A Beginner’s Guide: How to Start a Vegetable Garden

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Men have practiced gardening throughout the ages, but this is more than just a hobby for many. It’s also a way for sustainability and healthier living. Learning how to grow your food can give you numerous health benefits such as eating fresh and more nutritious, staying active, and saving money.

One way to do this is to grow your vegetable garden, which you can start in your backyard. The idea might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a bachelor who loves extreme outdoor activities. But if you’re planning to start living a healthier and sustainable life, here are some steps to creating your vegetable garden.

Select the vegetables

It can be overwhelming to choose from numerous vegetables for your garden. But if you’re opting for something easy to grow, the best options include green beans, carrots, radishes, lettuce, and peppers. However, it’s important to consider what you or your family like to eat, as well as the number of vegetables you can consume. Don’t plant more than you can consume. In addition, you should also consider if you can take care of the vegetables during their growing seasons. For instance, if you plant zucchinis or tomatoes that grow best around summer and you’ll be going on a vacation, those crops will suffer.

Choose the location

Regardless if you’re planning to grow your vegetables in your backyard, in a sunroom, or inside your home, there are two critical requirements that you should meet. The first one is access to convenient water sources. If you’re planning to use your lawn or yard, a good sprinkler system is something you should invest in. Call a professional contractor when considering a sprinkler installation service to ensure the system suits your gardening needs.

If you’re opting to start small and don’t want to invest in any watering system, manually watering your garden will do. Whatever you choose, remember that it’s better to give your crops longer drinks every few days instead of sprinkling them with water every single day. If you don’t have the time to water them regularly and want to minimize water waste, you can install drip irrigation or soaker hoses.

The second thing you need to consider is the amount of sunlight that your crops will get. If you’re using your backyard with partial shade, opt for vegetables that can tolerate this setup, such as spinach, parsley, or lettuce. If you’re planning to grow root vegetables such as beets and carrots, you need a spot that gets around four hours of sunlight. In general, fast-growing vegetables will need six up to eight hours of direct sunlight every day.

testing soil quality

Test the soil

The soil is of top importance when starting an edible garden. Find out if there’s a risk of contamination in your soil due to nearby roadways or structures or if it possesses enough basic nutrients to grow the vegetables. You’d also need to figure out if your soil is alkaline or acidic. If you’re not familiar with these characteristics, you have to perform home tests. In general, you need soil with a neutral pH of 7 to grow most garden crops.

Get the tools

You can grow a vegetable garden without the right tools. The items you need will depend on the type of gardening you’re going for. Among the basic tools are a trowel and a shovel, which are typically used for container and raised bed gardening. You’d also need a gardening knife for dividing plants, cutting sod, or weeding. For cutting softer plant tissues, you can use pruners. Don’t forget to buy gardening gloves and scuffle hoes too. Furthermore, invest only in quality metal tools if you want something that can last long and can stand tough gardening work. You can add more gardening tools as you go along with your gardening journey.

Prepare for pests

The last thing you want to happen is for your food to be damaged by pests. The first step is stopping weeds from competing with your vegetables for nutrients, water, and light. Prevent weed seedlings from popping up by using a hoe. You’d also want to install a fence to stop the big pests from making their way into your edible garden. If you notice large insects such as caterpillars and insects, you can use pest-control chemicals or insecticidal soap sprays.

Starting your vegetable garden is more than just having fresher food to serve on your table. Gardening is also a great outdoor exercise that can both benefit your physical and mental well-being. And the best part? It can help improve your mood and boost your happiness.

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