While farmer’s markets offer a variety of delectable fresh produce, there is nothing quite like eating freshly picked vegetables which have been tended with care by your own hands. You may not consider yourself a gardening extraordinaire, but the good news is that you don’t have to have naturally green thumbs to grow a successful vegetable patch!
Our tips and tricks will guide you through the process from start to finish – selecting the right location and plot size, top tips for good growth, and which vegetables are best for beginners.
Picking the Right Location
Picking the right location is the first step to a successful vegetable garden as a mediocre location will result in mediocre produce. Here’s how to choose a good site.
- Sunshine: most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and the more sunshine they receive, the better the harvest.
- Soil: the roots of plants will penetrate soft soil more easily, so be sure to prepare a good loamy soil. Enrich the soil with compost to provide extra nutrients and proper drainage is necessary to ensure that water doesn’t collect or drain away too quickly.
- Stability: don’t plant in an area which is prone to flooding during heavy rains and be sure that the area is sheltered from strong winds.
Choosing a Plot Size
While your ultimate goal may be to become completely self-sufficient with regards to fresh produce, it’s a good idea to start small and expand slowly – just like you would with online blackjack. Unless you plan on feeding the whole neighbourhood, a good-size beginner’s vegetable patch is approximately 5×3 metres with crops that are easy to grown and maintain.
A plot of this size will yield enough to feed a family of 4 for a summer, with some left over for freezing and preserving. Make your garden 11 rows wide, each with a length of 3 metres, and the rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.
Tips for Good Growth
- Space your crops: for example, corn will need a lot of space and may overshadow shorter vegetables if not spaced properly. Plants that are set too closely together will have to compete for sunlight, water, and nutrition and will likely fail to mature.
- Water: each vegetable will have their own water requirements so be sure to do plenty of research on each.
- Time to plant and harvest: it’s important to plant and harvest at the right time as just like water requirements, each plant will have the ideal time.
Plant Suggestions for Beginners
The vegetables suggested below are easy to grow and a produce a good-size harvest. While these vegetables are fairly common, it may be a good idea to contact your local garden centre to find out which vegetables grow best in the area in which you live and also consider which vegetables you purchase most often.
- Bush Beans
- Chard or spinach