You may be thinking there’s never been a better time to start growing your own vegetables and I couldn’t agree more.
It’s easy, affordable and you’ll have fresh veggies at the ready. Eating local doesn’t get any closer than your own backyard.
Step 1: Choose the right location
Whether creating a raised bed, digging out a garden in the ground or going for a container on the patio, make sure you choose a spot that will get loads of sun (at least 6 hours a day).
You’ll also want to determine the size of that location. Think small… you can always make it bigger, but it’s better to start small. Grow your favorites and go from there!
Step 2: Having the right soil
Having the right soil will give your plants a good head start. An ideal soil will be a mix, loam if you will, that contains some sand, some clay and other nutrients.
You might want to think about mixing in an organic soil amendment or using it as a top layer. In ground gardens, beds and container gardens can benefit from varying types, so please consult a retail associate when purchasing your soil.
Step 3: Choose your veggies and get ‘em in the ground
Before deciding what you want to plant, think about how you want to plant. What you’ll use the most of and how much space each needs to grow.
Some items, like corn or pumpkins, will “spread out.” Keep this in mind when laying out your seedlings (assuming you bought these and didn’t grow them from seeds… that’s a story for another day) and make sure you plan for growth.
Once you have the layout planned, start digging. I’m pretty sure you can figure that part out on your own.
Some vegetables that thrive in Zone 6: Kale, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, and peppers, just to name a few!
Step 4: Care for Your Crops
While not required, there’s always the option of fertilizing your plants, which is easy to do and it comes in several different forms.
You’ll notice the letters NPS and corresponding numbers on fertilizer packaging. This stands for Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium and the active ingredients in that particular fertilizer. Just take care when purchasing to make sure you’ve got the correct acidic formula for what you’re fertilizing.
Possibly THE most important ingredient of all, water. Make sure you water in the morning to avoid disease and fungus and keep the soil hydrated. A layer of mulch, or organic compost as mentioned above, can help retain moisture and help prevent weeds from growing.
Optional: for those who have to contend with outdoor critters, you may want to consider surrounding the area with fencing. Simple stakes and a roll of chicken wire will suffice and is simple to install.
Step 5: Enjoy the fruits of your labor
You’ve put in all the work, now enjoy your edible garden!