One of the greatest things about speaking with 13,000 other vegetable gardeners on our Facebook page, besides being around like minded people, are the wonderful ideas everyone shares. Whether they are new to the activity of vegetable gardening or have been doing it all of their lives, I always learn something new.
When it comes to the new vegetable gardeners that come to our page to seek out support, the theme is common among them all and that is, “how do you get started?” and “what do I need?” One sentence sums up both questions and that is “keep it simple.” Too elaborate on that, I have outlined some common answers to these two popular answers.
Start with picking the area where you are going to grow your vegetables. It doesn’t matter whether you have a twenty by twenty plot of land or you are going to grow your tomatoes in pots, you want to pick an area that receives at least 8 hours of sunlight and is within reasonable distance to a water source. Without going into an entire botany lesson, just know that without sun and water, your plants won’t grow. As an added bonus, if you can pick an area that meets the previous requirements and that you can easily view through a window, it will make maintaining your garden easier since you will always see it.
The next step is your soil. It is a step most people look past since everyone just figures you can throw in some seeds and the plants will grow. While most of the time that is true, you have to ensure the soil you are putting your plants in will have all the nutrients they need to survive and produce tasty fruits. There are a variety of methods you can implement such as composting, adding in manure and so on, but for the simplicity of this article, until you become more comfortable with vegetable gardening, invest in some garden soil from your local home or garden center which costs about eight dollars for a fifty pound bag. Mix in the garden soil with your regular dirt if you are using a plot of land, or use all garden soil in your pots. This garden soil is filled with all of the nutrients your plants need to grow.
Finally you will need some tools. You won’t be able to mix in the garden soil from the previous step without a shovel, pitchfork or some kind of trowel. These are the three most basic tools a gardener can have. A pitchfork allows you to turn your soil over and mix the dirt, a hand trowel makes it possible to dig smaller holes to put your plants in and a rake gives you the ability to “smooth” over the dirt. If you have these three tools then you have everything you need to get started. You might be able to find some used ones at a yard sale or flea market for half the cost of buying new.
Now go buy the seeds you plan on planting for your new garden and get your hands dirty. You will find, like 48 million other people from around the world have found, that growing your vegetables is a lot of fun and rewarding.
About the Author
Michael C. Podlesny is a contributing writer for Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC the exclusive home for the Seeds of the Month Club. Enter the word article in the referral code box and receive a 50% discount on the price of any membership.