Bob is a gardener designer and writer. His ebook, From My Garden, is widely available.
How to start the vegetable garden
It is not difficult to grow your own vegetables, flowers and herbs. There are three things that you must consider if the garden is to be successful; sun, soil and water. The garden will need six to eight hours of sunlight per day in order to produce vegetables or flowers.
Soil comes in three basic types, clay, sand or loan. The ideal soil is a sandy loam. There is a simple way to determine the type of soil in your garden. Pick up some soil with one had, roll it into a ball. If is forms a ball that break apart readily it is loam. If a ball does not form, it is sand. If a ball forms but does not break apart easily, it is clay.
This primer will help you plan and design your first garden; it does not matter what you decide to grow, vegetables flower, herbs or all three, the steps are the same.
There are two questions you need to answer at this point.
1- What do you want to grow?
2- How much time to you have to garden, each day, and week?
It is important to match your schedule to you interests; you do not want to start a garden that is too big, as it is likely to become a burden and that will take all the fun out of the project.
It is equally important not to put in a garden that is too small as your yield, what you get back for your labour, will be smaller than you expected and you will be disappointed and perhaps discouraged.
Now is the time for the garden plan. Don’t panic, this is simple; a plan helps you stay on track, makes maximum use of your gardening time, is fun and can be changed whenever you desire.
You now know what you want to grow and how much time you are willing to commit to the growing and maintenance. Now you must determine:
1- Where will your garden grow? The backyard most likely but where, well for most cut flowers, herbs and vegetables you want a spot that gets full sun for 5-6 hours a day, minimum.
2- How big will it be? The size depends upon what you want to grow and how much. A good cut flower garden can be fairly small in feet 6x6 will do; same for an herb garden. Now unless you are prepared to convert your whole backyard into a vegetable garden and even then, you are not going to grow all the food your family needs, so pick you 3-5 favourite vegetables and focus on them.
3- Homework time. You need too know the plants you plant to grow, the public library can be a great source of information as can the Internet. You can also visit a local plant nursery and have a chat with the manger.
4- Put the right plant in the right place and it will thrive.
Read this hub, for details on building the garden bed. Speaking of reading, if you are planting seeds read the seed package. The information there is meant to be followed, so do so. If you are using plants then read the tag that should be in the pot with the plant, same story; I it is not then ask.
Gardening is a rewarding activity that does not have to be difficult or time consuming, just be sure to build the garden that matches your needs, wants and schedule.
Consider keeping a journal. Record what you planted, how it fared and anything else that you notice. This information will be valuable when planning next year's garden.
Starting a Garden
- Howstuffworks "How to Start a Garden"
Starting a garden is not hard, as long as you plan and prepare for the task. Learn all you need to know about how to start a garden at HowStuffWorks.
pergolaplans from Perth, UK on March 19, 2008:
Great tips - thanks for sharing
Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on March 02, 2008:
Thanks for the comments, the main barrier to gardening is our belief that it is difficult and that we can't do it, once people get beyond that, everything changes.
firefly07 from UK on March 02, 2008:
Very useful ltip for beginners here - get stuck in, it's not as hard as it seems!
Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on March 01, 2008:
Very good enlightening article. That should help many would be gardeners to pull their finger out and get digging.
If that doesnt help then they are in trouble. good hub