If you have a plan of starting a vegetable garden, you have the right to dream big, but I recommend that you start your vegetable garden small and expand the garden as you gain experience.
Why start a vegetable garden ? If you have never tasted garden-fresh vegetables (lots of people haven’t!), you will be surprised by the sweet, juicy flavors and stunning textures. There is definitely nothing quite like fresh vegetables, especially if you grow them yourself which you are able to do if you use this little how to plant a vegetable garden for beginners guide.
Vegetable gardening at home is also an easy way to save money. Growing one tomato plant can provide you with 10 pounds of fresh tomatoes over the period of a season. You will also experience, at in almost every case, the taste, and quality of different types of vegetables from your own vegetable garden far exceed grocery store produced vegetables.
If you plant vegetables in planting pots, you enjoy the pleasure of tasting delicious, sun-warmed tomatoes fresh from your own backyard. In addition, growing vegetables in containers and raised beds can be fun – Growing vegetables is an awesome way to get relax for the daily stress, and spend time outdoors in the sun.
As mentioned growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding. All you really need to get started with your vegetable garden is some good soil and a few vegetable plants. But to be a really successful vegetable gardener — and to do it organically — you will also need to have a basic understanding of what it takes to keep your vegetable plants healthy and dynamic.
Here are some useful tips about the basics with a vegetable garden :
How to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – Top Ten Vegetables
The vegetables suggested below are popular, common and productive plants that are relatively easy to grow in most locations. Before you choose your vegetable plants it can also be a good idea to contact your local garden center to find out what plants grow best in your area, and when the best time for planting your vegetable is.
When you consider what vegetables to choose also think about what kind of vegetables you and your family like to eat as well as what is difficult to find in your local grocery store or farmers’ market.
Top ten vegetables:
- Tomatoes—5 plants, staked.
- Zucchini squash—4 plants.
- Peppers—6 plants.
- Bush beans.
How to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – Start small
A basic garden rule is – It is better to be proud of a small garden than be frustrated by a big one!
One of the most typical mistakes that garden beginners make is planting too much too soon — often the garden beginner plant a lots more than anybody could ever eat or want!
Unless of course if you want to have zucchini taking up place in your basement, then plan your garden with care, and therefore I always recommend garden beginners to start small.
You don’t always need a large area to begin with your vegetable garden. If you decide that growing vegetables in containers is your best option, you don’t even need a yard — a deck or balcony may give you enough space for a start.
If you choose to have a vegetable garden A good beginner size vegetable garden is about 20 x 10 feet, where you focus on vegetation plants that are easy to grow. A location of this size, based on the type of vegetables suggested further down this page, can easily supply a family of four for one summer, with a little leftover for canning and freezing (or giving away to friends and family).
I recommend making your vegetable garden 11 rows wide, with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.
How to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – Pick the right location
Many gardeners like to have their potted vegetable gardens or raised bed vegetable garden close to their house, because this makes it easier to collect fresh veggies while you make cooking.
It can also be practical to keep a few favorite potted vegetable garden plants and herbs close to your grill. No matter how big your vegetable garden is or what you decide to plant in the garden, there are 4 basic criteria that counts for the success of your vegetable garden:
1. Plant your vegetable garden in a stable location
You don’t want to plant your vegetable garden in a place, where you risk to flooding during heavy rains, or in a place that tends to dry out a lot. You also don’t want to plant your vegetable garden in a place where strong winds could knock over your young plants or keep pollinators from doing their job. Therefore, it is important that you carefully consider a good location for your vegetable garden.
2. Lots of sun
Most warm-season vegetables need at least six to eight hours of direct sun on a daily basis. The soil temperature depends on the sun to keep the vegetables growing and resistant of insects and disease. You should plant your raised bed vegetable garden in a location, where you know, that it is exposed to light most of the day.
If you don’t have a spot in full sun, you can still grow leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach. And if you’re in a hot-summer climate, cool-season varieties such as peas may do better in part shade.
3. Plenty of water
Because most vegetables are not time period tolerant, you will need to give them water during dry periods. When thinking about raised garden bed planning, then keep in mind, that the closer your vegetable garden is to a source of water, the easier it will be for you. This is especially important when you plant tomatoes, peppers, or any other warm-season vegetable.
4. Good soil
As with any kind of garden, your garden success usually starts with the soil. Most vegetables do best in moist, well-drained soil that has lots of organic matter, such as compost or peat moss. The soil temperature is also vital to keep your vegetables active and healthy. It can be a good idea to incorporate a soil thermometer, which can help to keep track of the soil temperature.
The autumn months is typically the best time of the year to get ready for your vegetable garden. Clear the planned area of unwanted weeds and other debris, such as rocks, sticks, etc., and clean the area smoothly. Work the soil with a tiller or other appropriate garden tool. If you have more than one bed, work one bed at a time.
Organic material within the soil is very important for a healthy vegetable garden. If your soil does not have enough quantities of organic material, then you will have to work with the soil to get it more healthy by putting some compost or manure in to the soil. Compost helps improve texture, fertility, and drainage of the soil. You can read more about improving the soil – Click Here
After the soil in your desired location has been properly worked, you are ready to begin planting your vegetable garden.
How to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – How to grow the best vegetables
In addition to selecting the right location and optimizing the soil for your vegetable garden, here are a few more tips that will help you to grow your best vegetables.
Space – Give properly space to your vegetable plants. For example, high vegetables needs a lot of space and can overshadow shorter vegetables. Plants that are set too close together will compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition and some of the plants will hereby often fail to grow properly. Therefore it is important, that you pay attention to the spacing guidance on seed packets and plant tabs.
Quality seeds – Use high-quality seeds. Quality seed packets are less expensive than individual quality plants, and if the seeds don’t grow properly, your money—and time—are wasted. Therefore a few extra cents spent in spring for the current year’s seeds will pay off in better productivity at harvest time.
A good timing – It is important that you plant and harvest at the right time of the year, not too early or too late. Every vegetable has its individual planting dates, so be sure to check the seed packet, or talk with your local garden center.
How to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – Planning your cropping
How you plant your vegetables is important, and depends on the type of vegetables you are planting. There are two basic techniques to plan the cropping of a vegetable garden:
Row cropping is often what comes to mind when you think about how to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – Placing the plants single file in rows with a walking path between each row. Row cropping works best for large vegetable gardens, and row cropping makes it easier to use mechanical gear, such as tillers, to battle weeds.
The disadvantage of row cropping is, that you do not get as many warm-season vegetables in a small space, because much of the soil is used for footpaths rather than vegetable plants.
You should allow at least 18 inches between the rows so you have plenty of space to work between them. When you plan your vegetable garden, then place taller vegetables at the north side of the garden. This includes naturally tall plants like tomatoes and vegetable plants that can be grown on vertical areas — including peas, cucumbers, and planting beans.
Intensive cropping a raised bed vegetable garden means grouping in wide bands, generally 1 to 4 feet across and as long as you like. By using intensive cropping means, that it reduces the amount of area needed for paths, but the closer spacing of the plants usually also means, that you have to remove by hand.
When using handwork at your vegetable garden and building raised garden beds, you need to remember this – It is important not to make the bands wider than you can comfortably reach. A specialized version of intensive cropping is the square-foot method, which divides the garden into small sunken beds (typically 4×4 feet), and subdivided into 1-foot squares.
How to plant a vegetable garden for beginners – Keep good records
With this last advice, we end up where we started — Even though vegetable gardening can be rewarding even for beginners, it demands a good technique and knowledge to doing it well.
The last advice to you for now is, that one of the most important ways of improving your vegetable garden from year to year is to experience and pay close attention to how your vegetable plants grow every year, and record your successes and failures in a garden notebook or journal.
With a good garden notebook, each year can help you to remember where things were growing, and taking notes can help you avoid making the same mistakes again next year, or make sure that your good results can be reproduced in future years.
For example, write down all the names of different vegetable types, and compare them from year to year, and hereby you will know which kind of vegetables have been doing well in your vegetable garden.
Many people keep a book in their car to record when they change their oil and perform other car routine maintenance. In the same way with your vegetable garden, get in the routine of record it down whenever you apply organic matter or fertilizer to the garden, or the dates on which you plant or begin to harvest an area of your vegetable garden.
Over time this kind of careful observation and record-keeping will probably teach you more about growing vegetables than any single book or authority can learn you. Over time, you will be your own best teacher, and that is because the notes you make will be based on your own personal experience and observations, and will reflect what works best for you in the unique conditions of your own garden.
As in so many other pursuits, so it is in the art of vegetable gardening – practice does make perfect.