So, is your backyard just turning into a junkyard? How about turning the waste space of the yard into a beautiful vegetable garden? But how to start a vegetable garden from scratch?
Picking vegetables from the garden right before cooking is like a dream come true. Getting to eat fresh and rich flavored produce is amazing. You don’t have to worry about the chemicals and pesticides and can even save some money. You can just get some plants and stick them in the ground but there is a very less probability that the results would be good. Therefore, planning is very important.
Growing a vegetable garden does not need gardening skills. Just a few tips and tricks and you can build your own vegetable garden. And that too in a weekend! How cool is that?
I am just glad that you are planning to start a vegetable garden. If you are a beginner and don’t know what and where to begin then start by reading this article.
Learn How To Start a Vegetable Garden From Scratch With These 5 Basic Steps
Here’s how to start a vegetable garden from scratch.
Step 1: Where to build your first vegetable garden?
The first and foremost thing that you must do before starting the vegetable garden is planning and checking the area. Location plays a very important role in gardening. To help you decide the right location, I have made a 3-point checklist. Use these points to plan your vegetable garden.
☑ SUN AND WIND
Sunlight is very essential for growing vegetables. Choose a spot where the plants will get sunlight for 6-7 hours at least. For this go out at different times like morning, afternoon, late afternoon and check which all areas receive sunlight. Also, see if the house structures or trees are not blocking the sunlight. Plan your vegetable bed in those areas of the yard.
But that does not mean you cannot use the area which receives only 2-3 hours of sun. Here you can plant some heat intolerant plants like carrots, cauliflowers, and leafy greens.
It is necessary to check the areas which can be affected during harsh climate conditions. If you are in a place where it rains heavily then find a spot where you can build a shade during rains. Keep it away from high slopes and gushing water can prove bad for your plants.
It is also important to check for windy areas. As daily strong winds can affect the growth of your crop. Winds cause the veggies and flowers to fall off even before growing fully, even the leaves of the plants shed off easily. Therefore, go for an area with a good supply of sunlight and less amount of rains and wind.
For any type of gardening, right kind of soil if necessary for a good outcome. The soil has to be rich in organic matter, well drained and moist. Test the soil by taking it in your hand. If it falls out easily, the soil is way too sandy.
The solution to this is adding some organic matter to your soil. This will improve the drainage and make it less sandy. Also, check the temperature of the soil. As it plays a vital role in supplying water and nutrients to the plants for their growth.
Step 2: How To Build Vegetable Garden Beds?
As this is your first time try going for small and few beds in the start. Once you get the hang of it you can increase the number of beds. I am not suggesting to increase the size of bed because smaller beds are easy to manage and they look good as well.
There are 3 ways to build your vegetable garden:
- Directly in soil
- Raised Bed
All three options are good, but depending on your area and the efforts you want to put, you can decide the best option. Let me brief you about all 3 options.
DIRECTLY IN SOIL
If you have a big garden space and a very fertile soil then gardening directly in the soil can be the best option for you. In case, there is turf in your lawn then make a rectangular or square area and dig out the turf. Turn over the soil and loosen it using a tiller.
The good part of this type of gardening is that the roots of your plants get the freedom to spread and the soil is able to retain the nutrients and water. But you have to take care that weeds and pests don’t harm the plants.
If your yard is built with concrete or you don’t have much outdoor space, but you still wish to have a vegetable garden, I suggest you go for container gardening. This type is best used when you live in an apartment. You can grow your plants in the container and then place them out in sunlight.
But you can only grow a limited number of plants here. And you constantly have to provide it with water and nutrients. Grow only the plants which doesn’t require much root space.
Raised bed gardening is my personal favorite. They just make the garden look beautiful. For a raised bed, you don’t have to dig or till, use bricks, blocks, or wood to build the bed. You can build the bed 6-7 feet long and 2-3 feet wide. Fill it with soil and put some manure in it.
In raised bed gardening, you don’t have to worry about the soil or weeds, use some cardboard or paper below the bed. The height of the bed makes it easier to work. But it can be a little heavy on your pocket if you want to make a fancy raised bed.
Step 3: What to Grow?
Here come the fun and interesting part. Once your garden beds are all set, it’s time to grow some plants. But don’t just jump into planting any vegetables in excitement. Sit down with your family, study the important features or the seeds and see which is more preferable to plant. There are 2 key points which I think you must consider before planting. They are:
By ‘time’, what I mean is that you must consider the length of the growing season, time your plants require to grow, how often do they produce and so on. If your growing season is shorter than the time plants require to grow then it is better to opt for some other plant or make arrangements like indoor planting or greenhouse for the plant to grow and survive even after the season.
Now, plants like squash and tomatoes keep producing throughout their season. So, if you don’t wish to have squash throughout the season then there is no need for 4-5 squash plants.
Tomatoes, pepper require 90 days to grow. While some plants require just a week to give out another set of produce. So, keep a gap of some days before planting other vegetables. Otherwise, you will end up harvesting everything at once.
Plant what you would like to eat. If you plant some vegetables more than required, you will have to eat it every day. Grow a variety of vegetables like tomatoes, jalapenos, eggplants. Include some creepers like squash and melons and some climbers like peas and cucumbers. Grow some root vegetables like carrot and beetroot. In this way, you will have a variety to eat and won’t end up eating the same thing every day.
Step 4: How To Take Care of the Vegetable Garden?
Your duty does not end just after planting the seeds. You have to take care of your plants and protect them in order to have a successful vegetable garden. You have to keep a check of two important things regularly. They are:
- Water Supply
- Weeds and Pests
It is better to build a bed closer to the source of water. Raised beds require more water supply than normal in soil bed. Install an irrigation system, watering overhead or spraying with water is not recommended. Some plants even need a long time of water supply, here watering by hands won’t be optimal. Proper water supply is important if you want the vegetables to grow in good condition.
Take a look around every few days to see if any unwanted weeds are growing around in your vegetable bed. Immediately take them out from the roots before they harm the plants. Use a fence to keep big pests away from your garden. Check for insects and small pests and remove the affected vegetable carefully.
Step 5: When Are You Getting Your Harvest Ready?
Once your plant has grown enough and the product is ready to eat then go ahead, pluck it, cook it, and enjoy your meal.
Coming to the last step, I hope you found my article on how to start a vegetable garden from scratch helpful. Let me know in the comment section below.
Are you ready to grow your first vegetable garden? Tie up your gardening apron, roll up your sleeves, and start your first vegetable garden.