Once you’ve selected and amended the soil for your vegetable garden, planting can begin! Just follow the instructions found on each seed packet or tag when sowing new crops.
Basic principles should always be observed: most vegetables require full sunlight (at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun per day), close planting can limit weeds, and mulching helps retain moisture while deterring pests.
Tomatoes are one of the most beloved garden vegetables, as well as being highly nutritious. Packed with Vitamin A and C, tomatoes make delicious additions to grilled, roasted or sauteed dishes such as soups or sauces. With over 10,000 varieties available for selection, finding ones best suited to your garden and family should not be difficult!
No matter if you’re selecting heirloom varieties that provide great-tasting flavor and seed-saving potential, or hybrids with superior disease resistance and higher yields. Always pay careful attention to the description on a seed packet or tag; these contain important details such as growing zones and other requirements as well as specific information on how each variety will perform in your garden.
Search for tomato plants that need full sun in your climate and require six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day; tomatoes don’t thrive well in shade environments, so select an area that receives plenty of morning or afternoon sun; also, consider choosing an area sheltered from wind for optimal conditions.
Companion planting can improve the health and fruitfulness of tomatoes in your vegetable garden. Basil, for instance, naturally repels tomato-loving pests like hornworms. Nasturtiums – another edible flowering plant – make ideal companions as they attract aphids away from crops while deterring common insects from attacking.
Mulching the ground with 2 to 4 inches of organic material such as leaves or straw mulch helps minimize weeds while keeping soil moisture levels even. Avoiding bursts of watering – they can promote diseases – aim for at least an inch of moisture each week or more often during hot weather months.
As a beginning vegetable gardener, consider choosing plants that are easy to cultivate and prolific – you’ll get more value out of your gardening investment this way. Leafy greens, beans, peppers and tomatoes tend to be popular options if space is an issue; consider growing these vegetables in containers on a deck or patio instead if possible.
Locate your vegetable garden in an area with plenty of sun and protection from wind; most vegetables require full sun for optimal growth and will not tolerate shade. Furthermore, your site should drain well so as not to accumulate standing water after even heavy rainfall, and be free from trees or shrubs which might compete for water and nutrients with your crops.
If the soil is in poor condition, amend it with organic matter before planting. A soil test can show whether more nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium may be required.
Block planting may make for easier weeding and harvesting of crops in your vegetable garden, with each block spaced every four feet or so and planted with something unique. While rows cropping systems such as tillers make gardening simpler overall, block planting works just fine when starting smaller vegetable gardens too.
Start seedlings indoors if you want to minimize waiting for their transplant into the ground. When using seeds, read their package label to determine how long until their recommended planting date; at garden centers or plant nurseries they’ll be able to advise you in selecting varieties suitable for your climate and growing conditions.
As an easily digestible leafy vegetable, lettuce thrives best in cool weather when planted as seeds. Once established, harvest can occur when its leaves reach several inches long; choose from various varieties like butterhead, Romaine, Chinese or loose-leaf varieties for harvesting.
Timing is key when it comes to creating a successful veggie garden. Certain crops such as lettuce and peas require cool temperatures of early spring (and fall); these “cool-season” veggies require planting before late April or May for optimal growth; on the other hand, warm season veggies such as tomatoes and peppers require warmer conditions in which to thrive. To make sure you get maximum returns from your garden this summer, plant both types of crops at different points throughout summertime.
Before purchasing seeds and plants for your vegetable garden, be sure to create an outline of its entire plot by drawing up a map or plan. This helps iron out any glitches and gives a better sense of where each crop should go in terms of space needs. For larger yards, consider breaking up your space into “blocks” so it is easier for tending crops – this also allows easier rotating of veggies so pests and diseases don’t build up in one area each year.
As part of your new veggie garden’s efforts to prevent erosion, cover it with a winter cover crop such as oats or alfalfa before it freezes – this will protect it until spring gardening can resume. When watering seedlings and transplants daily until established; thereafter switch to weekly depending on weather and soil type conditions. Make sure to monitor weather forecasts regularly while checking regularly for signs of disease, weeds or insect pests so as to catch problems early so as to minimize time spent tending your new garden!
Cucumbers are heat-loving vegetables that thrive when temperatures heat up, needing only regular deep watering sessions to stay healthy and produce an abundance of cucumbers. Too little moisture causes stunted or misshapen cucumbers; too much can wilt their crops entirely. For optimal success, soaker hoses provide consistent deep watering throughout each week using slow drip feed near each plant for 10-15 minutes at a time to provide continuous deep irrigation without flooding their roots with too much liquid; be wary of bursts of water as this could wash away soil particles which contribute to powdery mildew or yellow leaves rot.
Cukes can be easily grown from seed or transplants, yet due to being a warm-weather crop they should only be planted outdoors once all threat of frost has passed. Cucumber seeds need time to germinate if planted too early; to maximize success when starting from seeds indoors start them around 5-10 days prior to your last frost date then gradually expose seedlings to outdoor conditions over several days and plant them outdoors when nighttime temperatures consistently surpass 65 degrees.
As with tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, cucumbers need cross-pollination in order to bear fruit. You can encourage pollinators to visit your vegetable garden by planting flowers such as marigolds and nasturtiums nearby.
Cucumbers thrive best when planted in a sunny location with well-draining soil between 6.0 and 6.5. If you have a larger vegetable garden, vine varieties like Marketmore 76 or Burpless Bush Hybrid should be chosen; otherwise opt for bush varieties instead.
Basil’s flavor adds zesty depth to daily sauces and soups, while its lush foliage makes an elegant addition to edible gardens. You can find many varieties, boasting different fragrances, colors and leaf sizes; look out for those awarded an RHS Award of Garden Merit! All varieties form compact 30-50cm (12-20in) tall plants with leaves ranging from smooth or ruffled green through dark purple; glossy or hairy leaves may even form compact plants!
Sow seeds directly outdoors once the threat of frost has passed in late spring or start them indoors six to eight weeks prior to your region’s average last frost date, using Miracle-Gro Seed Starting Potting Mix as a germinator. When planting out seedlings 12-18 inches apart is best; this allows them to thrive, prevents overcrowding, and promotes good air circulation.
Vegetables need full sun in order to kickstart photosynthesis – they won’t thrive under trees or in partial shade. Therefore, select a site which receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day, free from obstruction such as fences, hedges and walls, while still being wind-protected.
Planting a vegetable garden is simple once the soil has been prepped and your crops selected. Paying attention to timing is key; each crop comes with specific care and feeding needs and an ideal time of year to be planted. When working from seed packets or tags for planting dates. Remember it’s easier for weed control purposes if working in blocks rather than rows!