Vegetable gardening was our choice of garden when it came to planning a garden last year. We went with a container garden last year but this year we’re going to try for a raised bed in addition to the large containers. We’ll see how it goes, of course, and I will be sure to share our progress. Last year I fell behind with documenting everything, and well.. there wasn’t too much to document by the time all was said and done. I learned a few things and hopefully I won’t repeat the same mistakes. This year will be different because I’m actually going to plan a vegetable garden this year instead of just trying to wing it.
Growing vegetables in your garden can save you money. During harvest time, your own produce becomes part of your meals. Home gardeners feel deep satisfaction in preparing salad or seasoning the casserole with freshly picked plants from their own vegetable gardens. Their feeling of the taste is incomparable. Fresh surplus are distributed to friends and love ones while some are keep frozen.
It doesn’t require much space to grow vegetables. Even a container pot or a window box will do the trick. Where space is limited, you can grow a mini-garden indoors or outdoors thanks to containers and careful planning. If you have a good sun, access to water and enough containers, growing a garden’s worth of fruits and vegetables in a limited space is a no-brainer. You can even harvest more than one crop if your choice of plants and planting schemes are all well planned and executed. Windowsills, balconies and doorstep areas can be used, as well as empty packs of milks, pails, plastic buckets and cans.
When planting in containers, proper spacing is very important. One sturdy plant is better than several weak ones. Crowding chokes root systems will slow growth and poor production. With container vegetable garden, you no longer need to worry about poor soil types and bad drainage, or heavy-duty tiller to break up hard clay and rocks. There is no weeding to worry about and you can change the looks of your container placements by simply moving them around anytime to a place you wanted to.
Vegetable gardening offers a change from the monotony of the supermarket. You can grow variety of vegetables that you want. When choosing plants for your vegetable container garden, consider container worthy crops such as beans, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and radish. Other root crops such onions and turnips can also do well in containers, but remember to always take care of these crops by ample fertilizers and water. Also consider grapes and berries. Though some take a while to get established, they bear fruits more each year. Planting for fall crops can be started in early summer, though summer planting can still be done in June in most regions.
One great advantage of growing vegetables and spices in containers involves the advent of the upside-down gardening. Crops with the likes of tomatoes, basil, parsley, rosemary and peppers do well with this approach. The ideas is that the vines will cascade downward instead of growing up a stake. A grow box can be treated by punching perforations through the bottom of a container. The other option is to purchase a device specially designed for this purpose. Upside gardens do not require a great deal of space and is perfect for balconies and patios.
Equally important, seeds and soil must properly be taken cared of in your vegetable container garden. Seeds do not always have to be bought. Reasonably fresh dill, anise, fennel, coriander and other seeds already on the spice rack should grow. If not, they are too old to add much to food anyway and should be replaced. Scoop out seeds from vegetables you’ve bought, dry them a week or so before planting.
Soil preparation on the other hand is very crucial for good results. Have the soil tested. Every state has a land-grant college that will test soil for a small fee. It will give abundant basic gardening advice, and garden resources tips. Start growing those veggies in your garden and turn your home made meals into something truly special. Take care of your plants to make them productive by keeping them watered and harvested.
If you’ve never done a vegetable garden before you’re going to find this to be a very fun project. Growing vegetables is essentially much easier than other crops. Growing delicious tasting vegetables is a great way to save money and stay healthy but it will require a bit of planning and effort on your behalf.
Below are a few steps to getting started with the planning process.
Measure the Space
Whether you’re going to use a small area in your yard or a large acre of land you’re going to need to know exactly where you will be starting your garden. While it might seem best to go with a larger space, you want to start with a manageable sized garden so that you don’t waste time, money, or resources. Remember you can always expand once you’re comfortable with handling more.
Select a Gardening Method
Many are unaware that there are different methods of growing vegetable gardens. There is square foot gardening, raised beds, French intensive, and row gardening. You don’t have to stick with the latest trends if you don’t want to. Conduct a bit a research on each method to determine what the pros and cons are and then select which works best for you.
Create Your Design
So the next order of business is to write down what you want your vegetable garden to look like. How many paths are you considering? What hardscapes are you going to add? Create a sketch of the gardening area and begin planning out exactly how you want the space to look so that you can easily begin looking for supplies.
Create a Calendar
In most cases it is best to have a calendar for the months of February through June. This is the timeframe in which you can begin your seeds and start planting for the spring and summer garden to begin blooming. For those interested in a Fall garden it should take you through to October before the first frost takes place. Once you know what your last frost date is mark the calendar every two weeks prior to that date to make it easier once you begin planting.
Make a List of Supplies Needed
The last order of business is to make a list of supplies and equipment that you’re going to need in order to plant your vegetable garden. Typical equipment might include heating mats, composts, mulches, shovels, lights, pots, seed starting mix, and more. You will need to research the necessary supplies based on the type of gardening style you chose.
Once you’ve gotten all of the supplies that you will need for your garden, all that is left to do is determine which types of vegetables you want to see grow. You can go to your local grocery store or department store and find seed there, you can order them from a reputable online vendor, or you can also order them from a gardening catalog and have them shipped right to your door. Once you have your seeds, the planning process is complete and the dirty work starts.
When do you start to plan your vegetable garden?