How To Start A Vegetable Garden for Beginners
Discover How to Start a Vegetable Garden from Scratch for Beginners!
Having a vegetable garden in your backyard means access to fresh produce that is higher in nutrients and most often cheaper than your local grocery center. Plus the convenience of stepping outside to pick fresh ingredients is a skill worth mastering.
Here is how to start a vegetable garden from scratch for beginner gardeners.
#1 Create a Vegetable Garden Layout
The first question to ask yourself is where your going to build the garden?
A majority of vegetable plants need full sun to produce well, so you will want to designate a place that is in full sun for most of the day.
Also you need to consider what type of garden suits your needs? Do you have an open area of land to dedicate to a vegetable garden plot or are you in need of something small and efficient?
Consider how much time and resources you have to dedicate to your new garden when deciding the layout and design of your backyard vegetable garden.
Directly Sown Garden Beds
With a garden that is directly sown into the ground you will need to create good growing soil. That is soil that provides good drainage in an area that receives full sun that has plenty of organic matter to provide rich nutrients to the plants.
To amend the soil you can add organic matter and till it into the garden beds before planting season has begun to allow time for those materials to breakdown even more and to create a loamy soil with a good balance of sand, silt, and clay.
You want soil that allows for the roots to grow easily and this is done by having enough organic material amended into the soil to allow for optimal drainage and to ensure nutrients are available to growing plants.
A general rule is 8-12 inches of loamy soil for most vegetable garden plants.
It is best to begin working on the soil before planting season. Fall and winter provide the perfect opportunity to amend the soil for the next growing season. Some gardeners even apply a cover crop during these times to provide nutrients back into the soil.
Remember if you want nice vegetable plants in comes down to three basic things: Soil, Sun, and Water.
Drawback To Directly Sown Garden Beds
One drawback of directly sown vegetables gardens is weed control. If you are planning on a directly sown garden layout, make sure to invest in a weed barrier fabric that is porous to lay in between rows to discourage the growth of unwanted weeds.
Container Vegetable and Herb Gardens
Container gardens can be built easily and provide a good option for beginner vegetable gardeners.
Container gardens are a great option if your gardening in a small space or simply want to start small. Container gardens are beginner friendly because you can control the soil, weeds, and amount of sun more easily than any other style of vegetable garden designs.
Container gardens can also be a great choice when you want to grow a simple batch of delicious herbs. Herbs are often easy to grow and most can be successfully grown on your patio or even on a bright window sill making them an ideal choice for a beginner garden.
Herbs like green onion, cilantro, and mint all make for perfect container garden plants.
Any container can work as a garden bed, but it must meet these 3 Basic Requirements:
Depth: make sure your gardening container is deep enough with 8-12 inches of nutrient rich soil.
Drainage: make sure your gardening container has drainage holes to prevent root rot and mold.
Space: provide proper ventilation between vegetable plants by following the specific spacing requirements of each plant.
Drawback to Container Gardening
The drawback to container gardening is space. You can grow almost any vegetable plant in a container as long as it meets the basic requirements, however, you need a lot of containers to grow several plant varieties at one time.
Raised Vegetable Garden Beds
A raised vegetable garden bed offers a blend between directly sown and a container garden.
Often, raised beds can be the best choice for starting a vegetable garden from scratch because you can have the benefits of built in weed control and nutrient rich soil with the added benefit of having enough space to grow larger vegetable plants with various design layouts.
When building a raised vegetable bed, it is beneficial to lay down a barrier like weed fabric or even cardboard to discourage weeds. Then simply build up the soil with 8-12 inches of loamy soil.
Constructing a simple gardening box that will be big enough to plant the vegetables you want to grow is an easy way to start a vegetable garden from scratch.
One raised bed layout that is popular with beginner gardeners is square foot gardening. By building a 4x4 raised bed you can have enough space to grow a number of simple plants that are easy to access when harvesting because of the 4x4 design.
Drawback to Raised Vegetable Garden Beds
This is the most expensive garden type for beginners to make from scratch due to the building materials and the amount it costs to fill the raised beds with quality soil, however, after the initial investment this type of garden bed is easiest to maintain and will deliver the most abundance from your vegetable plants.
# 2 Decide on a Vegetable Garden Layout
Now that you have decided on what type of garden you will have, it is time to plan a basic vegetable garden layout. Your vegetable garden layout will largely depend on what you want to grow and the basic plant requirements for each plant variety.
What do you want to grow?
All vegetable plants have their own requirements for nutrients, spacing, sunlight, and water requirements. Decide what vegetable plants you want to grow by focusing on vegetables your family likes to eat and plant varieties suited for your growing zone.
What are the plant's requirements?
Now that you know what your going to grow. It is time to create a basic layout. Look at how much space you have to work with then begin plotting what plants will go where based on their specific growing needs.
Consider spacing and also sunlight when creating a basic vegetable garden layout. You may also look into companion planting as some plants do better with certain plants than others.
Having a basic understanding of what your growing, how much room it requires, and what plants it does well with will give you the foundation for creating a vegetable garden layout.
#3 Begin Vegetable Gardening
Gardening in a skill that requires many years of trial and error. Every year you will have successes and failures when it comes to gardening, so don't be afraid to fail. You will fail from time to time, but you will also have great success if you learn from your failures and continue to dedicate yourself to getting better each growing season.
So jump right in and begin learning how to start a vegetable garden!
Make Your First Vegetable Garden a Success with These Easy Plants
Vegetable Gardening can be easy when you know what plant grow easy and produce well. These plants are perfect for beginner gardeners interested in creating their own vegetable garden from scratch this year.
Top 10 Vegetable Plants To Grow in Your Garden
These easy vegetable plants grow with minimal maintenance and they produce an abundant harvest. These plants are perfect to grow in your family garden to have fresh produce on hand throughout the growing season.
Gardening is simple once you understand the importance of the basics. With amended soil, sunlight, and the correct watering routine you can grow delicious vegetables right from your backyard garden.
Avoid These Top 3 Gardening Mistakes
#1 Poor Garden Soil
The soil gives life to your vegetable plants. Soil that is poor in drainage with a lack of nutrients will not produce an abundant garden, so take time to amend the soil properly with composted materials and ensure that your soil is deep and loamy enough to provide the perfect conditions for your vegetable plants.
#2 Over Crowding Vegetable Plants
It can be tempting to space plants close together, especially when your beginning with tiny seeds. However, make sure to consider the spacing requirements of each vegetable plant to ensure your plant will grow properly and not be overcrowded by competing plants.
Some varieties of vegetable plants work just fine with minimal spacing requirements, but other just simply do not. Be sure to follow the spacing requirements for each specific plant and research companion planting to get the most out of your vegetable garden layout.
Consider harvest time when you are creating a garden layout and allow for proper spacing between plants making it easier to collect fresh vegetables.
#3 Over Watering Your Garden Beds
It can be tempting to water your garden beds too often. I mean they need water right?
The cardinal rule is to always give a long deep soaking rather than many short shallow waterings that only reach the surface leaving the roots high and dry.
So when you water, water them good, and make sure the water is draining into the soil all the way to the root level. Do this watering routine 2-3 times a week to grow healthy vegetable plants that produce well.
Amend Garden Beds Year After Year
Have your garden bed ready to grow the next year of delicious fresh produce by amending your soil at the end of each growing season.
You can easily ensure that your soil has the proper organic material to grown beautiful vegetable plants by creating your own backyard compost. Easily supply your compost pile with vegetable scraps and other organic materials like leaves to create a rich compost amendment for your vegetable garden.
Having backyard chickens is also an easy way to have a rich supply of compost at hand for amending your garden bed soil after each growing season.
By combining chicken waste with plant waste, you can create a rich compost that will be perfect for adding to your soil during the off season.
Remember each growing season, nutrients are being deplete from your vegetable garden bed as the plants consume these nutrients to produce.
By adding compost you can replenish these nutrients easily and continue to enjoy a rich abundant garden year after year.
Growing a beginner garden bed from scratch is not difficult. With these simple steps your can design a vegetable garden layout that suits your family's needs perfectly allowing you to have access to fresh organic produce at a fraction of the cost and with the convenience of in your back yard.
Gardening not only offers an abundance of delicious ingredients, but it can also be very healing to connect with nature and to build a better understanding of where your food comes from.
Building a backyard vegetable garden is the perfect activity for families to undertake as it delivers a world of lessons from developing perseverance to patience and gratitude.
Now is the perfect time to begin planning your own vegetable garden from scratch to cultivate simple delights and bring joy to life.