Gardening for Beginners

 Gardening for Beginnerstomato

Every year, when the weather starts to warm up and Spring comes around, I think to myself, I can do that. I will try that.  But, I have never really had the right location for a garden. Until this year. Being new homeowners, my husband and I have decided that this is the year!  I have already picked up a few seed packets that the kids helped me pick out. We’ve got beefsteak tomatoes, green beans, dill, butternut squash, yellow squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelons. We are so very hopeful that we will be able to plant these seeds and finally we are going to make an attempt at a little garden for our family.

I thought some of you might find this list helpful – I know I certainly did!  So here are some tips to selecting the right veggies for your garden:

Growing a vegetable garden is one of the most rewarding activities you can do for your family. Home grown vegetables taste better and have more nutrients than store bought veggies since you can pick them the same day you want to use them or even can them when they are at their ripest. There are an infinite number of veggies that you can grow in your backyard or even just on your patio or balcony. Here are a few perfect plants to grow in your first veggie garden:

Green beans are an easy plant to grow in your first vegetable garden. The only hard part is knowing if the plants or seeds you have are a bush variety or are climbers. If they are bush beans, then you don’t need to do anything other than plant them a half an inch under the soil and water in well. If they are climbers, you will need to add a trellis or plant them up against a wall so that they can climb up. Green beans start to produce on average 45 days after you plant them.

Cucumbers or zucchini are also very easy vegetables to grow. When planting the seed, make sure it is buried at least 3x the diameter of the seed. Since these tend to be large seeds, make a hole half an inch down and cover it up. In a week the plant will be about an inch high already! If transplanting, make the hole the size of the root ball and gently tease out the roots and place it in the hole then water it in well. These plants can get quite large so plant 12 inches apart. It should start to set out fruit after 30 days and you can be eating cucumbers and zucchini in as little as 60 days.

Tomatoes are another plant that are not too difficult to grow. There are so many varieties to choose from and selecting what you want to grow might be the hardest part! The key to tomatoes is to remember they will not set fruit if the daytime temperatures get over 90 degrees. If you are in the Southwest, plant tomatoes in February and after Mother’s Day in most areas of the Midwest and Northern states. Make sure that the tomatoes are not on the ground as too many insects and critters will eat them before you do! You can harvest the tomatoes when they are still green or you cut some of the vine with it and allow them to continue to ripen on the vine in your kitchen.   (technically tomatoes are fruit but in cooking they are usually used as a savory ingredient so we included them as a veggie for the purposes of this post.)

Both spinach and leaf lettuce are also quite easy to grow for the beginning gardener. You can mix the seed and spread the mixture over an area and cut the baby leaves after they are a couple inches tall. This successive sowing will keep new leaves growing each week and allows you to have fresh greens until the weather gets too warm!

These are just a few of the perfect plants to grow in your first veggie garden. There are many more just waiting for you to try and see if you have a green thumb too!

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