If you are ready to try your hand at a vegetable garden this season you probably don’t have a clue where to start. Don’t worry, we all felt that way the first time, there are dozens of vegetable and varieties each a little different in what is needed to help them grow. What vegetables should you plant is a common questions most new gardeners ask, so let’s see if we can help you come up with an answer.
What do you like?
Two things you should ask yourself before you start buying seeds are; what vegetables do you like and how much work can you put into your garden. Growing lots of vegetables gives you a great big harvest but it’s also a lot more work. Do you have the time to weed, prune, fertilize and get rid of the pests that will inevitably invade your garden? If you don’t that’s fine, you may just want to plant a smaller garden, you don’t want to watch your tomatoes rotting on the vine.
You also want to consider what vegetables you want to spend the fall and winter eating. Why grow a ton of cabbage if you hate cabbage? Plant the vegetables that you like an that will grow in the environment that you live in.
Planting your vegetables
There are three different groups of vegetables that you can plant. Leafy vegetables that you can plant are things like spinach, kale, swiss chard and all the different types of lettuces. The fruiting vegetable group will consist of things like peas, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Lastly, you have the root vegetables like onions, potatoes and turnips.
Each group needs different nutrients and amounts of sunlight, for instance fruiting vegetables need to right out in the full sunlight while the leafy and root vegetables will manage some shade just fine. All of these vegetables will need well drained soil. Take a look at your backyard and determine where you can plant what according to how much sunlight there is.
Be careful with containers
If space is an issue and you decide to plant in containers make sure that your containers can handle full grown plants. The containers will need to have very good drainage and don’t use black containers, black containers absorb sunlight making the soil too warm and damaging your plants. You can get containers in a whole bunch of shapes and sizes adding some flair to the garden. Once you’re containers are filled with soil they are going to be heavy so place them where you want them before you fill them.
Winter seems endless, but spring is only a couple of weeks away and it won’t be long before you’re back in your garden. Spring is the time for cleaning up and planting seeds, but if you want your garden to look beautiful come mid-summer then you need to prepare now. Here are some spring cleanup tips that need to be done before you plant. Getting ready for spring is your first chance to get your hands in the dirt and start making your garden beautiful again.
Cleaning Up the Garden
First things first, you need to clean out the garden. If you have debris left in there from the winter it is time to clean it up and throw it out. Don’t forget that it isn’t just your garden but your lawn too. If you have leaves and twigs then you can use it for compost. You can dig into the soil in the flower beds to make sure it doesn’t get hard. If you aren’t able to do that yourself you might want to bring in a landscape company to do it for you.
Clean Out the Greenhouse
If you are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse that will also need to be cleaned up too. Clean out the containers of plant matter and get them ready to be used again. The floors will need to be swept out, this helps to make sure you don’t have any unwanted pests taking up residence. You want your greenhouse to be perfect when the time comes to plant.
Start Shopping for Seeds and Bulbs
If wait until the last minute to head to the local garden center to grab your seeds and bulbs you may find them all gone, so start early. You could end up missing out on all the beautiful colors in your garden come summer. Double check the bulbs to make sure that they are in good condition so that when you plant they will take. Don’t wait too long or you could end up missing your opportunity.
Fix Your Gates and Fences
If you like the plants in your garden divided up then you need to make sure that your fencing is in good condition. You should do it for aesthetic reasons as well. If the fencing is made of wood make sure that it has been treated and it is not being eaten by termites. For the main fence around your yard make sure all the latches are working and repaint where you need it.
Check Your Tools
If your gardening tools sat outside or in the shed all winter it is time to get them out and make sure they are ready to be uses. Clean and sharpen where it is needed and replace those that need replacing. Have all the right tools before you start planting.
Get the Compost Ready
Compost and manure are essential to every beautiful garden and you’re going to need lots of it. If you can avoid using chemical fertilizers or pesticides that can do harm to your plants or your family.