Imagine enjoying bushels of delicious produce picked at the peak of ripeness without the expense or hassle of visiting the grocery store, farmer's market or produce stand. You may be surprised to find out that growing a vegetable garden is actually a simple process. In this guide, we'll give you the scoop on the basic steps involved in creating home vegetable gardens.
Before starting your garden, look over your backyard and select a spot that gets ample direct sunlight and has good, soft soil. In addition, take the time to measure the size of your plot. Don't be overly ambitious – even a small 3x3 garden plot or raised bed can produce ample veggies.
Next, select your vegetables, considering your climate, frosts, soil type and light conditions. If you're looking to start seasonal plots, such as fall vegetable gardens, make sure you investigate which plants will grow best during your chosen time of year. Finally, make a list of the growing supplies you will need, including soil, fertilizers, vegetable seeds and other materials.
Before planting your vegetable garden, make sure to aerate your soil and add fertilizer and any soil conditioners you need. Then, find out how deep to plant the seeds – some will be sprinkled lightly over the surface, while others are deeply buried. If you are working with seedlings, your task is easier, because you'll just seat them in the soil the same way you might repot a houseplant.
Growing vegetable gardens requires you to organize your seeds or seedlings in neat rows or clusters and mark each one with a plant stake. Some people choose to cut off part of the seed label and affix it to the stake with waterproof tape. This is a great way to ensure that you'll always have the proper information about your plants handy.
Backyard vegetable gardens are simple to maintain. Most people water once or twice a day, often in the early morning and the evening. You can water manually, or with the help of sprinklers. In addition, you can apply extra fertilizer from time to time, as directed by the fertilizer's packaging. Of course, weeding is also essential.
When it's time to harvest your delicious bounty, you'll probably be overwhelmed with more fresh veggies than you could possibly eat! Make sure to wash all your vegetables thoroughly before eating or sharing them with others, because fertilizer residue can cling to the surface of fresh produce.