If you are starting to grow vegetables for the first time, there are many guidelines to help you get started. This way you can plan and plant your garden in the right way from the beginning. Follow these four steps to start a garden, and this is just the first part.The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

Step 1: Planning and layout

Think about your outdoor space and choose a place that gets at least 8 hours of sunshine a day. Some plants need full sun all day, while others can tolerate a little shade. You may be tempted to do a fancy garden layout, such as a round bed or keyhole garden, but in your first year I recommend starting with one or two wide underground beds or raised beds, which are very popular.

One more serious tip: Start small - you'll be more satisfied with a small garden that's well tended and weeded than a large ploughed field that's overgrown with weeds in August. Next year expand or make some odd-shaped beds. Keep it simple at first.

Now decide what you want to plant. When you first start a garden, plant only your favorite foods, such as tomatoes, peppers, basil, lettuce, green beans, and Swiss chard. Onions and potatoes are relatively cheap, so don't spend all your garden space on them for the first year. When you have some experience and want to expand your garden, plant them.raised garden bed

Next, you need to figure out the average date of the last frost, which you can get from your local National Extension Service website or a good local nursery. This is very important because you must know when it is safe to plant seeds or seedlings in your area. You don't want to lose your new seedlings to frost.

The last thing you need to decide is whether you will start a vegetable garden with seeds or seedlings purchased from a nursery or garden center. This is what I usually do: I plant the seeds in advance in the planting area, but I also sometimes buy some nice big tomato plants and plant them after the last frost date. Seed packs will tell you to plant indoors a few weeks in advance if you want to start planting early this season.

Step 2: Soil preparation

Now is the time to decide if you want to build a high-bed vegetable garden or just grow vegetables on the ground. There are pros and cons to each approach. Raised beds can also be very beautiful and very popular, so if you decide to build one, check out the Raised Bed Vegetable Garden section of this website, which is extensive and has been written to support you in bringing the most nutritious foods from your raised bed garden. raised garden bed

If you plan to plant in the field, soil preparation is often the most difficult part of starting a vegetable garden. Many people buy or rent rototillers to do this work, but rototillers create a hard ground beneath the depth of the rototiller, destroying the soil structure and soil ecology. However, many people prefer rototillers because they are relatively fast.

Start growing vegetables using French intensive double trenched beds. Using a good garden shovel and digging fork, I dug out my garden space by hand while adding lots of homemade compost. Every few years, I "double dig" into the bed about 16 inches deep while adding more compost. Every other year, I ventilate and loosen the soil with a wide fork, which is much faster than turning the soil. But after a few years, my soil became soft and crumbly, and now I don't need to dig at all! Earthworms, fungi, actinomyces and beneficial microbes do all the work for me. Take care of the soil life and it will take care of you.

If you are planting in dirt, make sure your land has a little moisture before you attempt to dig or till it, especially if it is now a lawn or an area with a lot of foot traffic. If the soil is baked, dry, or overgrown with weeds, water the soil deeply for an hour or two before digging, 24 to 36 hours before digging. Don't till weeds, especially salicylate or orchard grass, but fork them out. New grass will grow from every broken root.

If you're starting a vegetable garden for the first time, chances are you don't have any homemade compost yet, so you'll have to go buy some to improve your soil. When you use a fork and shovel to break up garden soil (or rotary tillage), mix in as much compost as possible. This will work wonders to keep the soil loose and brittle and keep the soil ecologically healthy, thus keeping your plants and you healthy!

Step 3: Plant

Once your garden bed or bed is loose, weed it and modify it with compost, and you're ready to plant. If you are planting, pay close attention to the recommended depth and spacing of the seeds on the package. If you are growing seedlings from a nursery, the plant label should be printed with the recommended plant spacing. raised garden bed

When you're first starting a vegetable garden, there's a big mistake to avoid: moving those small plants closer together because you have too much open space to fill. By August, this tiny tomato plant may be 4 feet wide and 6 feet tall, so give it the recommended amount of space it needs. Proper planting spacing will also make it easier to get at harvest time.

Plant the tallest crops on the north side of the garden so they don't overshadow the smaller ones (south if you live in the southern hemisphere). While the tomato plants are still very small, place them on a tomato cage to help them grow in the cage so that they are well supported when they begin to produce large, heavy tomatoes.

Step 4: Water

If your garden doesn't water itself, be sure to keep a close eye on it, especially in the beginning. Water at night when it is cool to minimize evaporation and later in the season to avoid plant diseases such as powdery mildew or early blight.

If a seed expands and begins to germinate, but then dries out, it will die. This is a crucial thing to do when first starting a vegetable garden.

July 25, 2023

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