So for most in the US, spring is here and summer is on the way. Exciting definitely. That also means that if you haven't started your home growns yet, you need to jump on it now.
If your new or basic to the veggie garden party (like we are) then we'll share some of the small steps to getting started. We’ll highlight the basics of vegetable garden planning: how to pick the right site, figure out how “big” to go, and how to select which vegetables to grow.
Size Does Matter..
Remember this: It’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated by a big one!
A very common error for beginners is planting too much too soon and way more than anybody could eat or want. Unless you want to have tomatoes taking up space in your closets, plan carefully. Start small.
You don't want to bite off more than you can chew. If you're like us, your life is busy and you don't have tons of time to devote to a garden, so like we said earlier - start small!
A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 16x10 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, based on the vegetables suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing (or giving away).
Location, Location, Location
The Old Farmers Almanac gave these amazing suggestions on location:
- Plant in a sunny location. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvest and the better the taste.
- Plant in good soil. Plants’ roots penetrate soft soil easily, so you need nice loamy soil. Enriching your soil with compost provides needed nutrients. Proper drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly.
- Space your crops properly. For example, corn needs a lot of space and can overshadow shorter vegetables. Plants set too close together compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition and fail to mature. Pay attention to the spacing guidance on seed packets and plant tabs.
- Buy high-quality seeds. Seed packets are less expensive than individual plants. If seeds don’t germinate, your money—and time—are wasted. A few “extra” cents spent in spring for that year’s seeds will pay off in higher yields at harvest time.
When to Plant
Know when to plant what. Many times if certain veggies aren't planted in the correct month, they may yield no goods. You don't want to waste your time.
So almanac.com gives this amazing chart: Best Planting Dates chart — a gardening calendar customized to your local frost dates—covering both sowing indoors as well as planting in the ground. Here's what the Planting Chart looked like for our area: Amazing!
Some vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, and turnips.
Some other great resources for gardening are:
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