How to Start a Vegetable Garden
Just as in the old real estate adage, when you are attempting to begin your own home vegetable garden, it’s all about “location, location, location.” You need an area that receives a lot of sunlight but also receives some shade in the afternoon as well, so as to make sure the plants won’t wither away early on due to the heat.
You will also want to be mindful of the trees in the yards of both yourself and your neighbor, so take some notes on how the light affects the patch of land you would like to use throughout the day. An area that seems like it might be receiving a lot of sunlight under a tree in the winter may not actually be getting the necessary amount when the tree gets its leaves back in the spring.
Once you have selected your space, it is then important to determine how it is going to be utilized so that you can get the most out of your home vegetable garden. There are several questions that you need to have firmly answered before even buying your first bag of seeds. Do you want to plant your seeds directly in the ground, or are you going to use raised flower beds or pots instead?
This is going to have a tremendous impact on what kind of seeds you can and can’t plant, as well as how many of them, which will control your overall yield at the end of the growing season. In other words, taking a few minutes to plan everything out upfront will save you hours of headaches later on.
Once you have planned out where you would like your home vegetable garden to be located and how you would like the space to be utilized, the next thing you need to do is actually pick out the seeds or plants you will need to grow the vegetables and fruits that you had previously decided on.
If you are looking for an experience that may be a little more challenging, you can try and use various types of seeds to begin growing your intended crop. However, you may find it slightly easier to use a starter plant instead of seeds for your first time out, as they are a little easier to plant and manage for those who are new to home gardening, and most are very affordable, even in bulk.
After you have purchased the seeds that you would like to grow and then planted them, your work is not quite done just yet. The next step and this is a vitally important one, is to make sure that you have a watering plan set up for all of your plants so that they can thrive and flourish as they grow.
There are two primary schools of thought when it comes to watering home gardens: watering by hand, which is more of an old-fashioned method, or using an automated gardening timer to water your garden for you, regardless of whether you are there or not. A beginner may want to consider using the hand method to start out, as it will allow them to inspect their gardens for weeds and bugs, both of which will need to be promptly removed upon discovery.
Once you have started growing things successfully, you may realize that you now have some unwanted new neighbors in the form of a variety of different types of pests and animals. These can include a whole host of insects, rodents, such as squirrels, birds, and whatever else may be living in the immediate vicinity.
To control fungus and insects, some organic fungicide is a great place to start, as the chemicals are only harmful to bugs and not you or your family. To keep out birds and rodents, however, you will most likely need to fence in your garden and cover it if at all possible. If you picked out an area inside of a screen on the outside, you will have made your life much easier going forward.