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There are more than 164 million homeowners in the United States, and 49 percent of them have gardened in the last year. Thirty-five percent of homeowners also currently grow their own food in a Backyard Vegetable Garden.
Are you interested in gardening and growing your own food? If so, now is the perfect time to start!
There are many benefits to growing your own food, and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch your garden blossom over time.
Not sure how to begin gardening? Keep reading.
Explained below are some tips that will teach you everything you need to know about planting your own backyard vegetable garden.
Reasons to Plant a Backyard Vegetable Garden
Why would you plant your own vegetable garden when you can buy vegetables at the store?
There are actually lots of perks that come with growing a backyard vegetable garden, including the following:
- Reduce your monthly food bill
- Grow safe, pesticide-free produce
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Enjoy the fresh air and relieve stress in a natural way
- Get some exercise — you can burn 200-400 calories an hour gardening
Growing your own vegetables can also help you to eat more produce than you might eat otherwise.
After all, you’re not going to want the fruits of your labor to go to waste! This is yet another way that growing a garden can boost your health.
Planting Your First Backyard Vegetable Garden
Okay, you’re convinced that growing a backyard vegetable garden might be a good idea. How do you actually do this, though?
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you start your own vegetable garden today:
Choose the Right Garden Size
First, you need to think about the size of your garden.
If you’ve never gardened before, it’s best to start small. That way, you’ll be less likely to feel overwhelmed by the project. A smaller, properly maintained garden is going to be more fruitful in the long run than a larger garden that is full of weeds and poorly tended crops.
Remember, you can always expand your garden later once you’ve got the hang of things.
Choose the Right Location
You also need to think about where you’re going to put your garden. The location might affect the garden’s size, too.
When you’re picking a spot for your garden, make sure that you choose a place that gets a good amount of sunlight and can be watered easily.
Most gardeners also find that they do a better job of maintaining their gardens when they’re located close to the house.
Choose the Right Vegetables
Think carefully about the types of vegetables you want to plant. Some vegetables are much easier to grow than others. If you’re new to gardening, you’ll probably want to start with these options.
Easy-to-grow vegetables include:
When you’re considering the types of vegetables you want to grow, think about the amount of time you can dedicate to tending them.
You may want to think about planting both warm and cool-weather vegetables. That way, you’ll have crops to harvest all throughout the spring, summer, and autumn.
Consider the Sun
When you’re choosing a garden area and thinking about the vegetables you want to grow, be sure to factor in the amount of sun your yard gets each day.
If your yard is partially shaded, you’ll be better off growing plants like lettuce, kale, and herbs.
If your yard gets a lot of sunlight, you can easily plant and grow vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, squash, and peppers.
If you want to grow root vegetables like carrots and radishes, make sure your ideal garden area gets at least 3-4 hours of sunlight each day.
Know Your Soil Type
In order to have a successful vegetable garden, you need to know your soil type.
If your soil feels gritty, it likely contains too much sand. If it’s powdery, it probably contains too much silt. Soil that is sticky when wet likely contains too much clay.
If your soil is too sandy or silty, adding organic matter can help ensure an optimal growing environment. If it contains too much clay, you may need to use raised beds to ensure your plants are able to thrive.
Clear the Ground
Now that you have thoroughly evaluated your garden area and chosen the best vegetables for your needs, it’s time to clear the ground.
You can either dig out the sod and start prepping your soil immediately, or you can smother the sod with newspaper and let it decompose naturally before you begin.
Put Your Plants in the Ground
After this, you’ll be ready to put your plants in the ground. Be sure to read the instructions for each type of seed carefully. Remember, every plant is different and has different requirements that must be met if you want it to grow optimally.
Provide Adequate Water
Whether you’re growing potatoes or tomatoes, you need to make sure your plants get a sufficient amount of water.
When your seedlings are small, water them on a daily basis. As the plants get larger and their roots become established, you can taper off and water them less often.
Keep it Maintained
After your plants are in the ground, be sure to stick to a consistent watering schedule (daily or otherwise).
Remember to fertilize your garden and lay down mulch, too. Mulch will help to keep water in and weeds out.
If you do notice weeds starting to pop up, pull them out promptly. This will ensure your plants grow well and don’t have to compete with weeds for resources.
Get More Gardening Tips Today
Now that you know why and how you should start growing your own backyard vegetable garden, are you ready to get started?
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a much easier time getting your garden up and running.
Do you want to learn more about gardening? Do you have questions or concerns about growing certain types of plants? If so, be sure to check out the gardening section of our website today.
You’ll find all kinds of resources here that will help you ensure your garden thrives.