How To Start Your First Vegetable Garden

Home gardening has taken off with lots of families looking to have their own supply of freshly grown produce. Gardening can be a fun way for the family to collaborate or a calming activity for you to do on your own. If you’re new to growing vegetables, here’s some information that can help you blossom as a gardener.

Start Small

You don’t need to jump into full-farm production in your first season.

“A good size for a beginner’s vegetable garden is 10×10 feet, about the size of a small bedroom. Keep it simple. Select up to five types of vegetables to grow, and plant a few of each type. You’ll get plenty of fresh produce for your summer meals, and it will be easy to keep up with the chores. If 10×10 feet seems intimidating, you can go smaller (the veggies won’t mind) or consider growing vegetables in containers. With them you don’t even need a yard; a sunny deck or balcony work fine.”Better Homes & Gardens

Plan the Location Of Your Garden Carefully

Here are a few things to consider before you lay down your roots:

  • Will your garden be accessible? Think about your daily check-in. Are you going to want to walk to a hard-to-get-to spot on your property? And when you need to grab a few herbs for dinner, is it going to be convenient?
  • Where does the sun shine?…and for how long? The experts at Better Homes & Gardens say “orient your garden from north to south to get maximum sun exposure; when plants are positioned from east to west they tend to shade each other too much. No matter where you put your garden or what you decide to plant, there are three basic requirements for success: Sun, water, and soil.”

Get Ready To Water

Your plants are going to need water on a regular basis, so make sure you have a good system in place. How many trips will you have to take with a watering can? Will your hose reach?

“During the first few weeks after seeds germinate or seedlings are transplanted, frequent watering keeps plants strong. Once your plants are established, it’s a better idea to give your garden a long drink every few days rather than a little sprinkle every day.” – Better Homes & Gardens

Prepare Your Soil

Soil plays a huge role in gardening. It provides water to your plants, helps the roots anchor, and allows the plants to get the air and nutrients they need to grow. In Kitchener-Waterloo, we’re lucky to have lots of great nurseries with experts in the field. You can talk to them about what type of soil would be best for your garden.

If your existing soil needs to be brought back to life, you can work some compost into it a few days before you plant your seeds.

Vegetables for Beginners

If you’re not sure which vegetables to start with, here’s a list of vegetables and herbs for beginner gardeners:

  • Peas
  • Pole Beans
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Basil
  • Green onions
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Swiss chard

Happy gardening!