How To Start A Vegetable Patch?
The easiest way to get started in creating your own vegetable patch is simply to do it!
One of the huge bonuses of a house with a yard is the extra space it provides. For some, this is a chance to landscape the surroundings to a picture-perfect space, creating the perfect location to relax and unwind after a hard day. While this sounds idyllic, in truth it can be time-consuming, with endless evenings and weekends panicking over the patchy grass (perhaps you should make that call to Trugreen lawn care), or seemingly endless pruning and weeding (who knew weeds could grow through a lawn!)
There is an alternative use for your yard which will not only keep your fit, but save you cash, feed your family, and not be the end of the world if one branch grows the wrong way and spoils the avenue effect. Welcome to the world of vegetable gardening.
How To Get Started?
The easiest way to get started in creating your own vegetable patch is simply to do it! Make the decision, and mark out an area in your yard. Specialist raised beds are available for this very purpose, or you can just mark out an area in your existing garden, roping it off to mark the boundaries, and get started free of charge.
Check The Requirements
When deciding what to plant, make sure you do some research into plants that do well in your location. Some will thrive in direct sunlight, while others spring to life in the shade. This factor should also be a factor in choosing your spot—make sure it gets plenty of sun but is not continually baking hot.
What To Plant?
There are a few vegetables which are perfect for beginners; they almost always succeed and will give you a valuable confidence boost to get the patch started. Stick with choices such as potatoes, peas, bush beans, broccoli, tomatoes, Swiss chard, squash, cucumber, eggplants, and lettuce.
Prepare The Soil
The soil will need to be dug and raked to help break it up and loosen it, giving the new roots a chance to spread and develop. Be careful not to dig when the soil is overly dry or wet, as this can cause permanent damage to the structure. The best time to dig is when the soil is moist enough that you can create a loose ball with your fist, but it still falls apart when dropped. You should turn the top 8-12 inches of soil, mixing in fertilizer as you go. This fertilizer can be made up of dry grass clippings, old manure, decayed leaves, and compost. It will help provide valuable nutrition for your plants. Vegetable patches will generally need the soil turning on an annual basis.
Your two main choices are to plant from seeds or purchase young plants, known as ‘set plants.’ There are pros and cons to each, but the process is relatively simple; dig a hole, drop in the seed or set plant, and cover it up, making sure you pay attention to any advice the packet gives about spacing and planting. Water, and maintain it regularly, and voila! An instant vegetable patch which can add a tasty, homemade twist to any dish.