Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies of today. You do it from your own home, you get to see your efforts grow into something beautiful, and you get to decide just how your garden will look. Of course, no one said that a garden can’t be practical, too. Growing your own food will surely benefit your health and the world around you, so you shouldn’t shy away from it. With a little guidance, you too can grow your own vegetable garden and enjoy the delicious fruits (or in this case vegetables) of your labor.
1. Have a coherent plan
Before you start planning anything, you should have a coherent plan on where to put your veggies. You should start with only a few plants then gradually build up to a really abundant vegetable garden. Since your goal is to build up to something big, you need to start planning the space in advance. Your veggies should not be too close or too far to each other. You need to make a pleasant atmosphere so the plants have room to grow.
It will also be much easier for you to move around and tend to your garden when you’ve got sufficient space. Another reason for proper placement is the ventilation. If your vegetables are too close to each other, they will create a warm and inviting atmosphere for all sorts of bugs. Pests are naturally drawn to veggies and will take any opportunity to dine on them instead of you.
2. Till the soil
The next thing you’ll need to do is prepare the soil for your new vegetable garden by tilling it. This needs to be done so as to loosen up the mats of grass in the ground. You can’t have a decent garden when the grass gets in the way. The process is most necessary, but luckily, very easy too. All you need is a garden tiller and some elbow grease.
Some types of grass may be harder to loosen up and break than others (like Bermuda grass, for example) but that shouldn’t stop you. A tiller might be a handy tool but it can also be quite expensive so it’s advisable to borrow or rent one if you’re not sure whether you’ll stick with gardening in the long run or not.
3. Choose your veggies
There was the word of planning out your garden correctly but now we need to mention what you should plant in it, too. Since the purpose of having a vegetable garden is growing food for your table, you should grow the veggies that you and your family like to eat. If you have children, it might be a good idea to choose the vegetables together as they’re more likely to eat them if they participate in decision making.
Another factor you should pay attention to is your whereabouts. The type of vegetables you grow can depend solely on where you live as some plants prefer a warmer or a colder climate. Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of varieties of the same plant, so you may even find one that can easily grow in your garden.
4. Water at the right time
Most new gardeners aren’t aware that there needs to be a set time for when you water your vegetables. They think they can just water the garden when they perceive it thirsty, but that’s not the case. The vegetables will absorb the water any time you give it to them, that’s true, but it’s the outside factors that matter. The first gardening lesson you should remember is that you always need to water your garden in the mornings.
This way, your veggies will be damp enough to withstand the hottest part of the day, but won’t get ruined in the evening by being too damp. The right amount of water will really make a difference in their taste and strength, too. When it’s hot outside, be sure to take your retractable hose reels and give generous amounts of water to your veggies. Likewise, they’ll need less water when the weather is cool. If you have a system that does your watering for you, you should adjust it according to the upcoming season.
5. Set up a compost bin
Whether you buy or build one yourself, a compost bin will be your best friend in the garden. You can easily take spare wooden parts and assemble it in the corner of your yard. Likewise, many models are available in gardening stores. Compost is a natural fertilizer that plants just adore. Vegetables especially reap the benefits of compost as they become juicer, stronger, and more delicious.
What’s more, having a composting bin means you’re drastically reducing the waste in your garden. Everything you can’t eat will go the compost and be used for growing more food after a while. If your goal is to have a vegetable garden beaming with health, you can’t skip setting up the composting bin. Having one can also remind you that the true essence of gardening is being one with nature. Not only will you have an outlet for your garden and organic fuel to help it grow, but you’ll also be participating in making the world greener.
As you can see, growing a vegetable garden isn’t impossible. With a sprinkle of effort and a pinch of devotion, your garden can look like something straight out of a magazine. Every beginning is hard, but remember how healthier and tastier your meals will become when you’ve put your own veggies in them. Soon, you’ll be a strong and confident individual whose secret power is the vitamins you grow yourself.
Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design, and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.