How to Grow Your Own Sustainable Veggie Garden
By Tim Moore
Are you a big vegetable eater? Or perhaps have a family who loves their veggies? Well you may want to consider growing your own garden at home. Not only is it way healthier than store bought produce grown with pesticides, but it’s far cheaper than heading to the market every other day to maintain a stock of fresh vegetables.
But you’re reading this and telling yourself, “I don’t know the first thing about planting a vegetable.” Worry not! This guide will tell you everything you need to know plus provide step by step instructions to get started.
What You Will Need
-Soil PH tester
-A hand spade
-Mesh or chicken wire
-Seeds of your choice
-Compost or potting soil
What Types of Veggies Can You Easily Grow?
This veggie is considered a warm season one. This means that it won’t grow during the Winter or early Springtime. The best time to plant these outside is about two weeks after the last frost of Winter as Spring kicks into gear.
You can germinate the seeds indoors first and then transplant, but it’s not crucial. Just make sure to plant them about an inch down into the soil and about 6 inches apart.
Potatoes are fairly resilient and can be grown just about anytime of year, but it’s best to plant them during the warmer months because they require lots of sunlight during the early stages.
One thing to keep in mind is that they really need a ton of water. At least once a week, water them until the top inch of soil is saturated.
Also, potatoes don’t really grow from seeds. The best way to grow them is from old ones. Wait until they’ve sprouted eyes (those weird looking things that appear when you’ve kept them in the cupboard too long) and either plant as sis or chop into pieces and plant.
Like potatoes, carrots are pretty resilient. You can germinate the seeds indoors, but transplant outside about 3 weeks before the last frost of the Winter. A good frost actually helps carrot to grow.
They require lots of water and sunshine, too, so make sure to soak the earth at least once a week if you don’t live in a naturally wet climate.
Beans are pretty easy to grow and maintain if you’re a beginner, but to make it even easier stick with green sap beans. They don’t take as long as others and grow in just about any condition (just not winter).
Germinate them first and then plant them about an inch down and about 3 inches apart. You’ll soon begin to see them sprouting up over the next 50 days and as they get taller, prop them up with a stick or plant ladder.
Extra Gardening Tips
Here are some other handy tips and tricks you should know when starting your own vegetable garden.
Some plants only thrive during peak times within certain seasons. It’s important to know which ones are going to work for you, depending on when you plan to start your veggie garden.
Some plants require more water than others. You can still plant these all in the same garden but try and keep them separated.
Composting is something you can do on your own, as well. It’s material that’s made from organic material and helps plants grow and get the nutrition they need. Compost usually contains a mixture of soil, organic waste, and things like twigs and leaves.
So, when growing your own veggie garden, expect there to be an insect and pest problem. They’re just drawn to the food, it’s not their fault. But you definitely don’t want ants eating your hard work. So, rather than pollute your garden with chemicals, try some natural pesticides like coffee grounds to keep them away.
How to Plant Your Garden
Step One: Germinate Seeds
Some plants, such as potatoes, don’t require to grown from seeds, you can just use cut offs or tops. But others, like beans and cucumber do require seedlings.
So, in order to do this, you’ll need to germinate them first. This is the process in which you mature the seed using moisture and sunlight to “open it” and kick start the process. It makes them less fragile when planting in the ground.
Step Two: Find Your Location
Plants need more than just lots of sun. They require rich soil in an area with good drainage. So choose a spot that’s not too far from your home, one that has decent drainage and does retain too much water from rainfall. Near a water source such as a creek is great.
Step Three: Prepare Soil
The key to a good, healthy garden is good, healthy soil. Take some time and dig out the area you want to use. Turn over the loose soil and remove any sticks, twigs, rocks, or other debris. Then mix the soil with some compost or potting soil and fill the hole back up.
Step Four: Plant the Seeds
Next, plan out the layout of your garden. You already know how deep to plant each veggie and how far apart. Use that math to create a good layout where your plants can thrive. Then go ahead and plant the seeds.
Step Five: Watch Them Grow
Monitor the garden each day. Remove any weeds, debris, and keep an eye on the pests. As certain ones grow, such as beans, you’ll need to insert stick or ladders to hold up the tall stalks. Use mesh or chicken wire to close in your garden and help keep out small animals, too.
I hope this article about how to grow your very own vegetable garden has given you the info and tools you need to get started. It’s pretty simple, especially if you start off small with easy to grow plants. If you follow these steps, you should have some yummy, healthy veggies in just a few weeks.
Author Bio: Tim Moore is the lead editor of Backyard Boss and is a lifelong backyard enthusiast. He grew up immersed in the outdoors, camping every weekend and tending to the backyard with his family. Follow Tim and Backyard Boss on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for everyday inspiration for your backyard.