Do you want to go to a place where you can relax, be in the sun, and even get some exercise and gourmet food? A place which even your kids may like spending time in? This “spa” will not need to cost much, in fact it will save you money.
It’s a home vegetable garden, there is no need to be intimidated if you have never planted vegetables before as they are easy to grow especially if you follow these 10 steps for first time vegetable growers.
1. Choose a location which gets lots of sun, meaning six or more hours of direct sun in summer. To grow succulent, savory vegetables takes the suns energy — especially for fruiting vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes. If you don’t have this much sunlight, either get out your pruning saw or grow only leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach.
2. The soil needs to be well-drained. Roots need to breathe, which they cant do if there is too much water in the soil after it rains. You will know that the soil is ok if the grass or weeds grow well in the area.
3. You are more likely to enjoy and use your vegetable garden the nearer you plant it to your door so the closer you can get the better.
4. Start small to begin with until you are more experienced a 10-by-10-foot plot of land will produce plenty of vegetables for you to use. Increase the size of your garden commensurate with your enthusiasm and experience.
5. Fence your garden to keep out rabbits and other animals which will eat your growing vegetables, a fence will also help to define your garden visually also, poultry netting is a cheap and effective option to protect your plants also, and this helps to keep animals from burrowing under your fence.
6. Make your garden pretty. Yes, it’s a vegetable garden, but even vegetable gardens can be pretty. Wooden pickets can obscure and dress up a poultry netting fence. An arbor, with climbing beans or grapes, can dress up your garden gate. Soften the fence line with an outside border planting of shrubs, perhaps something decorative and edible such as red currants or blueberries. Beauty will also draw you into your garden.
7. Plan your garden in 4 dimensions as this is a way to harvest more from limited space. Rather than rows which are single and widely spaced is a way to harvest more from limited space. Rather than single, widely spaced rows, plant in wide (3-4 feet) beds (second dimension). Rather than keeping everything at ground level, let the vegetables that can grow up (a third dimension). Pole beans and tomatoes grow up bamboo, and peas and cucumbers can grow up fences even that fence that encloses your garden. For the fourth dimension — time use transplants for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and cucumbers, and plant shorter-season vegetables to follow those that finish early or start late, such as lettuce following early bush beans.
8. Pay attention to fertilizing and watering. Spread a balanced organic fertilizer over the ground in late winter at the rate suggested on the container. Or, if existing vegetation is growing well, use soybean meal at 2 pounds per 100 square feet. Or apply an inch depth of compost. Set out a straight-sided can to measure water, and turn on the sprinkler once a week so the combination of rain and sprinkling equal an inch depth of water in that can.
9. Weed regularly and frequently. Weeds are much easier to kill — and haven’t had time to spread many seeds — when they are small.
10. Grow vegetables that you like to eat, and choose the best-tasting varieties.
So get a tiller or shovel, and dig up your new garden area, or use the newer method of smothering existing vegetation beneath a few layers of newspaper topped with compost or other mulch, then plant immediately.
For future successes, thoroughly clean up old plants when they’re finished or at the end of the season, and move plants around the garden so they don’t grow in the same spot for a couple of years.