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Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening

Veg garden

 

 

There are many ways to grow your own vegetables. Perhaps you’ve been inspired by a trip to the Farmers Market or a strawberry picking adventure with the family. The taste of freshly budded vegetables combined with the convenience of having a mini-grocery store in your backyard is a worthwhile pursuit. It’s not difficult to grow your own veggies and you can scale your garden up or down depending on how much space you want to use and how much you want to munch!

Step 1: Choose Your Plants

Ask yourself two questions:
1. How many vegetables does my household consume on a regular basis?
2. Will my family or roommates be okay eating the same sort of vegetables for several weeks?

 

Some plants, like tomatoes, peppers and squash, continue bearing fruit throughout the warmer months while others like carrots, radishes and corn only produce once. Some of the easiest vegetables to grow include beans, basil, spinach, snow peas, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. Be sure to research how to nurture the specific vegetables you’re planning on growing as each one is a little different. In terms of when to plant, Almanac.com has a helpful planting date calculator based on which city and province you live in.

Step 2: Choose Your Layout

As a beginner, the best garden will be one that’s manageable, so keep it small and consider expanding your operation next summer. You have several options when it comes to your garden setup: containers, row cropping, intensive cropping or trellising.
Regardless of which option you choose, your garden needs to follow the SWS formula to flourish:

 

Sunshine

Make sure you position your crop somewhere they can get an average of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. If that’s not feasible in your backyard, you can still grow lettuce, spinach and several other leafy vegetables.

 

 

Water

Try to water your garden at least once a week and give it an extra drink of water or two each during those scorching summer days.

 

 

Soil

Start with a smooth canvas. Clear the garden area of sticks and weeds. Use a rake to clear away leaves and debris. Use a tiller or trowel to mix compost or peat moss into the dirt to form the foundation for healthy produce.Finally, be sure that your garden has some protection from wind. It should be flanked on one side by a wall or fence.

Step 3: Plant

Position the crop you expect to grow the tallest at the back and plant in order of descending height as you move towards the front of the garden, much like how the photographer arranged you and your peers on Picture Day in high school.

Step 4: Chow Down

After all that nurturing, it’s time to harvest! Don’t let ripe veggies sit on the vine for too long; pick them when they’re ready to make room for new ones. You can freeze or can your vegetables if you want to save them for later. Congratulations: you’re officially a vegetable farmer!

 

 

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