So You’re New…
Are you new to the gardening world? Are you looking to start growing your own food? This might be a good place to start. There is a lot of advice out there these days and I understand how it can be overwhelming. Don’t let that slow you down! Here are my top tips – it’s a starting point and you’ll find that it’s easier than you think.
1. Choose a Space
If you haven’t grown vegetables before, you must first decide where you’re going to put your garden. The ideal vegetable garden plot receives at least six hours of sun every day and drain well. Don’t put your vegetable garden where the water pools after a good rain.
2. The Garden
There are two main types of vegetable gardens: raised beds and those planted directly on the ground.
If you don’t have great soil, consider building a raised bed in which you put your own high quality soil. You control drainage with this method as well.
3. The Plants
Our Canadian winter will continue for a little while yet (despite what Wiarton Willie said last week) so you have some time to plan the actual placement and building of the garden. Right now, while the ground is still frozen, you should be thinking about what you will plant.
To a degree, you will need to consider soil, sun, and drainage. More importantly, you should be thinking about what you like to eat. Unless you plan to give away 100% of the food you grow, you should put some serious thought into this. You will, after all, be putting time, effort, and a little bit of money into it.
This is where you have to start thinking about garden size. Depending on the garden size you have to work with, you may have to compromise, choosing to forego large, spreading plants that take up a lot of space.
Keep in mind that vegetables, to a degree, need some space between them to increase the amount of sunlight that reaches the leaves, flowers, and fruit, and also to increase air flow (minimizing disease). Your best bet is to follow the general guidelines that a good seed company puts right on their packets.
Next week I’ll give you some advice on choosing the vegetable seeds themselves (there are countless varieties of just about everything and I’ll admit it can be confusing). And we’ll get into some space planning as well. You don’t want to miss it!