Would you love to grow your own vegetables at home but you don’t know how? This Easy Beginner’s Guide to Planting Vegetables will help you get started today.
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Whether you plant vegetables from seed or buy them as potted plants, they taste much better homegrown. But, if you missed starting your plants from seed, as I did, you still have time to plant your favorite veggies.
Buying potted plants saves time. Life gets busy, and planting out your vegetables in spring is sometimes the only option. So go to your nursery, an Amish nursery, or your local Wal-Mart, and pick up your potted plants. They are pretty reliable plants that grow well in your area.
Helpful Vegetable Growing Tips
- Look for bonus plants to save money– Many times you can find two or three plants growing together in the same pot or cell pack, and free plants are definitely a bonus. When it’s time to plant, gently tease the plants apart and plant in separate pots or beds.
- Inspect the plants– Carefully, inspect the plants you plan to buy making sure there are no black spots or yellowing leaves. A nice healthy looking plant will perform much better than one that looks sickly.
- When to plant -A good time to plant in your area is after the threat of frost has passed, usually between the last weekend of May through the first weekend in June. (Although, after a month of glorious weather, today, as I write, on this twenty-second of April, blossomed daffodils are lying under a blanket of snow. The weather is so unpredictable here in the North Country!)
- Harden your plants-You will need to harden off your potted plants about a week before they are planted in the garden. Start setting them outside for about an hour, in the shade. Each day they can stay out a little longer, and stay in more sun each day after.
- Vegetables love the sun– If your garden spot has six to eight hours of sun a day, your plants like tomatoes and peppers will be more resistant to insects and diseases. If you don’t get enough sun, crops like spinach and lettuce will do just fine. You can also plant your veggies in ten-inch diameter pots, so they can be moved around on your patio or balcony.
- Make watering easier-Building your garden near a water source will ensure that it gets watered. It’s a cumbersome job when you have to walk a mile to get your plants watered. Same for harvesting, if your plants are near the kitchen, you’ll thank yourself for doing so.
- Raise the beds-Raised beds are ideal for gardening. You already know what soil is there, so other than adding compost and fertilizer, your garden will be ready to plant. A raised bed can be as long as your heart desires, and the standard width of a raised bed is four feet across, but if you are on the average short size, you may want to make the width three feet across. It will be easier reaching to weed and harvest.
- Test your soil– A garden bed will probably do fine, but it’s a good idea to buy a soil test kit at your local garden, center. If the test indicates that your soil is too acidic, or too alkaline, adding compost and manure or organic fertilizer will bring the ph to near neutral.
- Grow what you love– Buy vegetables that your family likes to eat! When you buy seeds or plants, it’s easy to get carried away with all the varieties. A smaller garden filled with veggies you love will be much easier to maintain.
You may like: How to Start a Garden on a Budget
A Beginner’s Guide to Planting Vegetables
Let’s plant tomatoes
Dig a hole with a ten-inch diameter, and about sixteen inches deep. Fill the hole with compost about half full. Add a handful of organic fertilizer and mix in well with the compost.
Perfect pepper planting
Love planting those green onions
Bush Beans are the best
Planting pleasing peas from seed and from potted plants.
Let’s plant some bodacious basil!
Contributing Author– Geri Mitchell is married with two grown children and grandchildren. She loves to garden! “The summers here in the north country sometimes have two seasons, winter and getting ready for winter, so we have to garden in between.”