How to Choose and Star Easy Vegetable Garden
How to Choose a Location for your Garden
While many people don’t have the luxury of selecting the perfect spot for their garden in their yard, you should at least choose the best possible location for your garden. The main factors you must be aware of when choosing a location are the amount of sunlight the area receives, the drainage of the area, and the type of soil that is in the location. If you live in a particularly windy area you also might want to select a somewhat protected area as well.
The area you choose for your garden should receive an ample supply of sunlight. Plants such as tomatoes need at least 8-10 hours of direct sunlight a day. If they receive less then this requirement you may just get a plant with healthy foliage, but minimal fruit. For people in the northern hemisphere, a south-facing garden will get the most sunlight. An east-facing garden will get strong morning sunshine and will be subject to the most extreme temperature swings. Be careful to watch how the sun changes throughout the day. While you may think you have selected a sunny location, a large tree may put your garden in the shade for a period of the day. Also, be aware that trees grow in time, and while one year you have a garden in the sun, in a few years the garden may now be in the shade.
Be aware of the drainage pattern for the area you select for your garden. If you live in a low-lying area you don’t want to select a low-lying spot in your yard as your garden will stay too wet. While you may think this will be helpful as you won’t need to water it as often, in fact, it is not. An area with poor drainage will lead to a garden with many diseases. Good drainage is very important to a healthy garden. In fact, you may have to build up the area where you want your garden to ensure that the area doesn’t stay wet all the time.
Finally, you should be aware of the type of soil that is in the area where you will start your garden. If it is extremely rocky, you should rake out the largest rocks to try to condition the soil. If the soil is unworkable, it may be best to bring in topsoil, compost, peat moss, sand, and peat humus to make for a better growing environment. If the soil is extremely sandy you may need to add compost to enrich the soil with nutrients.
Hopefully, this article gave you enough information on how to select a great location to start a garden, and you will be able to start your garden this year.
How to Start a Vegetable Garden
The first thing you must do is decide what type of vegetables you would like to grow. Obviously, you prefer the taste of some vegetables over others, therefore you should devote your hard work to things you will enjoy. Make a list of all the different types of vegetables you want, and see if the space you have devoted to your garden will accommodate everything. Next, make a small sketch on a piece of paper to map out where you will plant everything in your garden. Make sure you leave enough room for proper spacing between plants and the rows of plants. Overcrowding plants are one of the most common mistakes a beginning gardener will make.
Now you should determine which plants can be sown directly in the garden and which plants are best started indoors and later transplanted outdoors. Gardeners in warm environments may start everything from seed. However, if you live in a colder environment it is best to start certain plants from seeds indoors weeks before transplanting them outdoors as your growing season is much shorter. Each vegetable has its own guidelines as to how many weeks it should be started indoors before being transplanted outdoors. We will look at specific vegetables in future lessons.
Once you have determined your local frost-free date, and it has passed you can begin planting your garden. Make sure to get an early start on cold weather plants such as lettuce and spinach. They tend to get quite bitter as the temperatures climb. Follow the layout that you designed when you planned your garden. Hopefully, everything you wrote down on paper will transfer nicely to the actual garden. If it doesn’t and you run out of space it is best not to overcrowd, as mentioned above.
Certain plants such as tomatoes should have some organic fertilizer mixed into the ground when the plants are transplanted. This will help for a better transition from the nice protected whether indoors to the temperature swings and the light changed of the outdoors. Of course, you must use the proper amount of water for the transplants, as well as any seeds that you have sown. Overwatering plants are just as bad as underwatering plants.
Hopefully, this has given you a good overview of how to get a vegetable garden started. In future articles, we will look at specific techniques on how you can how the best garden in the neighborhood.
Easy Vegetable Gardening
Everyone starts as a beginning gardener at one point in their life. Some people start as children and are taught how to garden from their parents or grandparents, while others start much later in life. At whatever age you being gardening it is always best to start with vegetables that are easy to grow. This will allow you to feel immediate success, and begin to truly love the enjoyment of gardening. If you start out trying to grow some of the more difficult vegetables, you may become discouraged, and not replant your garden next year. I don’t want you to fall into this trap so I will outline some ways to get started and take the path to easy vegetable gardening.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to use a raised bed garden. This will help those who may have poor soil or poor drainage. By using a raised bed garden, you can put the proper mixture of dirt, compost, and manure to ensure success in your first year. Additionally, you should mulch your garden to keep weeds to a minimum as well as retain moisture and heat.
An easy vegetable you can begin growing your first year is green beans. These plants will sprout under most conditions and have a high percentage of seeds that germinate. Additionally these plants are easy to maintain, and generally, don’t die off due to disease. Another easy vegetable that you should start off with is lettuce. While it is a little tricky to space the seeds easily, you can buy the seeds pre-spaced on a tape made of paper. The paper will dissolve, and you will have perfect planting. Lettuce needs plenty of water but is not susceptible to many diseases, thus you should have no trouble harvesting lettuce in the first year you start a garden.
Radishes are another vegetable that is easy to grow, and one that a beginning gardener should definitely include in a first-year garden. The seeds need to spaced out evenly and the plants need plenty of water. You should have no trouble harvesting radishes, as they grow rather quickly and enjoy cool weather. Onions are another easy vegetable to grow in your garden. Again the seeds are small so you must make sure that you space the seeds according to the seed manufacturer’s guidance. Finally, I will recommend you try growing zucchini in your garden in the first year. These plants grow quite vigorously and if watered properly they will produce an abundance of quite healthy squash. In some areas of the country, squash is susceptible to damage from insects. So if you know that you are in such an area, it is best to avoid zucchini until you get a little bit of experience, and can deal with insect control.