Vegetable gardening is a very rewarding (and tasty) experience, even for a beginner! The idea of starting from scratch and building your first vegetable plot can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ll show you how to start your vegetable garden from the ground up, and soon you’ll be on your way to fresh vegetables grown in your very own garden!
Vegetable Garden 101: How to Start a Vegetable Garden
Choose Your Plot
The first, and perhaps most important, step to start your vegetable garden is choosing where your plot should go. All plants, especially vegetables, have specific needs in order to grow.
- Sunshine—Most vegetables (and herbs!) need at least 6 hours of direct sun per day.
- Soil—Plants need soft soil that their roots can easily grow through, so loamy soil is ideal. Proper drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly.
- Environment—You don’t want to plant in a place that’s prone to flooding during heavy rains, or in a place that tends to dry out often. You also want to avoid planting where any strong winds could knock over your young plants or prevent pollinators from doing their job.
Work Up Your Soil
Once you’ve chosen your spot, you’re ready to work up your soil! It’s important to make sure your soil is ready to go before planting any seeds to ensure they have a healthy environment for growth.
- Till Your In-Ground Plot—Tilling is the act of breaking up the soil in your garden so that it is aerated and ready for new seedlings. Ideally, your soil should be a crumbly consistency so your new plants are able to easily break through and take root.
- Weed Control—If you are tilling an in-ground plot, weed control is very important, but easy to combat. Simply putting cardboard or newspaper under your soil will help prevent existing weeds from growing through.
- Amend Your Soil—Soil amendments like compost or Bumper Crop® provide essential nutrients for your vegetables. Mix this with your top soil, whether in-ground or in a raised bed.
Protecting From Pests
After you’ve tilled and planted your seedlings, you’ll want to ensure your vegetable garden doesn’t become a feasting zone for animals and pests.
- Fencing—The best way to keep animals (pests and pets alike) out of your vegetable garden is to build a fence around it. You can do this using wood and either netting or plastic. Make sure to build one high enough to deter deer from jumping it.
- Repellent—You can also lay repellent outside of your fence line. This will not hurt any animals, but rather helps to keep them away.* Generally, you would not treat your vegetables for insect pests until you start to see signs on your established plants.
- * Generally, you would not treat your vegetables for insect pests until you start to see signs on your established plants.
Always remember, gardening should be fun, not scary! We hope these tips help make gardening at home feel more achievable and exciting. Before you know it, you’ll be harvesting delicious peppers and carrots right from your own backyard.
Now that you’ve built your plot, you’re ready to start planning your garden!
Want to start growing your seeds now? We have a guide for that to!