Planning a Vegetable Garden

There are so many reasons to grow your own vegetables. Fresh organic produce always tastes better – and it is better for the environment to grow as much of your own food as you can. So, if you haven’t already, why not start a vegetable garden this year? If you already grow vegetables, why not expand your garden, so that you will be even less dependent on a grocery store for produce? Anyone can grow vegetables – if you do not have enough land outside for a garden, you can start an indoor garden, or grow your vegetables on a balcony, deck or patio. There are so many options!

Right now it is the beginning of spring here, but the weather is not quite warm enough for planting – so it is the perfect time to start planning.

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Last year’s garden – lettuce

Types of Vegetables

What vegetables will you grow? If you are just beginning, try some vegetables that will be easy to grow. I like to grow different greens, such as kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, and cabbage. These are so easy to grow and are so healthy. Peppers, carrots, radishes, peas and zucchini are all easy to grow as well.

If you have the space, consider trying other vegetables as well, such as corn, different types of squash, broccoli, cucumbers, potatoes, and onions.

Where to Buy Seeds

You can either buy seeds or seedlings. For certain vegetables it may be better to buy seedlings at a nursery. But there are also many vegetables that can be easily grown directly from seeds. Don’t buy just any seeds: select high quality seeds. If you are planning on growing different vegetables, save money by buying a variety pack of seeds. In this variety pack of heirloom seeds you will find 32 varieties of vegetable seeds – for a lower price than if you bought each type of seed separately.

Starting Seeds Inside

You do not have to start seeds indoors, but if the weather is still too cold outside this might be a good option. If you live in a location where the growing season is shorter, it might be necessary to do this. You can start certain vegetables in pots quite easily. A small greenhouse can also be used for starting seeds inside.

Container Gardening

If you do not have a lot of space outside, then this option will allow you to grow vegetables anywhere – even on a small balcony or deck. This planter stand is perfect for any small space.

How to Maximize Space

Raised beds are one option for growing vegetables. They can be especially helpful if you do not have a large amount of space to plant. You will be able to fit more plants into your garden with raised beds than with other planting methods. You can buy raised beds or build your own.

By making use of trellises you can maximize space in your garden. Even in a small space you can grow a lot more than you might think, since vegetables such as tomatoes and beans grow vertically.

The Layout

If this is the first year you are planting a vegetable garden, then choose a good location where the vegetables will get plenty of sunlight. Plan out your garden, taking into account how much space the different plants will need – see the seed packets for information about the different vegetables. Do not use the same layout year after year – if you continually plant the same type of vegetable in the same location, the soil will lose important nutrients. You should rotate the location of your vegetables – so be sure to take a picture of your garden, or draw out a plan so that you will know where everything was planted.

A Journal

To make planning easier you can start a garden journal. This can help you decide on a layout that will be best for your garden – you can sketch out different plans. Then, as you begin planting and your garden grows, you can continue to keep a record.

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Do you have a vegetable garden, or are you thinking of starting one? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear about your garden. Or, if you have any questions about starting a vegetable garden, comment below and I will see if I can help. Don’t forget to share photos of your garden – indoor or outdoor – on Instagram with the hashtag #aloeandaster

 

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