So you’ve decided to start your first vegetable garden. Welcome to the world’s largest and greatest hobby! Now, how do you get started? It can be intimidating as there seems like there is so much you just don’t know. You’re going to make some mistakes. That’s how you learn, isn’t it? Well, we have some tips that will help you get started.
Here are 5 things you need to know as a first-time vegetable gardener:
- Location, Location, Location! - Where you decide to grow your vegetables is very important. All your favorite vegetables including Tomatoes and Cucumbers need lots of sun. Choose a spot that will get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. Make sure it is close to a water source, such as a hose bib, to make supplemental irrigation easier and locate it as close to the kitchen as possible so you can pick all those yummy fresh vegetables right before mealtime!
- It’s All About the Soil! - Growing tasty vegetables starts with great soil. If your soil conditions are less than ideal you can try raised flower beds. If your soil is okay and just needs a little boost you can add compost when you plant the vegetables. Make sure the soil is loosened to a depth of 6 to 12 inches to give the roots plenty of room to spread out.
- Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew! - Every gardener dreams of growing a big crop of delicious fresh vegetables, but many beginners find out the hard way that a garden is a lot of work. If you get overwhelmed by all of the chores it will take the fun out of the whole thing. It’s best to start out small. A 10-foot by 10-foot plot is just the right size for a beginner and will yield plenty of vegetables for your family. If you find that you are truly bitten by the gardening bug there will be plenty of time to expand your vegetable patch in the future.
- Prepare to Battle the Weeds! - Every garden has weeds. They compete with your vegetable plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight. They need to go! Routine weeding is a must. One way to help with this task is to mulch your vegetable plot. This involves adding 2 to 3 inches of shredded wood, wood chips, straw, or some other material that can help prevent weeds from gaining a toehold in your garden. Mulch will also help keep the soil evenly moist which helps minimize the amount of time you need to spend watering too.
- Choose What to Grow Carefully! - We all have our favorite vegetables, but some are easier to grow than others. It’s best to start with the easy ones! Maybe try Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Zucchini in the summer and then Lettuce and Radishes in the fall. Broccoli and Corn can be a little tricky and might be better to try once you have some experience under your belt.
If you have any questions about starting a new vegetable garden please feel free to post them on our blog or Facebook page. Good luck and good gardening!