One important way of keeping your family healthy is to pay close attention to their diets and fill their plates with fresh fruits and vegetables. You can make this a whole lot more fun and interactive for the kids too by starting your own veggie garden at home. When they have a hand in where their vegetables come from, they will be far more excited to eat them!
Starting a vegetable garden takes some knowledge and skills though – so here are a few tips to keep in mind when you get started.
First of all, don’t go buying seeds and gardening tools without a plan of action. Any type of planting and gardening requires a bit of prior knowledge and planning.
First of all, take a look at the space you have available to you in your garden. How much space is there? How much direct sunlight does that area get in a day? What’s the climate like in your area? You’ll need to take all these questions (and others) into account when planning what to plant and where to plant it.
Invest in the Right Tools
You’ll also need to spend some money on the tools you need for your vegetable garden. You can keep things pretty simple here – a pair of gardening gloves, a small shovel and garden fork, and some pruning shears too will do the trick.
You can start your garden directly in your garden bed, or if you’d like, you can invest in some wooden planters for your vegetable garden to keep things neat and properly separated. Another great investment is an irrigation drip kit, which is an economical and plant-savvy way to take care of your veggies.
Choose the Right Spot
Remember that plants can be pretty sensitive to their environment, so picking the right spot for each of your veggies is important.
If you have sunnier and shadier areas in your yard, make sure you know which plants (vegetable or otherwise) would be best suited to living in those areas. Too much sunlight can be damaging to some plants, whereas others love the heat, so choose wisely.
Prepare Your Soil
Many people don’t realise that you can’t just stick some seeds in the ground and hope for the best, you actually need to prepare your soil for your vegetables first.
You need to make sure you have used the right type of soils, and that it is well turned and properly mixed before planting your seeds. You should also add compost to your soil before you start planting to make sure your soil is full of the nutrients your veggies will need to grow.
Grow What You Love
Picking the right vegetables to plant is another important consideration. Of course, you can choose to start with veggies that are easy to grow, but make sure they’re what you’ll actually want to eat, otherwise what’s the point?
Think about the veggies your kids enjoy, and your own personal favourites too. Throw some fresh herbs in the mix too, while you’re at it! Pick the herbs you find yourself buying the most often, or even the herbs you always leave out of the recipe because you haven’t bothered to pick them up. When they’re right in your garden, you’ll be more inclined to use them.
Research Your Veggies
Did you know that some vegetables are best planted near one another, while others are more like sworn enemies? Do some research to try and find out which of your veg you should be planting in the same planter and which to keep far away from one another.
You can also read to find out about common issues and illnesses in various plants, which veggies are prone to bugs, how to handle them, how much water and sunlight each plant will need, etc. There’s a lot to learn!
Be a Caregiver
Finally, when all the research and initial work is done, don’t fall off the bus and think your job is finished!
If you want your vegetables to flourish and grow into delicious morsels for your plate, they’re going to need constant care and attention. Put a watering schedule into place and makes sure to add compost and other nutrients to the soil regularly. Prune away any weeds that pop up and keep your plants neat and tidy if they start to grow unruly, and when your veg is ready, harvest and prepare them with love.