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How to Plant a Vegetable Garden

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden

a woman planting a garden

If you want the freshest produce possible, consider growing your own home garden – after all, you can't get any closer to your kitchen table than to your own backyard. Growing your own vegetables is frugal, too. According to the National Gardening Association, the average family with a garden spends $70 on their crops—but they grow an estimated $600 of vegetables!

10 Steps to Starting a Botanical Garden

To get started, here are 10 steps recommended by the National Gardening Association.

1. Choose the correct location

Choose a garden site with plenty of sun, a wide area and close to a hose or water source. Find a flat area to help prevent erosion.

2. Select Your Vegetables

Select the product you want to include based on climate, area, tastes and experience level. Newcomers may want to consider some of the easier crops to grow, such as carrots, beans, cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce.

3. Prepare the Soil

Mix manure and natural fertilizers in your garden to prepare the soil for your plants. Garden supply stores can test the acidity of your soil and recommend supplements, or you can simply buy specially made soil in bulk.

4. Check Planting Dates

Growth conditions and maturation cycles vary with plant and season, so you should not sow all seeds at the same time . Sowing dates can be found on the seed packages. Review the ideal conditions for each plant you want to grow before setting a gardening schedule.

5. Sow the seeds

Place the seeds or plants into the soil, carefully following depth and spacing directions.

6. Add water

Gently spray the garden with water to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. Purchase a spray nozzle for your hose so you can create a nice rain-like mist for your garden.

7. Knock Weed Out

Mulching is the most effective way to prevent weeds. Add a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch to your garden to prevent weeds from overrunning your crops. If weeds appear in the garden, grab them low by the stems and pull them out sharply, making sure to extract the entire root.

8. Give Your Plants Room to Grow

Check the spacing guide on seed packets and be sure to remove crowded seedlings immediately.

9. Fertilize as needed

Plow the soil by hand and add compost to keep it rich. You can buy ready-made garden compost or make your own from items such as Epsom salt, eggshells, aquarium water, and kitchen compost.

10. Reap what you sow

Harvest your vegetables when they are young and soft – but only pick them when you plan to use them. Pull out root crops as soon as they reach an edible size. Collect leaf crops by cutting them 2 inches off the ground. Finally, enjoy your harvest!

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