Starting a Vegetable Garden

The snow has melted and it’s time to start to plant your vegetable garden. Growing your own vegetables is an affordable way to incorporate more fresh produce into your diet. Gardening also helps you to get more exercise and is a natural stress reliever.

Consider these tips when planting your garden his year:

  1. Prepare your garden. Choose a sunny location with a little afternoon shade. Once you have found the ideal spot, decide if you will garden in raised beds, pots, or directly in the soil. Raised beds are a popular option, especially if the soil quality in your yard is poor. Pots are a practical choice if you have limited space. You can also choose to plant directly into the soil in your yard, however, you should till the soil first and add in some potting soil or compost.
  2. Choose what to plant. Pick vegetables that you are more likely to eat. Favorite vegetables include tomatoes, carrots, peppers, zucchini, snap peas, snap beans, cucumbers, spinach, radishes, and lettuce. You can choose to start with the plant or from seed, but it is easier to purchase small starter plants. If you do choose to start with seeds, keep them indoors for about six weeks before moving them outside.
  3. Water daily. It is important to care for your plants on a daily basis. Be sure to water daily and in the early morning. Water at the root rather than at the leaves, which can contribute to fungus and rot.
  4. Control pests. Consider putting a fence around your garden to keep out critters. There are also many natural and organic methods to deter pests.  
  5. Fertilize. Healthy soil is the key to healthy plants. Fertilizer adds minerals and nutrients to the soil. As a rule of thumb, fertilize before planting and then every three four weeks.
  6. Tend to your garden. Spend time every day pulling weeds and looking for signs of pests.
  7. Ask for help. There’s nothing more valuable than getting advice from an experienced gardener. They will have experienced every obstacle imaginable and are a wealth of information.

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