There’s nothing better than wandering outside to pick some fresh veggies from my very own yard. The sense of accomplishment that comes with being able to raise your own food is something that I think everyone should get a chance to try. No matter what you think your gardening abilities might be, it’s easy to start a veggie garden in any size of space. I’ll even give you some tips on how to begin your fantastic gardening adventure!
Pick an Area
Find a location where you’ll have plenty of sunshine and it’s easy to get to. If you don’t have a place like this, due to lack of land or an absence of dirt, then you might want to consider container gardening as an option. You’ll still need to have a sunny place to set your containers. It’s also nice to put them somewhere it’s easy to haul water to.
Prepare the Dirt
It’s easy enough to get a plot picked out, but now you have to make sure it’s ready to plant in. You might find it helpful to borrow a tiller for a large area. The soil will need to be tilled to make it easier to clean out any weeds, rocks, or other obstacles that will be in the way of your seed planting endeavor. Break the large clods of dirt with your hands, a shovel, or a hoe. Poor soil might require some additional help, such as mulch or some well-aged manure. Work this into the soil before you plant to help the seeds get off to a great start.
If you’ve gone the container gardening route, make sure your containers have proper drainage before you put in the dirt. You don’t want your little garden to turn into a pool of dirt soup with seeds floating in it the first time it rains! Raised beds on top of poor soil tend to be fine, but plastic containers will need to have some holes drilled into the bottom of them. You can also use a large nail and a hammer to poke enough holes to allow the water to drain out of the container. Once you have the holes in place, you can add some gravel for additional drainage assistance if you like, and pour in the soil.
The great thing about vegetable seeds is that they are extremely easy to find! You can purchase them at the local hardware or feed store. Sometimes people sell them at the Farmers Market too. Many companies offer them through the mail too, which is excellent for people who live in a remote area and find it difficult to get out and about to purchase some seeds. Catalogs also tend to have amazing pictures so you can see what the final product looks like. I love seed catalogs and getting things in the mail, which makes catalogs and seed-of-the-month programs my favorite way to go!
You probably won’t be able to plant all your seeds at once, unless you are only growing one type of veggie. The back of the seed packet will tell you the best time to plant, how deep to plant each seeds, how long it takes for the seedlings to emerge from the ground, and about what time you should expect to be able to harvest your vegetables. Some seeds do better if they are soaked overnight and the seed packet will let you know if this is the case for any of your seeds too.
Feed and Water Them
The little seeds will need plenty of water to help them start their roots and beginning leaves. Be sure to water them gently, so as to not flush them out of the dirt the first time you water them. Once the plants start growing, you can add some fertilizer to the soil to help them along. Compost tea is a great source of nutrients for any size of veggie plant. You can make your own, or purchase fish emulsion and add it to your watering can every now and then. Keep your garden moist, but not so much that the seeds/plants rot in the soil. It’s best to give them small amounts of water often to keep the ground from drying out too much and causing the soil to crack.
Keeping a garden journal is helpful, rewarding, and fun. Get your own beautiful garden journal to keep you on track!
Now comes the toughest part of all…waiting! Unfortunately, veggie plants don’t pop up overnight, so you’ll have to watch and wait for quite some time. If this is the first time you’ve tried growing any kind of garden, trust me, the wait is well worth it!
What veggies are you thinking about planting in your new garden?