Four Tips to Start your First Vegetable Garden

By on August 2, 2018

Vegetable gardens can make your home feel wholesome and productive, but if you’ve never started one before, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert on topsoil uses and soil alkalinity to have a beautiful and low-maintenance garden. Here are four steps to get started with your first garden.

Start with Easy-to-Grow Vegetables

If you’re new to gardening and want something that looks nice and requires little maintenance as you learn the ropes, start with simple fruits and vegetables like carrots, zucchini, lettuce, and tomatoes. These plants are especially hardy and forgiving if, say, you come home late and forget to do the watering. They’re also healthy and delicious, so your family will be encouraged to have salads and vegetable medleys all summer long.

Go Local

Unless you have a greenhouse, you should look into growing produce that will thrive in your local climate. Eggplants, squash, peppers, and onions do well in arid climates, while hot, humid climates are great for tropical plants such as okra, watermelon, asparagus, chard, etc. If it features into your local cuisine, that’s often because it grows locally. You can also talk to your local nursery or landscape company to ask for recommendations.

Keep Weeds at Bay

Gardens require maintenance and occasional weed pulling, but you can prevent invasive plants from spoiling your garden by putting down pea gravel or crushed concrete. This also allows you to create attractive garden paths and landscaping designs that require minimal effort to maintain.

Choose the Right Topsoil

Topsoil is the earth’s “shallow skin”of nutrient-rich matter that allows plants to grow. Topsoil is evaluated based on its fertility and texture, and most plants require landscape mulch with a pH of about 6.5, meaning that it’s very neutral, leaning slightly toward having some acidity or alkalinity. Some people are able to put their vegetable plants straight into the ground, but many will need bagged mulch or potting soil to keep their plants healthy and happy. You’ll want to talk to an expert about topsoil uses and the quality of the soil in your own yard.

Ultimately, you don’t need to be a horticultural expert to enjoy having and maintaining a garden. Taking some time over the weekend to garden with your spouse or kids is a great bonding activity, and depending on your climate, a vegetable garden can be enjoyed all year long.

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