Growing your own vegetables is fun, rewarding, and surprisingly easy for anyone to do, even if you don’t have a large backyard. All you need is some decent quality soil, a few different seeds, and the right advice.
With that in mind, here are the basics to get you started on your own veggie garden project.
Choose A Location
The best locations to plant your veggie garden is a sunny area of your backyard. Watch where the sun hits during the day and choose somewhere with a maximum amount of sunlight, while also ensuring convenient access for watering, harvesting, and ongoing maintenance. Planting your veggie garden all the way down at the back of your yard will mean you’ll have further to walk during harvest or just to pick fresh herbs while cooking. So planting somewhere closer to the house will obviously make it much easier to water and maintain.
No matter what vegetables you decide to plant or where you decide to plant them, they are going to need quality soil and access to water as well as sunlight. You can either dig up your garden bed in the existing dirt, or set up a raised bed on top of the lawn, or even on concrete, as long as you’re able to even out the surface so it’s flat. And if you don’t have much space in your yard, you can always grow vegetables on your balcony or in a couple of window boxes. While growing veggies in pots or windowsills won’t produce massive harvests, you will be able to keep a close eye on your plants as they grow.
Plan Your Layout
Some people dream of planting a massively sprawling veggie garden that’ll be big enough for them to grow plenty of every type of vegetable they want. But when you’re a beginner, it’s a much better idea to start with a small garden. That’s because you’ll be able to work out how much produce your family will eat, and you’ll spend less time planting, weeding, and watering making it much easier to care for. And you’ll still be excited with the produce from a small garden, rather than getting frustrated with the commitment of a large one.
A raised garden bed, a few pots, or somewhere between a square meter and a small-sized bedroom are all pretty good choices for a beginner vegetable garden, as they will be the easiest to manage. Keep it simple by only planting up to five or six different types of vegetables, and design bed shapes with pathways so you can reach all areas without needing to step on the soil. If you bite off more than you can chew and the size seems a little intimidating, you can just cut back and go a little smaller. Besides, you can always expand next season once your veggie garden is a success.
Choosing The Right Soil
Soil is the most important part of any garden, but especially with veggie gardens. That’s because the more fertile the soil is, the healthier your plants will be, and the vegetables will be quality and taste. While the most sustainable and cost-effective option is to dig up existing soil to create your garden beds, most residential-grade soil will ultimately need a little boost. Especially in any area where the topsoil has been stripped away. Healthy soil is dark, rich, spongy, and crumbly. It’s easy to dig, it drains well, and smells just like a damp, forest floor.
So, for the best possible harvest of vegetables, your garden will need the very best soil you can. Thankfully it’s actually surprisingly easy to improve small amounts of soil simply by adding organic matter. Spread lots of organically rich compost over the soil to help trap moisture before working it in with a spade. Then rake the surface, water it thoroughly, and give your garden bed a few days to ensure the soil is ready for planting. Don’t forget to top it off with sugar cane mulch after planting as it also helps ensure moist soil which will need less water.
Keeping It Clean
Once your veggies have started to grow, help ensure they are able to reach their full potential by looking after your garden. This means regular clean-up of postharvest debris, pulling out weeds before they get out of control, as well as removing any diseased, dying, and dead vegetation. It’s crucial to have some pretty decent air circulation with regular breezes, and taking the time to clean up all around your garden will ensure it always looks tidy, fresh, and inviting.
Make sure that all spent crops and fallen vegetables are removed from your garden quickly, as they can become havens for both disease and pests. If any plants do succumb to disease throughout the year, it’s very important to be careful when disposing of them. The best way to get rid of any diseased plants is in the green trash, and never in the compost. Remember that a clean vegetable garden makes it much harder for bugs and other pests to settle in.
Growing your own vegetables is an excellent way to save some extra money each month, while also giving you some time to get back to nature. So, now that you know some of the basics, you’ll soon be picking your very own home-grown vegetables and other delicious produce. Eventually, you’ll be growing enough extra veggies to share with your family, friends, and neighbours.