Tips and advice for growing
With living expenses consistently on the rise, people are often looking for ways to become more self-sufficient. One option that many people have turned to is home vegetable gardens. Planting, maintaining and harvesting from vegetable gardens is a rewarding way to produce healthy, natural food for you and your family. It is also a lot of hard work. Read on for some basic tips and ideas on how to start your own vegetable garden.
Start Out Small
The most important advice you can get is to start out small. Don't try to plant a huge vegetable garden right off the bat, loaded with dozens of different plants and taking up your entire backyard. It's like trying to enter the world of car repair by rebuilding an engine – it'll only cause unnecessary grief and frustration. The recommended maximum size for a starter garden is around 8 feet by 10 feet – you can always add more later on. A second tip is to find a location that gets as much sun as possible. Depending on where you live, this can be difficult if space is tight, but do your best.
Types of Soil
Once you've nailed down a location, it's time to work on the soil in that area. If you don't own one, borrow or rent a tiller to work through the soil and get it ready for planting. Take a close look at the type of soil you'll be working with. Different consistencies of soil will create different planting experiences. The best and easiest type of soil to work with is sandy loam. If you don't know what sandy loam is like, take a bundle of the soil and clump it in your hand. If it rolls into a ball but crumbles when released, it's sandy loam.
If you don't have sandy loam, it can be wise to import some better topsoil to get you started. Another option is to use topsoil to create raised vegetable gardens. A raised bed is built by stacking lumber to create a rectangular bed filled with soil. Whether you decide to go with raised beds or just add good topsoil over the existing soil, you should be about ready to plant at this point.
The Need for Seed
To plant, of course, you need seeds. You can buy vegetable seeds from a store, or order them from a catalog or over the Internet. Make sure to do some research to find good quality seeds. This might mean you have to spend some more money, but if you want good vegetables, you need to start with good seeds. That will maximize the chances of your plants surviving, and result in the best tasting vegetables.