Your First Vegetable Garden – Top 9 Tips

There is no denying that eating fresh vegetables has many great health benefits. However, it can be inconvenient to run to the market every other day or store fresh vegetables in your refrigerator or pantry. A small garden would be a viable answer to this dilemma. Survey your yard and see if you have the space for a small garden. If so, it is fairly easy to start your first vegetable and soon you will have fresh, delicious vegetables to feed your family.

* Start small. Don’t attempt to make a huge garden with lots of different vegetables – at least not at first. Take it a few small steps at a time. A good beginner garden is 8 feet by 10 feet, no larger. If you decide that this endeavor is something that you can keep up, you can always expand your garden.

* Location is everything. Select a location that will receive a great deal of sun during the day. If you have a northern garden, then you should have full sun.

* Work up the earth. You need to work the soil to prepare it for the seeds and plants that you will put in your garden. You can rent or borrow a rear tine tiller and work the soil up, sod and all. Don’t remove the sod, you will need it to facilitate proper drainage.

* Know your soil. You want sandy loam as opposed to predominantly clay or sand. The way to test your soil to make sure it is good, sandy loam is to take a handful of the dirt and squeeze it. If it crumbles when you release it, then it is sandy loam.

* Test your soil. You may choose to have your soil tested to may sure that it has the proper pH levels. You may also want to have it tested for the three major nutrients which are nitrogen, potassium and potash.

* Add some topsoil. If you have sand or clay soil, you would benefit from adding some topsoil to even things out. Even compost can add the proper texture and consistency if topsoil is too expensive.

* You can also make a raised bed with topsoil. Use landscape timbers to accomplish this. Treated 2 X 12s are also effective for this. Stack about five high. A raised bed will be very easy and convenient because you can each it easier when you are planting and weeding.

* Plant! Once you have the bed of your garden set up, it is time to put some plants and seeds in it. Purchase seeds from stores or order them online or through catalogs. You can also pick up seedlings (baby plants) and plant them as well. Take some time to plan your garden, deciding where you will plant each vegetable.

* Watch your crops. Onions, peas, beets, zucchini squash and rutabaga are all easy to grow, as are tomatoes and peppers. Corn, squash and pumpkin can take up a lot of space so you may want to limit them or eliminate them altogether in your first garden.

Your first vegetable garden can be very rewarding, fun and even therapeutic. On top of that, you will be able to give your family the freshest possible vegetables.