Starting a vegetable garden is one of the top new things people are trying this year given the circumstances in the world. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could create a completely (or almost) sustainable home? One of my favourite things is going out to the garden in the summer and picking a salad. Some of my favourite things to plant are arugula, spinach, pees, blueberries, strawberries and radishes. It’s the perfect salad!
Here are my top 5 tips to start your own vegetable garden:
1. Mix compost into your soil. We usually do ½ compost and ½ rich vegetable and herb garden soil in our garden beds. You can grow some vegetables and herbs in pots or in a raised bed. In Victoria, you can get compost and soil delivered to your home from Gravel Mart. Call now as it may take 2-3 weeks. Make sure to mix the soil well before planting.
2. Picking out seeds to plant: It can be so fun to go to the garden centre and go wild with all the vegetables and fruit you want to plant however there’s some key things to look at when picking out your seeds:
- First thing we look at is what time of year do they need to be planted?
- How much space does this vegetable need (ex. Corn needs a large space and a certain amount of corn to cross pollinate to have a successful crop)
- How much sunlight does it need?
- Can it be sown directly into the garden or do you have to start indoors first? (Ex.Tomatoes need to be started indoors and planted in the garden mid-late June)
3. Make a garden plan! After you have an idea of what seeds you want to plant, come up with a plan. The biggest thing we learned was some vegetables can’t be planted in the same spot year after year. For example, the cabbage family must be moved after each crop, this includes lettuce mixes, cabbages, arugula and more. Having a plan in the garden has been key for us.
4. Feed your garden. Use an organic all-natural fertilizer once every 3 weeks, you’ll notice the difference with your vegetables. This helps them get the nutrients they need if they aren’t getting it from the soil. Purchase this from a garden centre and make sure to ask specific questions as there’s so many products out there.
5. Most importantly have fun with it! It’s a learning curve no matter how much research you do. It’s hard work and it takes dedication but it’s so rewarding. Seeing our carrots sprout for the first time makes me feel purposeful and proud. Whether you’re a beginner or an avid gardener, remember you’re always learning! Sometimes things work out and other times they don’t, never give up!