Starting a Vegetable Garden: Ignite Your Green Thumb!

Starting a Vegetable GardenThe next time you go to the market, figure out how much you are spending on fruits and vegetables alone.  The average price for a single Fuji apple in the United States is around $1.63 per pound, while the average price for a tomato is $1.30.  When you think about it, this can really add up; especially when you take into consideration that the USDA recommends that we eat up to seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  So what is the solution to all of this?  While it might seem nice to think about moving to California, the top agricultural producing state in the U.S, there are other ways that you can win when it comes to fruits and vegetables.  Why not start your own vegetable garden?  If your excuse is that you do not own equipment, do not worry – you won’t be needing much!  We are going to give you the basics on how to start and plant your own vegetable garden.

Choose Your Seeds

Luckily, you will be able to start off with a fun task — deciding what you want to grow in your garden.  What types of fruits and vegetables do you like to eat?  If you are starting a vegetable garden to try to get yourself to get more fruits and vegetables, then choose a variety of different colored vegetables for vitamin and health -efficient benefits.  Also, it is important to remember your location and the climate you are in when choosing your vegetables.  It might not be the brightest idea to start your garden in November or December — consider waiting a few months until spring.  Here are some other factors to keep in mind when deciding what to grow:

  • What climate do your vegetables grow best in?
  • How much water and sunlight might they need?
  • Try to choose vegetables that require different harvest times.  By doing this, you will always have some kind of vegetable growing in your garden, which equals yummy vegetables year round!
  • Do not choose vegetables that require different growing conditions, as they will make your gardening endeavors much harder.  Keep it simple in the beginning, especially if you are just starting out.

Choosing You Space

Before you start planting your garden, it is definitely important that you determine you have ample space and sun for you vegetable garden.  Naturally, nature’s natural elements need strong and full sunlight to reach their full potential.  Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting your garden area:

  • Avoid areas that are going to be shaded most of the day.  Once you find a spot you like, check the spot throughout the day to make sure that it is open to enough sunlight.
  • Pick a spot that has, or where you can add, strong soil.
  • Check for good drainage.  This can be hard to determine unless there has been a heavy rain.  Try for places where water goes easy into the soil.
  • Determine how you will plant your vegetables (rows, etc), and always leave extra space for your vegetables to be weeded, fertilized, and watered.

Keep in mind that if your vegetable plans seem to foil through because of space issues, you can always consider growing vegetables in large plants, which seem to work well for people without yards.

Supplies

If this is your first time gardening, here are some of the basic things that you will need to purchase for a vegetable garden.  Depending where you live, you can determine whether you want to purchase

your supplies from a catalog, nursery, or online.

  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil (mulch and top soil) for plant protection, you can determine which is best for your location and needs.
  • A shovel, spade, gloves, and / or a gardening rake.
  • A  measuring tape
  • A water hose or watering can.
  • Fencing supplies for animal protection.

Grow Those Seedlings!

Now that you have your seeds picked out and your supplies ready and in position, it is time to start the gardening process!  Get some gardening gloves on and let’s get started.

  1. Dig those holes: With your shovel or spade, start digging your holes.  In your hole, put in a bit of fertilizer, drop in the seeds, and cover the holes with your choice of topsoil.
  2. Water: Everything that is alive needs water for growth, and vegetables are no different.  Especially in their early stages, it is important to keep the topsoil of your garden moist.  You can do this by lightly spraying the topsoil of your garden daily.  For a watering tip: try not to water at night, as it may not absorb or evaporate properly and cause other unwanted growths.
  3. Weeding: Soon, if all goes as planned, you will notice your vegetables beginning to sprout!  However, there are likely to be other plants that sprout as well– those would be the weeds.  Gently pull weeds out and dispose of them away from the garden to prevent any future growth.
  4. Fencing: As mentioned before, a fence is a good way to keep critters and any other animals away from your garden.  Even if you do not see them yourself, nocturnal animals can pop in during night hours to have their in on your vegetables.  Better safe than sorry!

Tips for Successful Grows:

  • Having organically rich and healthy soil is essential for having plentiful and health plants.  Using raise beds in your soil is a good way to achieve deep layers of fertile soil.
  • Looks matter, and keep your garden looking clean and tidy will help give your plants the space and care they need for proper growth.
  • D your research for each vegetable that you are growing to know how to adequately meet their needs.

You and Your Giant Beanstalk

Time to get your shovel ready and get to caring for your new yummy additions!  Vegetable gardens are a great hobby, pastime, and an effective way to save money and get in your daily nutrients at the same time!  Check out Udemy’s helpful online courses for gardening health and happiness.