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Planning and Starting Your Vegetable Garden

For those who enjoy fresh, home grown vegetables, starting your own vegetable garden is the perfect way to have all of the lovely veggies you enjoy while appreciating the fruits of your labor. If you decide to grow a vegetable garden, there are some steps to take to make sure that your vegetables grow healthy and happy with little problems. The first thing you should do is look at the layout of where you’d like to plant the garden. Draw out a “game plan” on a piece of paper, showing exactly in the yard where you’d like to plant which vegetables. Then, decide on what kinds of plants will grow best in your particular climate. Keep in mind that most vegetables like a lot of sun, so try and plan around the areas in your garden that will get the most sunlight for the longest amount of time during the day. Another thing to consider is the quality of the soil. It’s best to go ahead and till your soil a couple of weeks before planting. This will ensure that the nutrients have been properly mixed into the ground, and provide optimum space for planting. Adding a compost or fertilizer before planting is another good idea that will help your garden grows full and healthy.

When planting a vegetable garden,
it’s also important to think about which plants you want to grow and where they will be located within the garden. Certain plants grow wide and full, while others tend to grow narrow and straight up. Be sure you allow enough space between these plants in order to let them grow as full and wide as they need to so they can produce good crops. Vegetables such as squash grow wide and full, while things like corn grow thin and tall. Plant your crops accordingly so that they don’t end up “choking’ each other and overcrowding your garden. Additionally, realize which crops grow optimally for which seasons, and rotate them as the seasons change. For example, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, and radishes are some examples of cooler weather growing vegetables, while warm weather veggies like tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers prefer to grow in the spring and summer. You can rotate the vegetables each season so that the garden is constantly producing food. Keep in mind it is also important to choose the right gardening seeds for your climate to ensure a your have a good yield of vegetables.

Once you’ve chosen a desirable location and you have decided on which vegetables you’d like to plant, you will want to till and cultivate your soil; then it’s time to choose your seeds. Do a little bit of research and find out which vegetables grow best from seedlings, and which can be simply planted directly from the seed itself. Some things like beans and pumpkins do better when planted as seeds, while other things such as peppers and cauliflowers do well when they are planted as seedlings (meaning they have already started growing and can be purchased at a nursery). If you decide to buy seedlings, you can always cultivate them inside for a while until they grow stronger, and then transplant them to the outside garden. Be sure to
purchase high quality vegetable seeds and seedlings to ensure a healthy, vibrant garden. Certified organic vegetables are a little bit more costly, but can thrive without the assistance of pesticides and chemicals. With some careful planning, starting a vegetable garden should be fairly easy and a whole lot of fun. Get your kids involved and let them help you. They will have a great time learning about plants and watching the vegetables grow. Then when they’re ready to be harvested, the whole family will enjoy eating the beautiful vegetables grown from their very own garden.