Starting a vegetable garden is an amazing activity with mind-blowing benefits in which you should get involved. It can be fun to start a practice in which growing and cultivating plants as a part of horticulture.
A garden can be a lawn just like you probably have seen in a park. In which, you often see ornamental plants are grown for their beautiful flowers, attracting foliage or their overall appearance.
Whereas there are some more useful plants are root vegetables like beets, leaf vegetables like lettuce, fruits and herbs are grown for their different uses such as eating, making dyes or medicine, etc..
So, today you will learn about starting a vegetable garden just like a smart gardener in your home. No matter it is a small terrace garden or it is a backyard home garden. This is an ultimate guide for starting a garden indoors from scratch for beginners.
So, without going further, let’s get started.
1. Start to Plan a Vegetable Garden:
Making a map of your garden is the starting point. Think about which place you are going to use. Is it a backyard or is it a garden bed or is it a terrace?
Just plan a place that is large enough to plant your favourite veggies, fruits, and herbs. Furthermore, don’t choose a place that is bigger than your need or it will lead to a waste of food and time as well.
Remember, the place should be a sunny location which gets 6 hours of sunlight (Necessary for vegetable garden).
Make a small list of all the plants you want to grow. As a beginner, you should try to grow plants that are beginner-friendly plants that don’t need too much care.
Now, many of you have a question popping in your mind that when to start a vegetable garden. The answer is, there is no special time to begin a garden, but you should know the USDA zone of the veggies you are planning to grow.
2. Prepare the area:
The second step is to clear the ground. If you don’t have space, you can still grow your favourite vegetables. How? Garden Beds and Container Gardening.
Cover the area with the help of polythene. Any kind of polythene will do the work, but black polythene is recommended. What it does is, it kills all the weed seeds and the pest inside the soil. Leave it for 5 days.
Make rows in the garden from one side to another side. Remember, rows should be made 10 inches apart from each other. The space between the rows will be used for watering, later. (If you have ground. If not, use containers and garden beds. Skip these steps while using these.)
3. Test and Improve Your Garden Soil:
What soil do you need to start a successful vegetable garden?
There are some factors to be considered before using the soil.
1. Test the pH level of the soil. You don’t need your soil to be more acidic or more alkaline. Normally, the garden crops prefer the soil around pH 7 (neutral).
Remember, I said normally. Because there some vegetables that prefer slightly acidic soil like potatoes and some prefer slightly alkaline like beets.
2. The soil that contains rocks in it is not good for your plants. Sand, silt, and clay is also a bad idea to use. Yeah, some plants can grow in these soils, but it is not a good idea.
Always use soil that is soft and well-drained. Using 20-30% of sand in the soil is adequate for making the soil softer and well-drained.
3. Consider utilizing the nutrient-rich soil. You can also add compost, organic matter, mulch, grass-clippings, cow dung, worm castings, and slow-release fertilizers to your soil in order to improve it.
4. Time To Select The Vegetables:
First of all, you need to know what vegetables can grow in your area in the on-going season.
Now, make a list of the vegetables you want to grow. Bear in mind, “Greed is a Curse”. If you want to grow more vegetables and you don’t have enough space, never try to compromise on space.
This is the biggest mistake I have ever done in my gardening career.
Choose some of your favourite veggies that must have to be beginner-friendly and go to your nearby gardening store or nursery to buy them. (Also make sure that the seeds are new. Old seeds may not germinate and waste your precious time and money)
Make sure to do well-research on the varieties of the vegetable and consider thinking wisely that what type of vegetables you want to grow?
I mean, is it organic or heirloom or hybrid?
With that, I think it’s enough. Now, I am listing some beginner-friendly vegetables that you can grow.
Best Vegetables to Start a Garden:
- Sponge gourd
- Bottle gourd
- Salad Leaves
- Coriander and Mint
- Zucchini Squash
Note: You must research the varieties and the season in which they grow well.
5. Start Planting:
In the beginning, you must know which plant grows directly from seeds and which can tolerate the transplant shock.
Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers can be grown in seedling trays and transplanted, later, in the garden.
Whereas some vegetables don’t prefer this method like coriander, spinach, etc… You can check which vegetable can tolerate the transplant shock and which can’t by searching on Google and YouTube.
Furthermore, many companies write the process of planting behind the seed packet where you can easily follow the instructions to grow them.
However, I shall write some basics you should know:
If your soil is lightweight, bury your seeds in the ground for about half an inch. Nevertheless, if your soil is heavy, bury the seed about quarter an inch.
Always put two to three seeds together in a place. Why? Because what happens if you plant one seed and wait for the germination of the seed and in the last, you get to know that the seed was damaged.
In other cases, maybe the seed grew and you became happy, but later on, you saw that the plant was unhealthy. That’s why I recommend you to put two to three seeds in one place.
If you’re growing them in seedling trays, you should cover them with polythene. (Don’t do this if it is very hot.) What it does is, it provides the seed more heat which helps it to germinate early and easily.
If you’re growing the plants indoors, be sure to give them the proper sunlight and wind. You can place them beside the window or put them under the LED grow lights.
This is very important. If you don’t do this, the seedling will become leggy and start dying quickly.
Don’t forget to water them. Don’t let the soil dry, but this doesn’t mean that you make the soil wet. NO! Don’t do this. This may rot and break down the seed into the soil.
When they germinate, wait until the plants produce their fourth real leaf. Then, pinch the weak seedling out and let the healthy plants grow.
At this stage wait for one more leaf to appear and when you see the fifth leaf, you can transplant the plants in the soil.
If you want to grow your vegetables early, you can grow them by sowing seeds indoors a few days before the last frost.
6. Plant with Care:
This is the most beautiful and difficult part while gardening. Beautiful because of your love with the plants and difficult because patience is the key to success.
Wait until the risk of frost past for planting the heat-loving plants outdoor like tomatoes, bottle gourds, etc.
Give them a good and wide area. Don’t compromise on space.
If an unexpected frost occurs, give the veggies cover ASAP.
Young plants are weak and can be damaged more easily than older plants. You need to protect them.
Make sure to water them regularly. Don’t make the soil too wet or dry. If you wonder how would you know that your plants need water? So, it is a piece of cake, press your finger one inch in the soil. If it feels moist then it’s OK, but if it feels dry, water the plants.
Don’t water your plants at the night or during the day. The evening and the morning time are adequate for watering the plants. Watering at night may cause fungus, as the water evaporation will be slow down, meanwhile, watering during the day, may cause roots to burn due to heat.
Make a mulch layer for about 1-2 inches. Never mulch more than two inches or it may rot the plant base.
Look for pests and animals like rats or rabbits. If you find any problem, instantly take an action.
Fertilize and prune them after every few weeks.
Don’t keep your plants near air vents because they hate pollution.
Pinch off the weeds growing near plants as well as the dead or infected leaves on the plant.
7. Enjoy The Harvest:
Now, this is the happiest moment where you get the sweet fruit of your patience.
Harvest your vegetables on time when they get fully ripen. When your plants are developing fruits, you can cover them with the help of a net so birds don’t come and destroy your veggies.
Do you find it helpful?
Quote of the Week:
Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.
– Steve Jobs
So, this was the guide step by step starting a vegetable home garden organically for beginners.
Hope you like it.