Vegetable Gardening Tips: Information for a Successful Garden
We cover how to build a vegetable garden from beginning, which veggies to produce, and when to plant what in this complete guide. We’ve also included a “starter” garden layout with easy-to-grow crops, companion planting methods, and some beautiful flowers!
Vegetable Gardening for Beginners
Why garden, you may ask? What about some of the greatest veggies and fruits you’ve ever had? If you’ve never had garden-fresh cuisine before, you’ll be blown away by its sweet, juicy tastes and colorful textures. There’s nothing like fresh vegetables, particularly if you cultivate them yourself—which you can!
Gardening may seem intimidating at first, but it is a really rewarding activity. On this page, we’ll go over the fundamentals of vegetable gardening and planning, such as how to choose the best location for your garden, how to design the ideal garden size, and how to choose which veggies to plant.
Pick the Right Location
It is essential to choose a decent site for your garden. A bad site might lead to bad vegetables! Here are some pointers for selecting an excellent website:
- Sunny spot: The majority of veggies need 6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine every day. A few vegetables (mainly the green ones) can endure some shade.
- Drains well and doesn’t stay wet: Plant vegetables on a raised bed or elevated row if your soil is poorly drained and water pools. moist soil implies moist roots, which may decay over time. If your soil is rocky, till it and remove the pebbles, since they will interfere with root development and make your plants weaker.
- Stable and not windy: Avoid areas where high gusts may knock over your young plants or prevent pollinators from completing their work. You also don’t want to plant in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic or floods readily. Plant at a spot that would make Goldilocks happy—somewhere “just right.”
- Nutrient-rich soil. Your plants are fed by the earth. Poor, sickly plants result from thin, nutrient-deficient soil. To help your plants grow, provide lots of organic stuff. Learn how to prepare your soil for vegetable gardening.
Choosing a Plot Size: Start Small!
Remember: It is preferable to be proud of a tiny garden than to be disappointed by a large one!
One of the most typical rookie mistakes is planting much too much too soon—far more than anybody could possibly consume or desire!If you don’t want zucchinis taking up home in your attic, design your garden carefully. Begin small and just grow what you and your family will consume.
Size of Garden
- A 10′ by 10′ garden (100 square feet) is a manageable size for growing in the ground. Choose 3 to 5 of your favorite veggies and purchase 3 to 5 plants of each.
- A 4′ x 4′ or 4′ x 8′ raised bed is a nice size for a novice.See our Raised Garden Bed Guide for more information on the advantages of raised beds, how to construct a raised bed, and what sort of soil to use in a raised bed.
- If you want to go larger, a 12′ x 24′ garden in the ground is generally the best size for a beginner. A garden for a family of four might include 3 hills of yellow squash, 1 mound of zucchini, 10 assorted peppers, 6 tomato plants, 12 okra plants, a 12-foot row of bush beans, 2 cucumbers on a cage, 2 eggplant, 6 basil, 1 rosemary, and a few low-growing herbs like oregano, thyme, and marjoram.
- Whatever the size of your garden, make sure you have walkways every four feet or so that enable you to reach your plants to weed and harvest. Just make sure you can easily reach the middle of the row or bed without treading on the dirt.
Begin as a novice by selecting simple veggies that are also fruitful.Ten simple vegetables are mentioned below. However, it is also a good idea to contact your state’s Cooperative Extension Service to learn about which plants thrive in your location. Vegetables that prefer lower temperatures, for example, may suffer if you reside in a location with exceptionally hot weather.
Top 10 Easy Vegetables to Grow at Home
( Tip: To see a thorough Growing Guide for a certain vegetable, click on its name.)
- Green beans
- Tomatoes (bush variety or cherry are easiest)
- Chard, Spinach, or Kale
Mix in flowers like marigolds to deter pests, encourage pollinators, and add some color!
Five tips for choosing vegetables:
- Choose what you (and your family) like to eat. Don’t bother growing brussels sprouts if no one loves them! However, if your children like green beans, invest extra effort into cultivating a large crop of beans.
- Be honest about how much veggies your family will consume. Be cautious not to overplant, since attempting to care for a large number of plants will only exhaust you!(Of course, you could always donate any leftover vegetables to friends, relatives, or a local soup kitchen.)
- Consider the availability of vegetables at your local supermarket. Perhaps you’d want to cultivate tomatillos instead of the more common cabbage or carrots. Also, some vegetables are so much better when produced at home that it’s almost a crime not to consider them (think garden lettuce and tomatoes). In addition, growing herbs are far less costly than grocery shop herbs.
- Prepare to care for your plants for the duration of the growth season. Are you going on a summer vacation? Remember that tomatoes and zucchini grow the fastest in the summer. If you are away for a portion of the summer, someone must care after the crops or they will suffer. Alternatively, you might produce cool-season crops like lettuce, kale, peas, and root vegetables during the chilly months of late spring and early autumn.
- Use high-quality seeds. Although seed packs are less costly than individual plants, if the seeds do not germinate, your money and work are squandered. A few additional pennies invested in the spring on seeds for the next year will pay off in larger yields at harvest.
Where and When to Plant
This procedure is simple if you are just raising two or three tomato plants. However, if you want to cultivate a whole garden, you must consider the following:
- Where will each plant go?
- When will each vegetable need to be planted?
Here are some tips for arranging your vegetables:
- Vegetables are not all planted at the same time. “Cool-season” crops like lettuce, broccoli, and peas thrive in the lower temperatures of early spring. (and fall). Tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are not planted until the earth warms up in late spring and summer.
- Tall vegetables (such as pole beans on a trellis or sweet corn) should be planted on the north side of the garden to avoid shading lower plants.If you do receive any shade in your garden, save it for little, cool-season vegetables.If shade is inevitable in certain portions of your garden, save those spaces for cool-season vegetables that benefit from shadow as the weather warms.
- The majority of vegetables are annuals. (planted each year). Provide permanent places or beds if you want to plant “perennial” crops such as asparagus, rhubarb, and other herbs.
- Consider how rapidly certain crops develop and how short the harvest season is. (radishes, bush beans). Other plants, such as tomatoes, take longer to produce but produce for a longer period of time. Typically, the “days to maturity” are indicated on the seed packaging.
- Plantings should be spaced apart. You don’t want to plant all of your lettuce seeds at once, because else all of that lettuce will need to be picked at the same time! Plantings should be spaced out by a few weeks to keep them coming!
When to Plant What
Every location has a varied planting season that is mostly determined by the weather, and each vegetable has its own temperature preferences.Check out the Almanac’s Best Planting Dates, a gardening calendar tailored to your area’s frost dates. Simply input your zip code (or postal code if you live in Canada)!
See our individual Grow Guides for over 100 popular vegetables, herbs, and fruits for detailed planting instructions.We give extensive advice on how to plant, cultivate, and harvest each crop, including watering, fertilizing, and insect management!
A Starter Beginner Garden Plan
We believed that seeing a landscape plan could be beneficial for novices. Here’s an example of a beginner family garden made up of of the above-mentioned popular easy-to-grow veggies.It also includes companion planting (the technique of growing plants that complement one other).
You’ll see that we’ve included some herbs and flowers as well as decent-sized walks in the garden. We would have been overjoyed if we had grown this garden in our first year! We have made it much simpler for you to succeed by designing the garden in this manner.
Click here to view the complete plant list, number of plants, spacing, and row spacing.
Garden Planning Tool
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is an amazing online garden planning tool that makes garden planning enjoyable and simple. Draw your garden layout on the computer, drop in your favorite veggies, and it will automatically calculate the right spacing for each kind of crop!You won’t squander seed or overcrowd your plants this way. The Garden Planner automatically calculates frost dates for your unique region, selects simple veggies, and even suggests partner plantings. You may then print your plan, and the program will remind you of the sowing and harvesting dates for each vegetable!
You’ll also find plenty of free garden designs to get you started!Over time, you’ll notice that this program also offers “crop rotation,” which allows you to correctly arrange your plants to minimize pests and disease if you intend on growing for a second season.
With new gardeners in mind, we offer a FREE week to try the Garden Planner—ample time to plan your first garden. Check it out here: http://gardenplanner.almanac.com/
Photo courtesy of Almanac Garden Planner. The most popular garden planning tool on the planet. Try it for 7 days for free.
Do you have any gardening-related queries or advice? Take a look at some of the comments below. Many of your questions may have already been answered by our Almanac community, or you are free to contribute your own. Happy gardening!
What is vegetable garden summary?
Selecting a place, designing the garden, preparing the soil, selecting seeds and plants, planting a crop, and tending the plants until they are ready for harvest are all part of vegetable gardening. The ultimate result is fresh vegetables that may be eaten, shared, or sold.
What is a good layout for a vegetable garden?
Design in Rows
When planting in rows, plant in a north-south orientation. We also advocate growing the tallest plants in the north end of the row, followed by medium height vegetables, and finally the smallest ones at the south end.
What are some fun facts about gardening?
10 Surprising Facts About Your Garden You Didn’t Know
- A sunflower is not just one flower. …
- One teaspoon of soil contains more bacteria than there are humans on the planet.
- Plants really do respond to sound. …
- Butterflies may be more drawn to your weeds than to your flowers.
What is the purpose of a vegetable garden?
It provides many of the same advantages as other types of gardening, such as exercise, fresh air, landscape attractiveness, and pleasure. Furthermore, it provides a diversified and healthy diet at a reduced cost by lowering food expenditures more than the expenses connected with vegetable cultivation.