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First Steps to Starting a Backyard Vegetable Garden

You’ve been thinking about it for years, you would love to start a vegetable garden, but have no idea where to even start.

I’ve been there, in fact the first time I put a tomato in the ground, I grabbed a shovel, dug a hole and plopped it in the ground, gave it a little water and then was baffled that it didn’t do much. I made a few mistakes as my sweet husband pointed out.

First, the plant…I bought a clearance tomato plant and planted it mid-July. (BAD TIMING)

Secondly, the soil…I dug a hole, but I didn’t prepare the ground properly. (NO PREP)

Third mistake….I didn’t know how to water it properly. (LACK OF KNOWLEDGE)

Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips that I’d love to share with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did.

Timing is everything, look up planting schedules for your area. If you plant too early, you can stunt your plant, if you plant too late, you may never actually get to see the fruit of your labor. Also, stagger your plantings if you want to get vegetables for the entire season. You can actually get two crops out of the same spot in your garden if you stagger your plantings. For example, I like to plant snap peas in March, they are ready by May/June, and then when they’re done, I can plant some peppers or new tomato plants in their place.

Prep the soil before you begin, and continue to feed the soil throughout the growing season. You can do this by composting your fruit and vegetable scraps and adding the finished compost to your soil, or purchasing bags of compost to add throughout the season. You can also buy fertilizer from a local farm store or even better a local organic farm if you have one close by.

Lastly, remember it’s a process. You will learn more and more every year through trial and error. Start small, and grow a little bit each year. You’ll figure out how much time it takes to take care of a garden, and how much time you are willing to spend on it, and go from there. If you start small with just a few varieties of plants that you can be successful at growing, your confidence will grow as well.

Happy Growing!

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