Eating vegetables from your own garden can be a rewarding experience. There is a level of satisfaction that comes from watching a plant go from a seed to food on your plate. If you have children, a summer vegetable garden can provide a teaching opportunity-facts about nutrition, lessons on responsibility, and info about the life cycle of plants-are all things your kids can learn from helping with the garden. If you want to get started on a summer vegetable garden you will need to plan the space, get equipment, prepare the soil, and decide which vegetables you want to grow. Once you have completed your plans you can get started growing.
Plan the space
Taking a little time to think through the layout and placement of your vegetable garden can impact how well it does. Depending on what you want to grow you may need a spot that has full sun or one that offers afternoon shade. You also need to consider the proximity of water to your garden so you can easily water the plants when needed. You can strategically plant your vegetables so they do not interfere with the other plants around them. For example, squash plants grow wide and can crowd other plants if you do not give them ample space to spread out. Tomato plants grow tall and often need support so be sure and consider that in your plan. You can add pest repellant plants in and around your garden as a natural barrier to harmful pests. Planning the space will help the entire process go more smoothly whether you want to have a small or large summer vegetable garden. You can see a sample vegetable garden plan to help get you started here.
Get the necessary equipment
You will need some tools and equipment to work on your garden. If you plan on having a big vegetable garden you may need to rent/purchase an electric or gas powered tiller to loosen up the soil. For smaller gardens a hand tiller may do the trick. Other pieces of equipment you may need include a shovel, trowel, tomato cages, watering can, sprinkler, and sprayer attachment for your water hose. The exact equipment you will need depends on the size and setup of your garden.
Prep the soil
The soil in your garden will need some attention before you start planting vegetables. As mentioned above, you will need to till up the soil. This loosens it so it is easier to dig and creates space for the roots of your plants to spread out. You will also likely need to add some nutrients to the soil. You can do this by adding fertilizer, compost, or other amendments designed for the needs of specific plants.
Decide on plants
Deciding on which plants to grow is a fun part of planning for a summer vegetable garden. It is good to think about what your family will eat but that is not the only factor to consider. You also need to learn about what vegetables will thrive in your climate. If you choose plants that do well in your climate it will make the entire experience of growing vegetables much easier and more enjoyable.
A summer vegetable garden will take some work but the rewards are worth the effort. Putting in the time and effort to plan and prep for the garden will help you be successful once the plants are in the ground. Plan appropriately now and you will be enjoying vegetables from your garden soon.