Vegetable Gardening Crash Course – Easy Start!

Vegetable Gardening Crash Course – Easy Start!Fresh produce tastes much better than produce bought from the store, it is sweeter and juicier. Imagine being able to have fresh vegetables right at your fingertips or about the money you could save on your grocery bill while still eating healthy food. Growing your own garden is ideal and regardless if you are a beginner gardener or an experienced one, these tips will definitely help you!

The benefits of growing your own vegetables:

  • We all know that fresh produce is delicious and having your own garden will provide you with fresh vegetables every day
  • You will be able to feed your family with organic, non-GMO vegetables. You will be in good health and you will nourish this healthy eating habit.
  • Vegetable gardening is a relaxing and enjoyable activity. Being able to take a small seed, put it in the ground and have it grow into something useful is amazing and incredibly satisfying.
  • It’s all about the money these days! Having your own vegetable garden will help you save money in these trying times.
  • Vegetable gardening is a skill that once mastered can easily assure you self-sufficiency. Being able to grow your own food will give you an advantage during an economic crisis.

Gardening is not always about spacing and even if you don’t have a lot of yard space you can grow your own food no matter how much or how little propriety you have.

What should you grow?

In the picture below you can see some of the vegetables you can grow on a plot garden:

Prepper's Will - Vegetable for a plot garden

If a patio garden is more of your thing, here are some vegetable gardening ideas:

Prepper's Will - Vegetable for a patio garden

Vegetable Gardening – How about the dirt?

If you don’t have good ground to grow in, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on the plants, they won’t grow well. Once you invest in good soil you can use it for several years and just add organic compost on top of it to keep the dirt fresh. You can use manure or compost to improve the quality of your soil.

Manure contains a lot of great nutrients that are beneficial for plant health and this makes it a great fertilizer. You can procure manure from your local farms or you can buy it online.

Compost is made from decayed plants or plant parts and it’s often used as fertilizer due to its nutrients content. You can make compost from your kitchen scraps and if you make your compost pile correctly, it should have little to no odor. You can use organic material such as: parts of plants, peels from fruits, coffee grounds, rotten produce egg shells. Do not include animal products since it will attract pests and your compost will have a nasty smell.

Planting, Care and Harvesting basics for your vegetable gardening.

It’s time to get down and dirty! When you properly prepare the foundation of your garden, making sure the plants can get what they need, success follows. The formula is simple, but vegetable gardening will require some work from your part. Below you can see the specifications for some vegetables and you can also download an extended list with many vegetables.

Vegetable Gardening – Beetroot

Planting period: April – July

Seeds Spacing (gap to leave between seeds): 0.7”- 2” (2-5 cm)

Propagator required (growing roots/seedlings before planting): No

Sow in Direct Sunlight: Yes

Seedlings Spacing (gap to leave between seedlings): 2-4 inches (5-10 cm)

Germination (no. days to germinate): 7-10

Days to maturation (no. days to reach maturity): 55-65

Pests (common known pests): webworm, weevil, aphids.

Harvesting period: June – September

Vegetable Gardening – Broccoli

Planting period: April – May

Seeds Spacing (gap to leave between seeds): 0.7–2 inches (2-5 cm)

Propagator required (growing roots/seedlings before planting): No

Sow in Direct Sunlight: Yes

Germination (no. days to germinate): 3-10

Days to maturation (no. days to reach maturity): 60-80

Pests (common known pests): caterpillars

Harvesting period: July – September

Vegetable Gardening – Tomatoes

Planting period: March – April

Seeds Spacing (gap to leave between seeds): N/A

Propagator required (growing roots/seedlings before planting): Yes

Sow in Direct Sunlight: No

Sow indoor: Yes

Pot size (move to larger pot or garden 1 month after sowing): 12 inches (30cm)

Germination (no. days to germinate): 6-14

Days to maturation (no. days to reach maturity): 55-90

Pests (common known pests): cutworms, beetles, aphids, hornworms, stinkbugs.

For much more planting instructions, you can download the full vegetables list here.

Vegetable Gardening Watering Tips:

  • If a plant isn’t getting enough water, flower petals and buds are the first things to be jettisoned. Next to go are the leaves, which shrivel and then the stems flop.
  • Watering should be done early in the morning before the sun is fully overhead. Watering at night can make plants susceptible to rot
  • Some plants in your garden may require more water than others, in which case watering by hand is indicated
  • If you can, make sure to use rain water for your garden it’s much healthier for the plants and it’s cheaper for you
  • Water the soil and not the leaves because the roots are the ones that absorb water. Watering the leaves of your plants can result in disease problems.
  • No matter what kind of garden you have or which watering system you use, infrequent deep soakings are better than frequent shallow waterings.

Related reading: How to store rainwater.

Vegetable Gardening – Companion planting

When you lack gardening space, you will do anything to fit as many plants into your spot as you can. You have to consider companion planting. Companion planting is when you grow several vegetables in the same spot in order to maximize your space. While you maximize your space, you will also create natural shade for you vegetables, help facilitate the nitrogen cycle in your soil and create a natural system of pest control. Companion gardening is a common practice for vegetable gardening.

There are many plants that work well together and benefit each other as you can see in the following pictures. Plant these vegetables together to make the most use of space and deter pests:

Prepper's Will - Gardening - Companion plantingPrepper's Will - Gardening - Companion planting 2Prepper's Will - Gardening - Companion planting 3Prepper's Will - Gardening - Companion planting 4

Vegetable Gardening Tricks you should know!

  • Onions deter most pests
  • Tomatoes repel the caterpillars that chew on cabbage leaves
  • Onions and leeks repel carrot flies
  • Radishes deter cucumber beetles
  • Lettuce tenderizes summer radishes
  • Radishes draws leaf-miners away from spinach to chew on radish leaves (without harming the radish underground)
  • You can save up toilet paper rolls and use them as seed starters (put them vertically in an old plastic container).
  • When planting in a pot, put a sponge over the drain hole to keep the soil in and help the plants stay moist.
  • Plant marigolds next to tomatoes for a better yield because marigolds will attract bees to your tomato plants.
  • Nasturtiums act as a natural bug deterrent for squash, zucchini and broccoli.
  • Petunias next to beans will fend off beetles that like corn.
  • Gather some flat stones and use them as plant marker. Just write on them what is planted where, using a permanent marker.
  • If you keep losing your gardening tools, use a fluorescent spray to help you spot them. Just spray paint the handle with bright red and you will never lose them again.

Happy Gardening and God Bless!

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