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Starting your very own vegetable garden is not only fun but also rewarding, both financially and spiritually. Getting started doesn’t require much aside from proper soil and some seeds. However, becoming good at gardening is another thing in itself. In this article, we will go over the basics to help you get started.
The key steps to creating a vegetable garden
The first and foremost thing to take into account before you start planting is to find the right location in your back garden. The spot you’re looking for should get lots of sunlight exposure and also some shelter. Finding it will take some time and thought, so you might need to spend a couple of hours a day in your back garden. Be sure to observe where the light falls at different intervals in the day.
Avoid planting underneath any trees as their shade will devoid the veggies of the right amount of daily sunlight. Aside from the sun, many vegetables need shelter from strong winds and floods. These plants won’t grow the right way if the wind is constantly rocking them around or if they’re drowning. Therefore, consider investing in some garden hurdles.
The next thing you should consider is what type of beds you want. This should be decided in the early stages of the planting process. There are several options you can choose from.
Raised-beds – These are ideal for starting a vegetable garden. They are cheap and easy to put together and best of all, you don’t have to till any of your soil. But aside from all that, they also make for a great weed barrier.
Pots – Pots are a great solution for when space is limited. They come in all shapes and sizes and are suitable for growing all sorts of veggies. Some good examples of vegetables that grow well in pots are tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers, and radishes. A great advantage that pots offer is that they’re easily moveable, unlike raised beds.
Directly into the soil – This is the traditional method of growing vegetables that has been used for centuries. To make this work, you will need to till and amend your soil. Tilling is quite simple nowadays as you can just borrow or rent a tiller that makes the work 10 times easier. However, before you decide to add any soil amendments, consider testing your soil to see what it lacks. The best advantage of sowing directly in the soil is that it’s ideal for companion planting.
Which vegetables should you plant?
Choosing the right vegetables to plant all depends on the season. However, always try to go for fast, easy producers. Some great veggies for beginners are:
The cut-and-come-again salads – These salads are a must-have in any garden as after you harvest their leaves, they continue to grow. They are very easy to look after and can continue producing leaves for a long period of time.
Spinach – It can be a bit tricky to grow as it requires extra watering during hot weather and in some cases even a shade tunnel. However, the harvest you get from a single spinach plant can last you for a few months.
Tomatoes and cucumbers – Cherry tomatoes and small-fruiting cucumbers are a great choice for a home garden. They produce a lot of fruit and ripen quite fast. Just be sure to position them in a place where they will get a lot of sunlight while being protected from the wind.
How much is this project likely to cost?
The price of starting a vegetable garden really depends on a lot of factors. Things like the size of the garden, the cost of plants and seeds, pots, tools, and soil nutrients should all be taken into account.
There is no definitive cost for starting a vegetable garden. However, depending on whether you have most of the items mentioned above or not and how big you plan to go, it might cost you between £30 (37.63 USD) to £300 (376.34). How much space will you need?
Of course, having a bigger garden is a huge plus, however, a smaller one will suffice just as well. You don’t necessarily need lots of space to grow fresh, tasty vegetables. As long as you have good soil that gets plenty of sunshine you’re ready to go.
How much might you save on groceries?
The amount of money you can save thanks to your vegetable garden depends on how many plants you’re looking after. However, here are some comparisons for you to get a good idea of the financial benefits of a home vegetable garden.
Cherry tomatoes – One pack of high-quality cherry tomato seeds costs between £1.50 – £2.00 and a single plant can produce around 10 kg of heirloom cherry tomatoes per season. In a supermarket, a kg of cherry tomatoes goes for around £2.50 which means 10 kg would cost you £25. Which means, from one single plant alone, you can save around £22. Now think about how much you would save if you cultivated a few plants a year.
Salad greens – A pack of more than 200 seeds costs only £2.50. Best of all one plant can be harvested multiple times if cared for properly. Considering that 1kg would cost you £4 at the local supermarket, with 5-10 plants you will be saving in the hundreds per season.
How much time should you dedicate to tending your garden?
There is no definitive answer to how much time one should spend tending their vegetable garden. It’s all relative to how big your planting space is. A normal-sized vegetable garden can be looked after with minimum effort.
On average, caring for a vegetable garden takes around 10-30 minutes a day during warm seasons like spring and summer. While in autumn and winter, investing 1 hour a week is more than enough to keep your garden nice and healthy.
Keeping critters away from your vegetable garden
What are the biggest obstacles to starting a successful vegetable garden?
The biggest obstacles most gardeners face when starting a vegetable garden are definitely the pesky pests. They come in many shapes and sizes, from birds and squirrels to insects. However, don’t get discouraged, there are ways to keep your garden safe. When it comes to insects, you can easily avoid them, just keep your soil nice and healthy and they won’t stick around.
Birds, squirrels and other mammals are a bit harder to keep away, as you will need to create some barriers. In most cases, putting up a net does the job. Installing a fence if you don’t already have one, might help with certain pests as well. How to keep birds away from fruit trees and garden.
Now that you have an idea of how and where to start with your vegetable garden, homemade products will be coming your way all season long. Before you know it, you’ll be embracing a more green and healthy way of life, all thanks to your vegetable garden.
The author of this article is Pol Bishop of Fantasticgardeners
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com – Please share this post below.