Growing your own vegetables is immensely satisfying. It is also a great way to save money on your grocery bill. And it helps you to cut down on plastic waste and your carbon footprint. But, learning how to cultivate and harvest vegetables can be a little tricky.
The first thing you need to do is to learn when different vegetables are in season. When you plant the seeds for these vegetables will depend on this. Different vegetables are harvested at different times throughout the year.
This means that you can start planting your vegetable garden at any time of the year. But the best times are in spring or fall.
What’s the easiest vegetable to grow?
If you are a complete beginner, it’s best to start with one or two easy vegetables. The easiest vegetables to grow are:
- Salad leaves
- Spring onions
There are more that you can try. But these are great for beginners. They are all basic staples as well. So it’s not like you will be starting off with anything too different. You will very likely want to have these in your vegetable patch anyway.
How do you start a vegetable garden for beginners?
The best way is to start small. Don’t try to transform your entire backyard into a micro-farm. Try turning a small corner into a potato patch. Or invest in a raised vegetable bed. These are essentially wooden boxes on legs.
They can be filled up with soil and then vegetables can be planted. This is also great if you would struggle kneeling or bending down to work a patch in the ground. They are also great if you are renting and don’t want to (or aren’t allowed to) alter the backyard much.
What is the best way to prepare soil for a vegetable garden?
If you are directly digging into the ground in your backyard, then you need to consider the soil quality. Not all soil is the same. And different vegetables will thrive best in different soil. This is especially true if you live somewhere with very hard, dry soil. Even if you live in a country with a wet climate, the soil can still be hard and difficult to till.
One way to prepare for a vegetable garden is to test the pH level of the soil. You can easily find kits for this online. The test will tell you how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Which can give you a good idea of which vegetables will thrive best there.
If you are working on a raised vegetable garden or want to change the soil of your backyard, then you can buy bags of soil. This will also be easier as it won’t need to be worked as much. Adding in compost and organic matter is also a great idea. Vegetables thrive off compost. So it’s also a good idea to get your own compost bin. This will allow you to reuse kitchen scraps. Further reducing your household waste and carbon footprint.
What is the best soil mix for vegetable gardens?
Before you add the soil, it’s important to ensure you have the right mix. You can usually buy a bag of compost and soil straight from the store. But it’s a good idea to know exactly what kind of soil your vegetables need.
Generally speaking, it’s best to use around 60% topsoil, 30% compost, and 10% potting soil. This will give your vegetable garden a good combination of nutrients that will help your vegetables to grow.
What is the fastest way to add nutrients to soil?
Adding nutrients to soil is super easy. You don’t have to buy any expensive bags of soil from a specialist store. You very likely have the items around your home that you can use. Here are some easy items that can be used to add extra nutrients to your vegetable garden soil.
- Banana peels
- Epsom salt
- Raw egg
Some of these might seem a little strange. But they are all matters that will naturally rot and break down into the soil. The soil will absorb the nutrients. And then in turn the vegetables will absorb them and grow. This is the most natural way of adding nutrients to your vegetable garden.
How do you rejuvenate garden soil?
One way to do this is to add in some compost. Or any of the items listed above. Garden soil doesn’t need a lot to get it going. It is itself a composition of broken down organic matter.
If you are planning a relatively large vegetable garden, it’s a good idea to allow certain patches to rest. This is a very old technique used in farming. Most farmers would leave one field empty one year. Then rotate their crops. And allow another field to lie empty the next year.
This allows the soil to rest and not become overworked. When gardening, we put a huge amount of faith in the seeds, water, and sunshine. But the soil itself is incredibly important.
When you first start gardening, it’s easy to assume that all soil is essentially the same. But this isn’t the case. So it’s important to care for it and keep it well nourished. Just as you will the vegetables themselves.
Why is my soil so hard and dry?
This is usually because the soil is compacted. Of course, it can be because you live in a hot climate. But even in areas of regularly high temperatures, agricultural farming is still possible. So it’s likely something else.
Compacted soil is difficult to dig. But it is also difficult for worms and other helpful creatures to burrow their way into. So the soil will likely be lacking in nutrients as well. Adding compost will help loosen the soil. And so will tilling. If the soil has been waterlogged or walked on, try to avoid adding any more water. This will only make it worse.