As I’m sure you already know, I love planting a vegetable garden! My husband and I both grew up in gardening families and it just runs through our veins! I hope to pass on my love for gardening to our children someday too. Sometimes, I get so excited about talking about all of our homesteading plans that I forget that some of you may have never planted a garden before. So, today I’m sharing how we do it at our house! I’m going to break it down to the basics and if there is anything that I miss or don’t cover, let me know! I’d love to hear from you and know what you’d like to hear more about!
Gardening is not for the faint of heart friends! It takes a commitment, not only of the time and money that you initially put into it. But an ongoing commitment of time and effort throughout the summer months. You must spend time pulling weeds, dealing with pests, and of course, keeping up with harvesting your fruits and vegetables as they ripen. That is of course my favorite part! Then, harvesting your crops isn’t even the end of it. Finally you must decide how to use your bountiful harvest. Whether you are serving up your veggies raw or cooked, canning or dehydrating, the important part is having a plan! It would be a shame to get to the end of the growing season, have a pile of tomatoes, and nothing to do with them! I would hate to see my own vegetables go to waste, so that’s why I plan, plan, PLAN!!
One of the most basic things you need to decide is what you’re going to plant in your vegetable garden. Choose a variety of vegetables that your family enjoys eating or that you can make into something that your family likes (like salsa, tomato soup, pickles, etc). Once you decide what vegetables you are going to plant, you have to decide “how” you’re going to plant them. Are you going to plant seeds or plants?
I don’t know why, but we have always struggled with starting seeds indoors prior to garden season beginning. This is just not a talent I have acquired yet. So typically we like to stick with buying plants at a local greenhouse for a few vegetables and the rest we sow directly into the garden.
Veggies we plant as seeds:
Veggies we plant as plants:
Here are a few other things to consider…
Soil Quality: In our past gardening, we never paid much attention to soil quality. We had raised bed gardens and when we first made our garden, we got a load of top-soil when we first began our garden. Every few years we would add peat moss and manure to enrich the soil. Now that we are setting up a bigger garden, we plan to pay more attention to the quality of the soil. We bought some soil testing kits that we will use to see what we need to do to get the best results out of our garden. I know that our soil has some clay in it, but we also have a good layer of topsoil over it. Once we test our soil and see what the different levels come back at, then I plan on researching what I should add to the soil to make it more fertile.
Composting: We haven’t started composting yet, but I plan to over the summer this year. Composting has many benefits. First of all, it is a great way to put your scraps to use. I always like to make the most out of everything we have . So, putting an additional use to something that would otherwise be getting thrown in the garbage is definitely a huge plus! Another wonderful benefit is that it adds a variety of nutrients to your soil which in turn feeds your plants! It also continues to slowly release nutrients as the materials continue to break down and decompose.
This really is just scratching the surface of gardening! I could go on and on for days! But this is just a little food for thought for those of you thinking about taking the leap into vegetable gardening. In the coming weeks I will be sharing our step by step process of getting our new vegetable garden set up. From building our fence to preparing the soil, planning the layout of vegetables and actually getting everything planted. I will be sharing it all! So make sure you stop by the blog often to check on my updates!