How to plant a garden –
The basics of planting and growing your own vegetables
CHOOSING A PLOT SIZE: START SMALL!
Remember: It’s better to be proud of a small garden than be frustrated by a big one!
One of the most common errors that many people make is planting too much too soon—way more than anybody could ever eat or want!
Three tips for choosing vegetables:
- Choose vegetable that you and your family like to eat.
- Be prepared to maintain your plants.
- Use high quality seeds or starter plants
Top 10 Easy Vegetables to grow:
- Green Beans
WHERE AND WHEN TO PLANT
If you are simply growing two or three tomato plants, this process is easy. However, if you plan to grow a full garden, you need to consider:
- Where will each plant go?
- When will each vegetable need to be planted?
Here are a few guidelines for arranging your vegetables:
Not all vegetables are planted at the same time. “Cool Season” vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and peas grow in cooler weather of early spring. “Warm Season” such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers aren’t planted until the soil warms up in late spring. Warm season plants can be started inside to give them a head start when the weather is warm enough.
Plant tall veggies (such as pole beans on a trellis or corn) on the north side of the garden so they don’t shade shorter plants. If you do get shade in a part of your garden, save the area for small cool-season veggies which appreciate shade as the weather heats up.
Most veggies are annuals (planted each year). If you’re planning on growing perennial crops such as asparagus, strawberries or rhubarb and some herbs make sure to provide a permanent location for these.
Consider that some crops mature quickly and have a very short harvest period (radishes, bush beans). Other plants, such as tomatoes, take longer to produce, but also produce for longer. These “days to maturity” are typically listed on the seed packet.
Stagger plantings. You don’t want to plant all your lettuce seeds at the same time, or all that lettuce will need to be harvested at around the same time! Staggering plantings by a couple weeks to keep em coming!
Pick the Right Location
Picking a good location for your garden is absolutely key. A subpar location can result in subpar veggies! Here are a few tips for choosing a site:
- Sunny Spot: Most vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. There are a few (mostly leavy ones) that will tolerate some shade.
- Drains well and doesn’t stay wet: If you have poorly drained soil where water pools plant veggies in a raised bed or raised row to improve drainage. Wet soil means wet roots, which can turn into rotted roots. If you have rocky soil till and remove rocks, as they will interfere with root growth and make for weaker plants.
- Stable and not windy: Avoid places that receive strong winds that could knock over young plants or keep pollinators from doing their job. Nor do you want to plant in a location that receives too much foot traffic or floods easily. Plant in a location that would make Goldilocks smile – somewhere that’s “Just Right”
- Nutrient-rich soil: Your soil feeds your plants. If you have thin, nutrient poor soil you will have poor, unhealthy plants. Mix plenty of organic matter to help plants grow.
Adding lime to your garden soil will raise the Ph level to improve plant and crop quality. Liming tomato plants is a MUST for a great crop. Another great product is Huplaso Organic Rock Dust.
Many people want to garden, but often do not have room in their yard or live in a condo or apartment. These issues can often be overcome by using containers to put on decks or patio and grow some amazing vegetables.
The easy ones to grow are:
- pole beans
Strawberries and tiny tomatoes grow exceptionally well in hanging baskets or patio pots.
PLANNING YOUR GARDEN
A well-planned garden will provide a great deal of delicious healthy vegetables for you and the whole family.
A few words about seeds:
As previously mentioned, choose good brand names to ensure best results.
Don’t over-seed things like lettuce, carrots, radishes, etc. these seeds are very small and require the gardener to take the time to put the seed in the soil. Many seed suppliers offer a “SEED-TAPE” for a wide variety of vegetables. Seeds are adhered to the strips of biodegradable tape, these are very easy to use and provides a well-spaced crop.
Delivery in the Saint John area
*cost depending on location.