Home gardening can be an extremely rewarding experience. With a little patience and know how eating healthy from your own vegetable garden can be done with ease. On top of that, it is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors and springtime. Putting hand grown fruits and vegetables into meals and salads can be fun for the whole family.
Where to start
Pick a spot in your yard that enjoys an ample amount of sunshine. Some plants can do well in the shade but most will enjoy a healthy dose of sunshine all day. After picking a spot, determine how big or small you would like your new vegetable garden. If it is your first time you should start smaller and then work your into larger ones as the seasons progress.
Preparing the soil
Start by digging the outline. Turn the soil and work it by hand removing rocks, roots, and other debris. You could add some store bought home gardening soil or even some ash from a firepit to help increase the nutrient content. Also putting up boards or stones around the border is not only attractive but can also help you from accidentally damaging your crop. After selecting your spot and working the land it is time to choose your plants.
Choosing Your Plants
It is best to consult a growing zone map. You can use this link http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ Checking this map can help you to determine what will grow best in your area. Also you can check with friends and family or use your own anecdotal experience as to what crops will grow best in your area. Tomatoes, squashes, and beans tend to be very hardy and can be great plants for beginners im almost every area. Something else to keep in mind, heirloom varieties can be grown the following seasons if seeds are kept from your harvest.
Ready to plant?
So you made your choices and bought your seeds. Now it is time to plant! If you are really industrious you can germinate your seeds before planting outside. At the very least wet a paper towel and place seeds between a fold, after a few days the roots will sprout and they are ready for planting. If selecting this method or just straight up planting the seed it is best to follow the depth and spacing recommendations on the seed packet. You could also get more fancy and use a mini greenhouse with peat pellets. Plant the seeds as per the instructions into the pellets and give them some time to grow in the greenhouse. Once your seedlings have sprouted you can transfer them into pots or right into your outdoor garden.
Caring for your babies
Most of the hard work is done. Now you mostly sit back and wait. Every few days give your plants some water, if it has not rained, and be sure to remove any foreign invaders such as dandelions or grasses. If you desire you could feed them plant food but be sure to follow the instructions carefully. You should notice them getting stronger and healthier everyday.
Each plant is different although you should be able to tell from sight when they are ready to be picked from. Most plants will continue to produce for many months even after removing the first bean, tomato, squash, etc. Keep watering and removing weeds, it also helps to talk to and encourage them.
Onto Next Year
Home gardening can be so much fun! It is a great way to relieve stress and feel independent from grocery store trips. Also it is a great activity to do with children and teach them where food really comes from. Eating healthy can be fun and right outside your back door. So get started on your vegetable garden today!