How to Start a Home Vegetable Garden
A home vegetable garden is an essential part of a healthy and sustainable home. The pleasure and benefits of a home vegetable garden are endless. Before the 20th century, most people kept a home vegetable garden. In the past 30 years that trend saw a sharp decline until in recent months. We have seen since March an explosion of people interested in home vegetable gardening. The global health pandemic and food security concerns have pushed people into creating a home vegetable garden.
We are so excited about this trend and hope it leads to happier and healthier people and communities. With this burst of interest in home vegetable gardening, we also see a rise in questions. Here are the top three questions we get asked the most often about home vegetable gardening.
1.) “What should I plant?”
Although deciding what to plant varies widely depending on where you live, vegetable plants can be divided into two groups. Cool Season Crops and Warm Season Crops. Cool Season crops are crops that enjoy shorter day lengths, and as the name infers, cooler temperatures. Take that into consideration when planting the following cool-season crops:
- Lettuces and leafy greens
- Brassica (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli)
- Root Crops (beets, carrots, radishes)
Although this is not comprehensive, it is an excellent start to understanding which plants like cooler temperatures and shorter days.
Conversely, warm-season crops like warmer temperatures and longer days. Those are the following.
2.) “What do I plant into?”
When planting your seeds, plant into finely shifted potting mix or garden soil. Seeds cannot burst through rocks, sticks, or heavy soils. If you are seed starting, plant into a quality seed starting mix.
3.) “How often do I water?”
Watering schedules depend on hundreds of factors, and there is no one formula for every gardener. Weather, sun exposure, and soil types will dictate how often you have to water. Although we cannot give an exact amount of time or frequency to water, we can tell you the most important times to water and mistakes to avoid
- Water early in the morning in the garden. Water thoroughly and deeply.
- If planting in a raised bed, saturate the WHOLE bed before planting.
- If transplanting into the ground, pre-water the planting hole and water the plant in. Do not transplant in the hot afternoon sun.
- Do not overhead water. In other words, don’t water the leaves or other parts of the plant from above. Water at the soil level to prevent foliar diseases.