Start Growing Vegetables at Home

  • Ryan Smith
  • 1 June, 2020

If you’ve been dreaming about enjoying fresh veggies from your own garden this summer/fall, here are some tips to get you started! We went right to the source (The Farmer’s Almanac) and you can find more in-depth information in their Vegetable Gardening Guide for Beginners (link below).

First of all, just like real estate, remember LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. The location you have to work with will determine what you can grow. If you have a large yard or vacant lot to work with, you’ll have more options.

But don’t worry…even if you only have a small yard or just a patio or porch, there are still plenty of things you can grow in pots or small beds.

SELECT THE RIGHT LOCATION

When you start thinking about a location for your garden, here are some things to keep in mind.

Sun, sun, sun! While there are some vegetables that can grow in the shade, most varieties (and most plants for that matter) need a significant amount of sunlight each day. Shoot for 4-6 hours. If the spot you’re eyeing gets that much, you’re well on your way.

Consider the soil. What type of soil do you have to work with? Is it well drained or do you end up with a marshy mess when it rains? One good thing is that if your current soil situation isn’t great, you can always work with Mother Nature to improve things. Raised beds are a good option as well as tilling and adding organic matter or compost. 

Choose a safe spot. Just as you would protect other valuables, your garden is an investment that will need to be kept safe. Don’t pick a spot that’s too close to the road or where the elements might cause damage (i.e. flooding or wind).

THE FUN PART…SELECTING WHAT VEGETABLES TO GROW

Now it’s time to choose which vegetables and fruits you want to grow. Again, consider your space, your soil and sun exposure to make sure the needs of the veggies you choose are met. Plus, select options that you actually like to eat! It doesn’t really make sense to have a garden filled with vegetables that nobody in your household likes. According to the Almanac, these plants are relatively easy to grow.

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini squash
  • Peppers (these grow well in pots if you are limited for space)
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Lettuce (also great for container gardens)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Radishes

Here are some additional tips from the Farmer’s Almanac:

  1. Start Small – According to the Almanac, “It’s better to be proud of a small garden than be frustrated by a big one.”
  2. Don’t plant too much too soon. Consider how much harvest you can reasonably consume and plant accordingly.
  3. If you have a larger space, make sure there are paths between your rows so you can get in there to harvest and weed.

We hope this is helpful for at least getting you started, or maybe pointing you in the right direction. And don’t forget to check out The Farmer’s Almanac Vegetable Guide for Beginners

This original blog was published on the Coldwell Banker’s site.

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