Planting vegetables for the first time? Then you are at the right place!
If you are among those who love gardening, consider growing a vegetable garden that will save you money on groceries. Organic, fresh vegetables provide you with all the necessary nutrients and boost your health. Apart from saving money and providing daily meals, growing your own vegetables help you to achieve a healthy physique. Also, vegetable gardening adds texture to your garden and makes it more attractive to guests and passersby. Moreover, growing your own food provides you with a sense of accomplishment and rejuvenates your overall mood.
However, before you start producing your own vegetables, it’s important to know the process in detail. At the beginning, it might seem a bit daunting, but with time and proper procedure it will turn into a very rewarding hobby. So, if you are a beginner, use these tips as a guide to plan and prepare your vegetable garden efficiently.
- Pick the Right Location
Choosing the right site for gardening is the key to a fruitful garden. Site selection is one of the major decisions that will determine your success. Thus, while picking a location, look for a sunny spot. Just like most other plants, vegetable plants too love sunlight. For maximum production, it’s important that your vegetable plant gets over 8 hours of direct sunlight. Apart from sunlight, vegetables require a good amount of oxygen. Thus, while planting, avoid low-lying spots where water accumulates easily and submerges the plant roots.
Plant your vegetables in a spot where the wind is stable. Remember, windy areas might knock over those young plants and keep pollinators from doing their job. Apart from sunlight, oxygen, and the right amount of wind, your vegetable plants require proper nutrients from the soil to grow. Thus, test your garden soil before starting off. If required, put plenty of organic matter to make the soil thick and fertile.
- Select Your Veggies
Now that you have selected the ideal location for your vegetable garden, think about the varieties you want to grow. The easiest way to select veggies is to think of the ones that you love to eat. Apart from selecting vegetables on the basis of your taste, consider factors like climate, space, soil type, and your expertise.
As a beginner, it’s always best to choose vegetables that are productive and can be grown easily. Though the growth of a plant depends upon the soil and the climate type, some of the vegetables that can be easily harvested are lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, carrots, beets, radishes, kale, zucchini, and so on. Also, make sure to use high-quality seeds that produce higher yields at harvest time.
- Plan the Garden Layout
Choosing the right garden layout is important for the growth of your vegetable plants. Vegetables grow best with either row cropping or intensive cropping, and each has its own benefits. In row cropping, you place your plants in a single row with 18 inches distance in between. This cropping style makes it easier for you to access each plant and use mechanical equipment.
On the other hand, intensive cropping focuses more on boosting your garden’s overall productivity. In this layout, you can easily space two to three plants together in a bed. This approach makes use of most of the prepared soil and works well for most veggie types.
- Prepare the Soil
As we have already said that it’s important to test the garden soil before picking the location, it’s time to make it more fertile and rich for maximum productivity. Your plants require the best soil for the best produce. So, before planting the vegetable seeds, check the soil type. Is it too wet or too gritty? Determine the texture of your garden soil as it affects drainage and the availability of nutrients.
No matter what type or texture your garden soil has, it can be improved over time through the right techniques and ingredients. For example, adding compost to sandy soil helps retain nutrients and moisture for a long time. Before sowing seeds, aerate the soil sufficiently and spread needed amendments over it. After amending the soil, rake it and water thoroughly. Before you plant, allow the prepared bed to rest for a few days.
- Keep the Weeds Out
To keep your vegetable garden healthy and productive, it’s important to get rid of weeds. Weeds sip most of the nutrients from the soil, making your plants malnourished. So, while preparing your yard for vegetable gardening, look for ways to keep out these intruders. The most effective and natural way to keep weeds away is mulching. Adding a 2-4 inch thick layer of organic mulch can help you to prevent weeds from overtaking your veggies. Apart from mulching, you can remove weeds manually with the help of equipment like a spade and shovel. Uprooting the already grown weeds is an effective way to get rid of them.
- Water Correctly
Just like nutrients, sunlight, and oxygen, your garden veggies require the right amount of water to grow. So, if you are planning for a vegetable garden, consider using a hose pipe or a sprinkler to water the plants regularly. However, if it’s the rainy season, supplemental irrigation might not be required. While watering, remember that excess water might rot the roots of your vegetable plants. Thus, give your plants the right amount of water to grow.
There are plenty of ways to prepare your site for vegetable gardening. However, choosing the right technique can make your endeavor fruitful. With all the above prep work, you can surely make your harvest healthy and productive.