A crop corner – a starter’s guide to growing vegetables

A crop corner - a starter’s guide to growing vegetables
Photo: SvenHilker, Pixabay

Starting a vegetable garden doesn’t need to be daunting. It is simple when you follow the steps. First, for all you need to think about what types of vegetables you and your family eat. It’s best to plant ones that you eat regularly to make sure the time and effort you invest in your vegetable garden is worth it, so that you quite rightly enjoy the ‘fruits of your labour’.

Once you have decided on the fruits or vegetables you want to plant, the next step is to divide this list into seasons. This will tell you what fruit and vegetables to plant and when. Then you’re flying, next you’ll be designing an irrigation system and checking the ph of your soil remotely… Well, maybe not quite yet. But that’s not to say you’re not already a gardener. The biggest mistake people make is underestimating the power of seasonal growing and you are already one step ahead of them.

#1 Positioning your garden beds

garden working
Photo: Summa, Pixabay

If you haven’t already positioned your garden bed already there are some quick tips for best position. If you have a mix of plants which like shade and sun, aim to position your garden bed in a place that meets both these needs.

If however, you are only growing vegetables which grow best in full sun, aim to position your garden bed to give them the best start in life.

#2 Providing ventilation

ventilation garden
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Another good tip is to make sure your garden bed has great ventilation and that any moisture or water is draining correctly. If you are redesigning your whole garden, a handy tool is this garden planner, it can help you to position your garden beds and other additions, such as garden furniture in the best possible position for you.

#3 Plant spacing

plant space
Photo: Markus Spiske, Unsplash

Another common mistake new gardeners make is planting too much too soon. Aim to plant one garden bed at a time, this will allow you to fix any issues in terms of soil depth, ph or draining problems without wasting all your seedlings in one go.

Take it from me, reading the seedling planting guide is important too. I thought the spacing recommendations were over cautious, however I honestly do suggest keeping to the plant spacing.

The reason plant spacing is noteworthy is because it prevents overcrowding. In an overcrowded garden bed it means that plants are competing for soil nutrients and light, and when either of those are scarce your plants will suffer.

Therefore, by sticking to the plant spacing guidelines, you will produce better quality plants and ultimately better tasting crops.

#4 Water regularly

garden watering
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Also, remember to water you plants regularly, as a new gardener you won’t be used to do this yet and will have to create a watering habit. One way to do this is to set daily reminders on your phone or in your calendar to prompt you. Try to water the garden when it is not peak sun, like early in the morning or late at night.

If you’re anything like me, remembering to water is a struggle. Therefore, we’ve invested in an irrigation system. This system works for us as it is timed, automated and easy to change the times and dates during different sessions. The ultimate system to set up is one that works with and for you.

#5 Watch your vegetables grow

vegetables grow
Photo: Pezibear, Pixabay

These few key tips for gardening will help you to get started. Once you’ve completed these things, you’ll want to look at pest and insect control to make sure your vegetables aren’t eaten by sneaky critters.

Make sure anything you use to prevent insects doesn’t have a knock on effect or unexpected consequences to the health of your vegetables and therefore you. Harvesting is also another area which will be important have knowledge in for when your plants and vegetables reach that point. When you’re getting ready for the harvesting session read this handy harvesting guide.