy foods for your dinner table all year long.
What are your tricks for growing a healthy and vibrant vegetable garden? Share your tips in the comments!
About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching cooking schools in Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.