Starting a Vegetable Garden from Scratch – A Full Guide

Introduction: Vegetable gardening at home is a great approach to save money while you get up close and personal with nature. Following steps to be taken when starting a vegetable garden from scratch.

A step by step guide to Starting a Vegetable Garden from Scratch

Well, if you are planning to grow vegetables on your own, defenetly this information would be useful to set up, design and layout your vegetable garden. What are we waiting for? let us get into starting a vegetable garden from scratch.

Choosing the best location for vegetable garden

Making sure you select the right location is the most important factor in planning your first garden. And getting to pick the best location is the main benefit of starting a vegetable garden from scratch. A vegetable garden plan will save time, space and money. Yields will be more increased, as will the length of the harvest season.

Cool-season vegetables contain onions, cabbage, radishes, and English peas. They need cool weather to grow and mature properly and can withstand some frost. These vegetables are planted in the early spring and again in the fall.

Warm-season vegetables need warm weather to grow properly and are planted after the soil has warmed up. Examples of warm-season vegetables contain okra, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

The cool-season section of the vegetable garden will be planted early and harvested in time to be replanted. Alternate the cool season and warm-season areas of the garden each year to reduce plant pest problems.

Starting Vegetable Garden from Scratch.
Starting a Vegetable Garden.

Plant in a sunny location

For most vegetables, you want a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. The sunniest location might be your driest, so make sure it will be easy to get water to your plants. However, if your sunniest location is the lowest point of yard and tends to stay soggy, then you might want to choose to grow vegetables in containers. Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they get, the greater the harvest, the bigger the veggies, and the better the taste.

If your yard provides partial shade, plant vegetables that tolerate those conditions (lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, chives, cilantro, parsley, and thyme). Root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets also may work if the site gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you have a sunny patio, switch to container gardening.

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Soil preparation to start a vegetable garden from scratch

Start soil preparation by eliminating old plant supports, plastic mulches, and excessive vegetative residues from the garden area. The amount of plant residue that can be turned under depends on how large the pieces are, how the garden will be turned and how long before the area will be worked.

Good soil is the key to a successful vegetable garden. Soil can be the most overlooked aspect of gardening and the most important. Good-quality soil provides plants with necessary nutrients necessary to reap a good harvest. Enriching soil with compost provides needed nutrients. Good drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly.

In general, the goal is to enrich the soil with compost to give needed nutrients. Compost, leaf-mold, or well-aged manure will increase the ability of soil to both drain well and hold moisture the “sponge factor.” Never use fresh manure because it can harbor dangerous pathogens and it will burn tender plant roots.

Start with well-drained, sandy loam soil and add as much organic matter as possible and plant roots penetrate soft, loamy soil more easily. If you have sandy soil, add aged manure, peat moss, or sawdust. Heavy, clay-rich soil can be added to improve the soil. If you have silt soil, add coarse sand and compost, or well-aged horse manure mixed with fresh straw. If you have clay soil, add coarse sand not beach sand, compost, and peat moss.

Soil pH to start a vegetable garden from scratch

Garden soil must have the proper soil pH. A very high or very low soil pH can result in plant toxicity or nutrient deficiency. A pH value of 7 is neutral; microbial activity is greatest and plant roots absorb or access nutrients best when the pH is in the 5.5 to 7 range.

While exact pH requirements for vegetables vary somewhat, in general, the soil in a vegetable garden must fall somewhere be 6 and 7. If your vegetable garden soil tests significantly above that, you will require lowering the pH of the soil. If the soil pH level in vegetable garden tests significantly lowers than 6, you will need to raise the pH of your vegetable garden soil.

N-P-K requirement to start a vegetable garden from scratch

When it comes to soil preparation for a vegetable garden, these three N-P-K nutrients are the basic nutrients that all plants need. While organic material does give these nutrients, you may have to adjust them individually depending on your soil. This can be done by chemical fertilizers or organically.

To add nitrogen, use either a chemical fertilizer with a higher first number (e.g. 10-2-2) or an organic amendment such as manure or nitrogen-fixing plants. To add phosphorus, use a chemical fertilizer with a high second number (e.g. 2-10-2) or use an organic amendment like bone meal or rock phosphate. To add potassium, use either a chemical fertilizer that has a high last number (e.g. 2-2-10) or an organic amendment such as potash, wood ash or greensand.

Select type of beds to start a vegetable garden from scratch

Raised or Square Foot Beds – Raised or square footbeds are one of the easiest ways to start a vegetable garden from scratch. The materials are inexpensive, you don’t need to till the soil, and there is a weed barrier which helps prevent grass from getting into the garden. Square footbeds are the most commonly used and easy way to start a vegetable garden. Galvanized animal troughs are a great example.

Pots – If garden space is limited then pots are a great solution. Large, medium and small pots are great for growing all type of vegetables. Some veggies that do great grown in pots are lettuce, peppers, herbs, and garlic. A pot is infinitely practical and can be moved simply to find the best sun.

Plant directly in the soil – People has used this process of vegetable gardening for centuries. You till and amend the soil before vegetable planting. Our ancestors did the tilling by hand and used manure to amend the soil and this still works today but using a tiller is a lot faster. It is best to obtain a soil sample tested to see what your soil is missing. You will want to produce rows with mounds for most planting. The concept of companion planting is ideal for these types of beds.

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Germinating Seeds

Germination is affected by four environmental factors they are water, oxygen, light, and temperature. Manage them correctly and seeds are sure to sprout.

Oxygen – For seeds to obtain enough oxygen, your soilless growing medium needs to drain well. Heavy, wet media cause anaerobic conditions, which inhibit the germination process.

Light – Plants light requirements vary from crop to crop; where you locate seeds will determine how much light they receive per day.

Temperature – Temperature affects the number of seeds that germinate and how quickly germinate. Some seeds have a very

Specific temperature range for germination, while others will germinate over a broad range of temperatures. A 65° to 75°F range is typical for most vegetable seeds.

Provide plenty of water to the vegetable garden

Watering wisely is key to garden success, particularly in warm, dry regions. During the first few weeks after seeds germinate or seedlings are transplanted, frequent watering keeps vegetable plants strong. Once plants are established, it is a better idea to give your garden a long drink every few days rather than a little sprinkle every day. Because then the water will move deeper into the soil, which encourages roots to grow deeper, where they’re better protected and able to access nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Some of the vegetables suitable for vegetable gardening;

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini squash
  • Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Bush beans
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Radishes
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Corn

Fertilizing your vegetables

Fertilizing your vegetables will help to maximize yields. Organic gardeners often find that adding high-quality compost at planting time is all their vegetables require. Other gardeners might consider applying a packaged warm-season vegetable fertilizer according to the directions on the bag.

There are two key things to remember about fertilizing vegetable garden:

  • Healthy soil produces healthy plants and these healthy plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer (but they do need a little).
  • Over-fertilizing will cause insect infestations and don’t over-fertilize.

Use mulch to the vegetable garden

Add a 3-inch layer of any organic mulch around plants and over the irrigation lines if possible. Mulch will insulate the soil, helping to maintain it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It helps retain moisture, suppress weeds and acts as a protective barrier from diseases splashing up onto the plants from the soil. And besides, mulch looks great in the vegetable garden.

Knowing the source of mulch is as important as using it. Particularly in a vegetable garden. Some mulch can contain unacceptable amounts of harmful chemicals. While there is no such certification for bulk mulch as yet the non-profit organization, The Mulch and Soil Council, certifies bagged mulches and soils to be free of any harmful ingredients. Look for their seal on the bag or ask bulk mulch supplier if they know the source of their mulch.

Pest control

Although pests are generally a given at some point in any vegetable garden, by exercising patience, nature will usually take care of the problem. After all, of all the insects in your vegetable garden, only about 3% are harmful pests.

Conculsion: That’s all gardeners about starting a vegetable garden from scratch. Hope you enjoyed reading this article, we wish you good luck for growing veggies.

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