Have you ever wondered what it takes to start a garden? It’s estimated that there are over 31 million households in the US that participate in gardening each year. Today, I’m going to teach you how to start a garden, so you can have fresh veggies directly from your backyard!
How To Start A Garden:
The first step to starting your own garden is to plan out what kind of plants you are wanting to grow. There are some vegetables that are easier to grow than others. Here are five vegetables that are perfect for the novice gardener:
- Lettuce- butter crunch, Black Simpson, Romaine, and Green Leaf are all great for beginners
- Green Beans
- Herbs such as basil, oregano, and cilantro.
Did you know that some vegetables, if planted next to each other, can hinder the growth of each other? The next step is to strategically plan out where to plant your vegetables and ensure they have enough space to grow without hindering each other.
This is referred to as “companion planting” and knowing this will help you be more successful. For example, basil and tomatoes are great together in the garden and in a recipe. Dill will help ward off certain bugs and worms from cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower.
Your Garden Soil
Once you’ve picked out your location for your crops, the next step is to make sure that you have the proper soil and nutrients to give your plants the best chance for growth! Learn more about testing your soil here.
You want soil with a lot of organic matter and compost such as leaves (shredded) or aged bark. You’ll also want to ensure that the soil does not dry out too quickly or hold too much moisture. Add nutrients to your soil with compost, or other soil additives to help maintain a proper balance.
To know the right time to plant your vegetables you need to know what Zone you live in. You can do that by visiting the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Here you will find what zone you reside in and when the best time to plant your crops to reduce the chances of freeze damage.
Keep in mind that many veggies will need to be started indoors several weeks before planting outside. This would include tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Other plants, such as green beans, cucumbers, and leafy greens can be direct sown into the soil.
The best time to water your plants is in the early morning (between 5 am and 9 am). It’s best to water in the early morning so that your plants will have enough moisture to carry them throughout the heat of the day and not have wet roots when going to bed. This will help cut down on the chances of getting any fungal diseases on your foliage.
Using a drip hose is best for even watering, but even hand watering will do. Try and keep the leaves from getting to wet as you water, and focus the water onto the soil and root area. In times of drought or water uncertainty, this clay pot method may be a help for keeping soil evenly moist.
Keeping the Weeds Out:
Now that your garden is well established and growing now it’s time to start the maintenance period. Make sure that you’re watering your plants consistently and keeping any weeds that pop up plucked.
Keeping your garden free of weeds will help ensure that your vegetables are not competing for nutrients in the soil, moisture, or root room to grow.
There are a lot of different vegetables to choose from that you can grow in your garden if you’re a beginner. The key is to make sure they have room to grow, proper nutrients, water, and no competition for these key components.
Have you started a vegetable garden from scratch? Let me know how it went for you and any tips that you may have in the comments below!
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