Vegetable gardening for beginners is not a complicated subject and almost anyone can succeed. Growing your own veg is fun, your produce will taste divine freshly picked from your own garden and all without a chemical in sight.
First though, any beginner gardener should do some planning. This involves taking a look at the plot to realistically decide how many plants can be grown in the available space. Plants need room around them to allow for growth. Cramming too many vegetables in together risks poor growth as they fight for nutrient and disease can spread rapidly. Read a seed catalogue or the back of seed packets to get an idea of the space, growing season and needs of some vegetables you think you would like to grow.
There are a number of very basic tools you will need to have for gardening. For beginners, a spade, a fork, a rake, a hoe and a watering can are required. Many other tools and equipment such as gardening gloves or a wheelbarrow for example are handy if you can afford them. Whatever you purchase, try to get good quality tools as they tend to last longer.
Before anything is planted it is important to know the condition of the soil. All soil is not the same, it can be rocky, very light or heavy clay. Organic material such as well rotted manure may need to be dug in to improve the soil’s body. Performing a soil test will determine if the soil’s pH level is acidic, alkaline or neutral. Generally, vegetables prefer slightly acidic soil in the 6.0 to 7.0 range.
Of course, a variety of plants will have different requirements. Some vegetables, take a very long time to grow before they’re ready to harvest. On top of that, some plants need very warm temperatures to even germinate their seeds. Because of these differing requirements germinating seeds indoors, in a cold frame or a greenhouse might have to be done to start growth earlier than spring, or if they have a very long growing season.
Once the ground prepared and grown or bought seedlings are big enough, it is time to begin planting. Even if the risk of frost has passed there are many dangers to delicate young seedlings. Dogs will delight in digging in fresh soil and it is heaven for a cat to use as it’s toilet. Native wild animals can also pose a danger too. While fencing or netting of some kind can keep big creatures and birds at bay they will not stop small garden pests like slugs, snails and insects. Pellets, traps, sprays or good old fashioned hand-picking off is the only effective solution for those.
If all the preparations and groundwork are done properly any vegetable plot should thrive. Then, throughout the main growing season, the main duties are weeding, feeding and watering the plants and pest control. Some quick growing vegetables such as salad crops will be available quickly and repeatedly throughout the growing season. The majority of your vegetables though will not be ready to harvest until autumn. Any crops that cannot be consumed before they spoil should be properly stored, frozen, made into soups or preservatives etc.
Even if a large plot of land is not available there is no reason why a few vegetables, salad crops, or even herbs cannot be grown in pots and containers. Home-grown vegetables are full of goodness, taste amazing, and can save money too.