Growing your vegetable garden is an exciting prospect and can be done by everyone who intends to grow some or all of their food. It is a refreshing and rewarding vocation that lets you control the variables that go into food production for you and your family. But before you dive in willy-nilly there are certain important steps to take, hence my practical guide to – this blog, on what you should know. The information in this blog is my gardening tips for beginners.
I will attempt to make this project as plain and nontechnical as possible.
Do you have a long or short growing season? For hot weather plants like cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, a long growing season will serve you best. For lettuce and other greens, a long cool season will serve you best. I love tomatoes cucumbers and other hot season plants and I have a relatively long hot growing season in Georgia.
What to Plant
Deciding what to plant depends on your growing season and what does well in your area. Supplies in your local garden center are a good indicator as to what plants survive and thrive in your zone. Tips for beginner gardeners can be obtained from your local garden store associates.
In-Ground, Raised Beds or Container Gardening?
Do you have a large area to plant a traditional garden, then that should be considered if you have the right type of soil for your plant’s needs. Do you do have the land, you might want to consider raised bed gardening. If you are not fortunate enough to have a lot of land (you may reside in an apartment, condominium or limited land space) you might want to consider container gardening.
Seeds or Seedlings?
As a beginner gardener, your best option may be buying seedlings from your local gardening store. These plants are usually ready to go in the ground since they have been exposed to the sun due to a process called “hardening off”. Hardening off is a process were seedlings are gradually exposed to direct sunlight, a few hours a day until they are used to direct sunlight.
I expose my seedlings on day 1 in a shaded area and leave them out for a couple of hours. I gradually expose my seedlings to two hours a day and about three days in I expose them to a little more direct sunlight. After about seven days, they should be strong enough to handle the full sun.
A lot of consideration has to go into growing a successful garden. Not doing so can lead to a disappointing growing season and an unsuccessful harvest. Gardening is fun and rewarding, especially if you grow organically. You are rewarded with fresh produce that is chemical, pesticide, and preservative-free.
As a bonus, your homegrown produce tastes hundreds of times better than what is obtainable from the store. The taste test is the best. Eating a freshly harvested cucumber or tomato and comparing the taste with a commercially produced one will make you look at the store-bought one with disdain!