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10 Tips to Your First Vegetable Garden

By Edited May 11, 2015 0 2

Site Selection

Selecting Your Site is Vital to Growing Great Vegetables

Try to place your site on the South side of any large areas that tend to shade the ground. Depending upon how your yard is divided up, you can spread out and make a few small garden plots around and not have just one big plot.

This works well in urban environments. Pick a site that is not in a main traffic area off to the side.

It does need to be close enough so that you don’t forget about it or get tired of trudging to the back of your land. Watch out for planting too close to fences as they can shade an area quite a lot.

Water Source

Make Sure You Have Easy Access to Water

Ensure that you have easy access to water. Your garden will need to be watered unless you live in a perfect world.

Carrying heavy buckets of water will most likely result in your garden plants dying as this gets old real fast.

Tomato Growing
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu

Garden Size

Start Small With Your First Vegetable Garden

When starting out, keep your garden small and manageable.

Once you get some experience, then you can start expanding your garden space. Somewhere around 100 square feet is real nice for your first try.

A 10 x 10 foot space gives you plenty of room to grow yet won’t wear you out so much.

This size of space will take about one half an hour each day to maintain.

You’ll spend more time getting it ready to plant but then you’re on easy street.


Getting Adequate Sunlight Is Vital For Growing Plants

The more sunlight your garden gets, the better your plants will grow. You really need at least 6 hours per day of sunlight.

If you don’t get quite that much you should still be ok. But anything less than 5 hours and you will need to take a hard look at what you can really grow.

Some plants like spinach, lettuce and arugula will do with 3 to 4 hours a day of sunlight.

Crops that produce fruit like tomatoes and peppers really need all the sunshine they can get.


Plants Need Water But Standing Water Will Drown Them

When living in an area that has lots of rain you’ll want to try and grow on a very slight slope.

Or you can construct raised beds and even grow in self-watering containers. I really love container growing. You can control the amount of water your plants get very precisely.

Plants like tomatoes really need lots of water.

But keeping their roots constantly water-logged is one sure way to kill them.

Soil Conditon

Gardening Soil Will Determine If Your Plants Produce Or Not

It’s best to get your soil tested and most colleges have some sort of testing facility that is very low cost.

Down South where I live it is common knowledge that you add lime to soil before planting.

Check with local gardeners around and see what hints and tips they have for you.

Good soil will be dark and crumble loosely in your hand. But this type of soil is almost never present when you first start a garden.

Use compost liberally and also mulch to help prevent weeds. I think one of the things I’ve done that was the smartest was to mulch my plants like crazy. It helps prevent weeds and also improves your soil. I’ve got some really decent soil now due to all the mulch that has helped improve the soil.

Growing Radish
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu

Weed Control

Controlling Weeds Is Easier Than You Think

Use mulch to control weeds as much as possible. Just using grass clippings when you mow you lawn and raking up dead tree leaves will usually give you lots of mulch.

Add as much mulch as you can just don’t cover your plants entirely. This helps improve your soil and after a few years your soil will really help your plants grow majestically.

When and not if you get weeds, start pulling and hoeing them as soon as you see them.

It’s so much easier to work on getting rid of weeds a little at a time. This also helps keep them down so that they are manageable.


Plant When It's Nice and Warm Is Key

You want to get your plants in the round as soon as there is no danger of frost.

You can start plants from seed around 6 weeks before you plan on transplanting them for a great start.

Also, after first planting, put some more in the ground about 3 weeks later so you have a good succession planting and have fresh vegetables continuously getting ripe all the time.

Once a particular plant has quit growing, start another plant right next to it and save time and space.

Once it is dead remove it and your newest addition can start growing and will have a head start.

Edible Landscaping

Plant a Few Vegetables In Your Flower Beds

There is absolutely no reason not to plant vegetables in with your flowers.

Take and intermingle a few tomato plants in your front flower garden.

You save space and they don’t detract from your other plants.

Just ensure you use organic herbicide if you use anything at all.

Old Farmers Market
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu

Plant Varieties

Pick Plants Designed For Your Area Helps With Disease

Pick plants that are made for your area.

If you buy and try to grow plants down South that were made for growing up North, you won’t have a very good crop.

There are tons of plants that have been designed for particular areas that are disease resistant that will give you great results.

Heirloom plants are the old style of plants that have not been modified. These are fantastic but you will have more problems with disease and pests when growing them.

Dwarf plants are one way to still grow vegetables if you don’t have much land to grow on.

Most of these will produce all of their fruit at one time, so you want to keep planting them in succession so you always have something coming ripe.

Have Fun

No Sense In Growing Vegetables If You Can't Have Fun

Have fun and try to grow something that is weird or not normally grown around your area.

Pick out some nice colors of peppers and put them in your flower garden.

You never know if you really like a particular vegetable until you try it.

And fresh ones from your own garden taste so much better than that cardboard tasting crap you buy at the local supermarket.

No matter how much they advertise that it is fresh, you’ll know how much they are not telling you when you pick some vegetables from your own garden and make your own salad.



Oct 11, 2013 8:34pm
I like your idea of planting edible vegetables in among other plants.
Oct 12, 2013 2:59am
Thanks for the comment.

I like to grow vegetables like tomatoes and bell peppers in my front flower beds. Something that has a little color looks great in there.
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  1. Just-John "Starting a Vegetable Garden." Vegetable Garden Basics. 28/08/2013 <Web >

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