Veggie Gardening 101

How Does Your Garden Grow? Tips for Beginning Vegetable Gardeners

You see all a pleasing fresh produce during your weekly farmers market as well as think, How hard could it be to grow some of this myself? The short answer: not which hard, supposing we choose low-maintenance veggies as well as follow a couple of simple rules. We asked Kevin Karl, farm manager during Growing Gardens, a nonprofit in Boulder dedicated to building village through urban agriculture, to help would-be gardeners start to dig in.

Healthy Eats: What do we need to think about before we start planting?

Kevin Karl: Find out what a average last frost date is where we live (here in Boulder, its May 15), as well as plan your planting around that. Seed packets as well as seed catalog companies have been also great during providing detailed information about when to plant as well as how prolonged each particular plant needs to grow before itll be ready to harvest.

HE: Do we need to do anything to prep a soil before planting?

KK: If youre we do container gardening, its easy to just buy soil as well as compost as well as create a healthy, balanced soil. But if youre planting in a piece of land or a raised bed, its value getting your soil tested to find out what nutrients it could be lacking as well as what we need to do to ensure your soil has a pass nutrients it needs. After testing, use an appropriate slow-release fertilizer we can do it once before planting as well as not have to fertilize again until next year. [You can buy at-home soil test kits during places like Lowes as well as Home Depot, or check with your internal state university to see if they have a lab which will test for you.]

HE: Are there ways to limit weeds?

KK: After we fertilize, we water my garden as if we had just planted seeds. Then we wait a couple of weeks. That gives all a weed seeds already in a soil a chance to germinate. Then go through as well as weed a whole area before we plant anything. That way youre starting off with a really clean seed bed. It wont eliminate weeds, though itll have maintenance of your garden a bit easier.

HE: What have been some of a easiest vegetables to grow?

KK: Greens like lettuce, kale, spinach as well as collard greens have been a great place to start. You can grow them from seeds, in a ground or in pots, as well as they dont need as most sun as some other plants. Carrots have been another good one for beginners. But keep in mind which they take a whilst to origin people think theyre not entrance up, though it just takes longer than we competence expect. Tomatoes can be a little trickier, though a payoff of being able to pick a fresh, sun-ripened tomato is value it. Id recommend starting with cherry tomatoes, because they dont take as prolonged to produce as well as theyre so most fun to pick.

HE: Whats a usual inapplicable designation we see amateur gardeners making?
KK: They plant their seeds too deep. You dont want to plant a seed more than twice as deep as a width of a seed which means for something like carrots or lettuce which have really small seeds, we want to put them just under a surface as well as barely cover them with dirt.

HE: Whats your advice for people who get frustrated by plants which dont grow or produce a vegetables they hoped for?

KK: The pass is just getting out there as well as planting things. It will be a learning process, as well as every year we will learn so most just from we do it. Also, it pays to plant a variety, because one year a weather competence be better for tomatoes as well as a next year we could get usually a couple of tomatoes though a bumper crop of zucchini.

Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based publisher who writes about nutrition, health as well as wellness.