Growing your own vegetables at home is a great way to save money, improve your diet, and get more exercise. But knowing how to grow your own produce can be a challenge, especially for beginner gardeners.
For starters, choose the best veggies for your climate, space and taste preferences. Next, figure out the right soil type and add plenty of organic matter like compost or worm humus.
Choosing the Right Vegetables
There are so many different kinds of vegetables available that it can be overwhelming and difficult to decide what to grow. This is especially true if you’re new to gardening.
Start by determining your goals for growing. Are you looking to save money, eat organic food or feed your family? Then choose vegetables that best fit your needs.
Choosing the Right Location
Choosing the right location for your garden is essential for growing vegetables and flowers. There are several key factors that make a difference in how well your plants thrive, and you need to keep them in mind when selecting the right spot for your new garden.
The most important factor is sun exposure. Most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight a day to flourish.
Ideally, your vegetable garden should face south or west. These are the directions that get the most light throughout the day.
Choosing the Right Soil
The type of soil you use for your garden is one of the most important things you can do to help your vegetables grow. You’ll want a soil that holds moisture but drains well.
It needs to be nutrient-dense and contain plenty of organic matter. This helps air and water move through the soil and retains nutrients for your plants.
The basic nutrients that plants need are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, also called N-P-K. Adding these three nutrients to your garden with fertilizer or organic amendments will make them easier for your vegetables to absorb and grow.
Choosing the Right Watering Schedule
Choosing the right watering schedule is key to growing vegetables that produce well and taste great. It’s also important to keep in mind that watering schedules vary by region, soil type and climate.
In general, vegetable plants need a consistent supply of moisture throughout the growing season. You can tell when your garden needs water by feeling the soil and looking at the plants.
For newly planted and young seedlings, it’s best to water lightly every morning and recheck the soil in the evening. Don’t let the soil dry out, which can make it difficult for seeds to germinate and lead to plant diseases like damping off.
Keeping a Journal
A gardening journal is a great way to track your garden’s progress and record tips for next season. It’s also a great place to reflect on your successes and mistakes so you can learn from them in the future.
Keep detailed notes on new plants you’ve never grown before, including any plant information from the seed packet or plant tag. This information can help you determine which varieties are best suited to your growing conditions and climate.
You can use a simple notebook, a blank calendar, or even a computer to create your garden journal. What’s important is that you choose a format that works for you and commit to using it on a regular basis.
Keeping an Eye on the Sun
Keeping an eye on the prize is an important part of a successful home grown crop. Choosing the right vegetables for your specific needs will go a long way towards ensuring a bountiful harvest. There is a lot to consider when selecting the perfect plant for your family, such as cultivating the crop in the appropriate temperature range and avoiding pests and diseases like the plague. One of the best ways to accomplish these goals is to consult with a trusted source for guidance and information. For example, the MU Extension Service has several programs available to help you on your gardening journey.