As the weather starts to warm up and we start to see that sun come out a little more, some new gardeners are going to get a little antsy about getting their first garden going. Starting a garden from scratch can be a challenge, so we want to make sure your vegetable garden is a complete success.
If you are going to start your own garden, we definitely recommend you choose items that you will actually use in your own cooking. You also need to look at factors of the local temperature and which of those vegetables you are going to eat will actually be able to grow in your environment. So, let’s get this project rolling!
Planning Your Garden
First and foremost, your garden should be something that is fun for you to do, not a burden that you dread taking care of. Keep that in mind as you decide on the actual size of the garden. If you are not going to have a lot of time, a small garden box in the neighborhood of 3’x5’ is probably more than enough for your time constraints. If you find you are able to manage that, branch out next season and make a bigger one.
Vegetables are going to need about eight hours of sun every day, so make sure you plant your garden in an area that can accommodate that need. When you find spots that can accommodate this, figure if you will need to fence in the area due to local animals that could ruin your garden, like deer or rabbits.
Once you have settled on the area, you will need to test the soil to see if you will be able to grow your vegetables. You can get a test kit online as well as any nutrients you will need for the soil to make it “garden worthy.”
Finally, you will need to decide if you are going to start by using seeds or plants. If you are new to gardening, you may want to check with someone from the local nursery for the best plants to start out with that will offer the best chance of success. During the planting phase, you will also need to make sure you account for the full growth of the plants, meaning you may have to provide a climbing system in the form of stakes for the plants.
When to Plant Vegetable Gardens
The timing of your garden will be the easiest controllable for you. For instance, leafy greens and onions do much better in cooler weather, whereas tomatoes, summer squash, and peppers love higher heat and humidity.
You will also want to plant items for our little friend the bee. Flowers and herbs will keep the pollinators happy.
After you plant, layer about two to four inches of mulch or compost around the plants. This will help to not only conserve water, but also help prevent weeds from sprouting up in your garden. When the mulch needs replacing, do just that, replace it. Do not layer fresh mulch on top of the older mulch.