Rising food prices, along with concerns about the safety of the commercial food supply, have many Americans looking for alternate ways to provide healthy food for their families. For many, planting a vegetable garden in their backyard can be a rewarding way to reduce grocery costs while enjoying the freshest produce. If you are planning your first foray into vegetable gardening you can use the following tips to help you make your first garden deliciously successful.
Start small and focus your efforts
As you think about all the vegetables that you might grow and the amount of money you might save on your grocery bill, it can be hard to resist the urge to plant a huge garden. Since the size of any garden is directly proportional to the amount of time and hard work it will need, it is usually much more productive to begin with a small garden that you will enjoy maintaining without becoming overwhelmed.
Another area of gardening that can become overwhelming to the new gardener is determining what to plant. Browsing through seed catalogs or taking a trip to the local plant nursery will quickly reveal hundreds of vegetable varieties to choose from and each one will sound more delicious than the one before. To avoid becoming overwhelmed or making poor choices for planting your first garden, consider the following factors before making your final selections:
- will your family eat it? (it is fine to experiment with an unusual vegetable variety, but since the goal is to help reduce the family grocery bill, it is best to stick with those that you know your family will eat)
- what are your space limitations? (using a piece of graph paper and the spacing requirements found on the labels of most plants, plot a workable arrangement for your garden space to ensure there is no overcrowding)
- what special conditions will affect your garden? (be sure to consider climate, expected rainfall, access to irrigation, excessive shade from nearby trees and any other special conditions your garden will face and then look for vegetable varieties that will be most suitable for your space)
Choose pre-started plants to shorten the learning curve
Growing plants from seeds are part of the fun of gardening, but to get the fastest results from your first garden it can be better to limit your choices to pre-started plants. Doing this will shorten the time frame from planting to harvest and allow your family to enjoy the fruits of your first gardening success much more quickly. Talk to a landscaper, like Greg Boyer Landscape Corp, for more help.