How to Start a Vegetable Garden in Your Backyard

Nowadays, it’s ideal if you can plant your own vegetables to make sure that they’re pesticide free, but a lot of people feel intimidated by the idea of vegetable garden planting, especially in the city.

Vegetable gardens are typically easier to maintain than flower gardens because vegetables are more resilient, especially in different types of weather. Flowers are typically more sensitive to changes in the weather and don’t adapt as easily. Vegetable garden planting usually demands a lot of space, however container vegetable gardens enables you to create a small home vegetable garden on your deck or patio. You can even grow indoor vegetables. It really all depends upon how much room you have available, what type of vegetables you’ll choose to plant and what you expect out of your overall vegetable gardening experience.

Planting Styles:

The more traditional vegetable garden layout is laying your plants out in straight, organized lines. Some people prefer to plant alternating rows of different types of vegetables so that when one type of vegetable is about to be harvested, the rows in between will have vegetables that are not yet in season. A drawback to this method is that the soil structure quickly becomes compromised because gardeners have to walk between rows for harvesting.

Rather than the traditional row style, a popular way of planting vegetables is building a raised vegetable garden bed. The beds have to be small enough in size so that you can reach into them and pull out the weeds or pests that might inhabit your plants. Beds can also be raised even higher off the ground so that the heat is contained longer during colder weather. It also makes for a great drainage system around the beds.

Another planting style that is popular is potager which combines vegetables with flowers and herbs and are planted in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. However, this method requires some knowledge of a vegetable companion planting chart.

For people who have constrained living spaces (especially those who live in the city), vegetables and herbs can grow in smaller plant boxes and containers. Vegetables will need a lot of sunlight and open space. If you want to reap a lot of vegetables, you should invest in bigger real estate.

Preparing the soil is a very important aspect of vegetable garden planting. It doesn’t matter whether you plan raised vegetable garden beds in a small plot of land or you choose container vegetable gardens on your patio or deck. Soil preparation is an essential key. Soil can be categorized as sandy or clay-like, with silt being a fine mixture of both sand and clay. Clay particles in sand help retain water longer as well as make the soil absorb water faster. Sandy particles in soil makes the water flow through it easily and lets the air in so that the roots can breathe.

The best way to prepare the soil for your vegetable garden planting is to try to make the soil a good balance between clay, silt, and sand. Ideally, it should be 40% silt, 40% sand, and 20% clay. To test it, you can scoop up the soil using your hand and form it into a ball. The soil should be sticky enough that it retains it’s shape but yet you don’t want it to easily crumble when you poke it with your finger.

Vegetable garden planting requires a lot of patience. You have to find what works for you, and experiment on getting the right type of soil for the right type of vegetables. All the hard work will be worth it, though, once you experience eating something that grew from a garden that you planted yourself.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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