How to Start a Vegetable Garden for Beginners

Organic vegetables are ones that have been produced without the use of chemicals like weedkillers. They take a little more work to grow but are worth it to many people who are seeking more natural and healthy ways of eating. A small garden can produce a lot of produce also saving your money and trips to the grocery store. This article will take a look at the steps needed to get your organic garden started.

fresh vegetables

1. Selecting a good site

Your garden needs to have good drainage and lots of sunlight. Be sure to select an area close to a source of water.  You want your garden to be convenient to get to and maintain.  Usually somewhere near the home’s back door if possible is best.

A raised bed has a lot of advantages.  Drainage is rarely a problem with a raised bed.  Some materials used to build the raised bed are natural insect repellents.  An example of this is cedar.

An in-ground bed will likely require more work to till.  In addition, make sure to check with utility companies before digging and tilling so you don’t accidentally cut your phone or cable line.

It may be necessary to build some protection around your garden to keep out animals or birds. So be sure the area your select has room for some small fencing in case it’s needed.

2. Preparing the site

Decide on how large an area you want to start with.  A good rule of thumb is to make the garden beds 4 foot wide with 2 foot spaces between them.  They can be as long as you wish.  Beds this width with two foot spacing between makes it easier bend over and reach the middle for weeding.

Use a shovel to dig out grass and weeds. Then use a tiller to loosen the ground and break up clumps of dirt. You should till about 10 inches deep then add two inches of compost to aid with aeration and drainage. When complete you’ll have a workable depth of soil 12 inches deep.

Compost can be purchased from your local gardening center but you may prefer to make your own.  It’s a great way to dispose of grass clippings and recycle food waste.

A raised bed will ease the task of digging and tilling.  If you have a raised garden that is 6 inches high then you only need to till the area beneath it 6 inches deep.  Then fill the raised enclosure with organic soil and compost.

The term organic soil may sound funny to you.  Isn’t all dirt organic?  Organic soil is nutrient and mineral rich soil created by the decomposition of plant and animal materials like the way nature creates soil in a forest from decomposing leafs, fallen trees and animal waste.  The minerals and nutrients found in organic soil grow healthier, strong plants that are more resistant to insects and disease. Also organic material in the soil retains moisture meaning less watering.

3. Finding organic seeds or seedlings

Most nurseries use fertilizers and pesticides so finding organic plants locally can be sometimes be a chore.  You can purchase organic seeds online. For example, Amazon.com offers a large collection of organic non-GMO seeds (Carrot, Tomato, Cherry Tomato, Zucchini, Kale, Lettuce, Beet, Snap Pea, Cucumber, Sweet Pepper, Jalapeno, Bunching Onion, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Basil, and Cilantro) at a very reasonable cost. Click on the image below or this link https://amzn.to/2Igv0aI to view this deal on Amazon.com


If you purchase plants you will need to Inspect them carefully for damage caused by insects or disease. Check that the plants are not root bound by loosening it from the pot and looking to see if the roots are wrapped around inside the pot.

If you site doesn’t get full sun you’ll need to select plants that can produce in some shade. This includes kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, pole beans, and radishes.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, melons, corn, beans and squash should be planted in a sunny location.

4. Planting

Watering your plants before planting will lessen the shock of transplanting them.

Using a hand spade make holes as deep as the plant’s root ball and two times a wide. Space the plants the appropriate distance indicated by the type of plant. Back fill in around the plant and lightly pack the dirt.  For seeds the package should list the depth and distance between plants.

Adding a layer of mulch around the plants will help with keeping down weeds and holding in moisture.

Immediately after planting water your new garden bed.

 

See this video for tips on how to grow organic vegetables cheaply:

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