Perfect vegetable gardening strategies for beginners!
When first starting out its so tempting to buy far too many seeds of all different sorts, from zucchinis, to pumpkin, silverbeet, to cabbage. All without a lot of thought about how much room each vegetable might take, or even who they like to bed up with. Starting a garden is a wonderful creative thing to do, and I remember when I first started how daunting it all seemed.
You will succeed with some vegetables and some you wont, its all part of the life of being a gardener and learning what works and what doesn’t. Whatever you do, dont give up, there is nothing like having fresh produce on your plate from your own garden. Even the kids will enjoy if they know they have had a hand it in.
Here are 7 simple strategies to get started!:
1. Make a list of the vegetables you love to eat.
Don’t plant things you don’t. Simple as that. This way, all the work you put in will pay off big when you get to enjoy luscious veggies you love, rather than having bushels of produce you can’t give away.
2. Make an honest look at your weekly schedule.
How much time do really you have to spend in your garden every week? Not how much you wish you had, or plan to have. If you’re honest with yourself in this step, your food growing experience will be so much more enjoyable.
3. Be conservative.
This combines points 1 and 2: only grow veggies you love to eat AND only grow as many of them as you can look after. An effective way of doing this is to pick one type of food you want to be self-sufficient in this year, then grow that and grow it well. We tried this our first year and decided that we were going to be self-sufficient in lettuce. And, lo and behold, that’s what happened! We didn’t buy any salad greens from March through October. And it felt good! Ensure your own success by not taking on too much and you’ll feel great too.
4. Plant your garden close to the house.
Depending on your property, this might not be possible, but the general consensus seems to be that the closer the garden is to your house, the more convenient it is to care for.
5. Order seeds suitable to your region.
Some gardeners order from big national seed houses, but I like to support smaller, ‘local-as-possible’ organic and heirloom seed suppliers. You can find many of these online with a simple search of ‘organic vegetable seeds + your province/state or region’. Even better, ask gardeners around town for seed suppliers who may not have a big internet presence but whose seeds are robust and well-suited to the local growing conditions. It will only add to your chances of success.
6. Pay attention to growing conditions.
Seed packages are pretty detailed, and most seed suppliers have extensive websites with basic growing info on each seed variety offered. If you stick with what works, you’ll be successful.
7. Keep track.
This one is hard for me, as I have a hard time sitting down and recording facts (I just want to ‘do’, I don’t really want to ‘plan’). But the more I read about growing food, the more I’m realizing that having some way to record what worked and what didn’t from year to year would be very helpful indeed.