Ever since we bought this house, we’ve been talking about starting a vegetable garden. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to pretty garden inspiration and I’ve been dreaming up what the garden will look like. The timing hasn’t been right in the past but this year is the year! We’re finally taking steps toward having our own vegetable garden. We are by no means experts, but after plotting and planning our garden I’m sharing my 5 tips for starting a vegetable garden.
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5 Tips for Starting a Vegetable Garden
1. Make a Plan
It’s never to early to start planning. There’s a lot that goes into a garden long before harvest rolls around. First, determine what growing zone you’re in and decide what you want to plant for the upcoming season.
2. Plant Seedlings
Start seedlings indoors so that they’re ready to plant in the garden in the recommended timeframe, designated on the seed packet. Once the seedlings sprout, move them near a window. As the seedlings continue to grow, move them outside and gradually introduce them to increased sunlight until they’re ready to plant in the garden.
In late January we planted a bunch of seedlings. Watching them sprout in just a handful of days was so fun. We planted a variety of produce including tomatoes, radishes, lettuce, kale, arugula, beets, bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, carrots, corn, watermelon, and moringa trees. There are a couple of things we’d like to add, too. We started them in a seedling starter tray but moved them to these 3″ and 5″ peat pots, which can be placed directly into the soil.
3. Start Composting
Compost provides a ton of nutritional benefits to your soil. It improves drainage and plant quality and I also love the fact that it cuts back on household waste. We purchased a compost tumbler and started composting a few months ago. I also plan to purchase a kitchen compost bin (I love this one and this one) to make it easier to collect kitchen waste without having to run out to our large compost bin every day.
4. Plot Your Garden
When choosing a location for your garden, pick an area that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. It’s good to have an idea of how many garden beds you want so you can plan around that. Our garden plot is in the back SW corner of our property and measures 32′ wide x 40′ deep, which is large enough to accommodate 6-8 10’x3.5′ raised beds, a small garden shed, a pergola and some trees. We do not plan to use all of the beds the first year but wanted to be able to grow into it. Our garden plot doesn’t look like much yet, but I’m excited to see it come together.
We are fencing in our garden to keep the deer and chickens out. The fence posts were repurposed from an old fence we tore down on the property so although they’re black right now, I’m going to paint them white. We will then attach no-climb mesh fence and horizontal boards (also painted white) to finish off the garden fence.
5. Prep Garden Beds
Once you have your plot planned out and your seedlings started, it’s time to get your beds ready for planing. Line the raised beds with cardboard and fill them with high-quality soil. Plant your seedlings and top with organic compost.
We are using raised metal garden beds for our garden. You can see one of them in the shot above. They’re made of galvanized metal and will not rust. We chose metal for longevity and to tie in with the galvanized metal roof on our house.
I hope you found these 5 tips for starting a vegetable garden useful! As I said, we’re not experts. I’m sure there will be a lot of trial and error along the way and that’s all part of the fun.
Our Garden To Do List:
We still have a lot to do before we’re ready to plant our seedlings!
- Paint fence posts
- Finish installing fence
- Level ground with fill dirt
- Get & assemble remaining garden beds
- Plant seedlings
- Fill garden with gravel
- Decorate garden with pergola, maybe a bistro set, etc.
Stay tuned, I’ll share more details about planting and tips for planting as we near that step.
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