Today, in a world where the cost of living is constantly increase, vegetable gardening is practiced more and more in backyards all around the world.
It’s a way Jenny and I save money, get some exercise and best of all we are eating better.
Now that Jenny and I have started vegetable gardening I want to turn most of the lawn into vegetable gardens and save even more money. Plus there will be less lawn to care for.
It’s Not Difficult Being A Vegetable Gardener
By following just a few simple vegetable gardening tips pretty much anyone can start their own vegetable garden. It all starts with a plan and the first step in the plan is LOCATION. Where does the summer sun hit your yard the best and for the longest period of the day?
Although it’s great to have a yard, for some it might mean using a balcony high off the ground for their garden, as long as it gets enough direct sunlight each day.
Pay attention to the trees that block direct sunlight. The picture on the left shows our little vegetable garden with towering trees behind it, which is the east, so our garden doesn’t get direct sunlight until after 10am.
When we started our garden we didn’t even think of the trees as they were fairly small back then. Now we have to remove a few trees along the fence because I’m not relocating our vegetable garden and in a couple more years it will be noon before they get direct sunlight.
Follow the vegetable gardening tips below and you’ll do fine:
1. Start With A Vegetable Garden You Can Manage
Of course I knew I had a desire to start a vegetable garden but I also needed to know it was something I would stick with so rather than start big and wish I hadn’t I started with a very small vegetable garden.
The following year I doubled the size, which was still not very big and each year since I have increased the veggie garden size and plan to increase it again next spring or even this fall. But first I have to be sure I remove the problem trees that are blocking the early morning sun from our garden.
2. Have The Right Tools For The Job At Hand
I have used old garden tools before and they can make gardening hard than it has to be. In the years since we started gardening we have purchased at least one or two new garden tools each year so that it’s not too costly.
Get yourself good quality gardening tools then be sure to take care of them so they will help you tend your vegetable and flower gardens for years to come.
Some Basic Gardening Essentials Include:
- a spade
- a garden fork
- a hoe
- a hand weeder
- a wheelbarrow
- a rake
- a garden hose
- rain barrels
I think the first thing we bought was a cheap hoe for weeding the garden. I should have known better but it was on sale and they were pretty much giving it away. Turned out it was a piece of crap hoe and every time I tried to use the pointed corners of the hoe the head would spin inside the handle making it pretty much useless. It was returned right away.
It’s not the first thing I’ve bought that was cheap, just to save a buck. My advice is to buy quality tools and keep in mind they will last for years. It took me time and cost me money returning the hoe and then going somewhere else to buy a good one, so I was wasting both time and money, just to save a buck.
Get yourself a quality garden hose that will be able to reach your vegetable garden. You might even want to get a soaker hose for the days you need to really give your garden a soaking.
It’s a great investment to buy a couple of rain barrels and collect rain water rather than using the city supply, which likely has chlorine in it. We have found that the city water tends to leave a white powdery residue on the leaves when we go for stretches without much rain.
We have been looking for a wheelbarrow that has two wheels that would be easier to balance than a single wheel but then we borrowed our neighbours wheelbarrow, which has a single wheel and it worked just fine, no balancing issues at all, so now we are just waiting for a good deal this fall.
Extra Gardening Tools Tip: I never thought of this but this morning I read a vegetable gardening tips that suggested painting the handles of our tools with a bright color that contrasts heavily with green. It immediately reminded me of the times I looked around the yard to find a tool and have walked right past it.
3. Get Your Garden Seeds From A Good Source
Learn your growing zone or plant hardiness zone so you know the types of vegetables and fruit that will thrive where you live. Just do a search in your favourite search engine. You can enter a search string such as:
plant hardiness zone +’your location and country’
For example: plant hardiness zone +New Brunswick +Canada
Using this search text I found a map that showed us we are in zone 4. Next I did a search for vegetables that grow well in hardiness zone 4.
I get most of my vegetable garden seed from Mike The Gardener’s Seed of the Month Club and for just a couple of bucks a month I have all kinds of great quality seeds that have provided us with plenty of good veggies over the past few years. Give them a look and see if it’s something you can benefit from.
Find locals who already vegetable garden in your area and pick their brains for helpful tips. Most gardeners are quite willing to share what they know if you’re ready to listen.
Save your seeds for next year like have started doing and even trade seeds with friends and neighbours so that you can get seeds you haven’t tried before.
4. Learn How To Keep Pests And Weeds at Bay
It can be a bit depressing when you work hard to have a great vegetable garden and then pests and/or weeds take over. There are ways to protect your vegetables from these garden pests, without using chemical pesticides I might add.
Try growing plants that tend to repellent insects such as onion, garlic, and chives. Plants these as a border around the edge of your garden to help keep pests away.
Having your garden soil well tilled so that there’s a good balance of microbes and earthworms which will help your veggies to grow strong healthy root systems which will keep your plants stronger and more resistant to pests.
Using an an inch or two of untreated mulch around each plant will also keep the dirt away from vegetable leaves and will also help to keep weeds from getting any sunlight which will keep them from growing.
5. Water Your Veggie Plants Regularly
We can go a few days without water before it really starts to show but your veggies are likely to show lack of water in just one day. Be sure to give your veggies enough water to establish strong healthy roots. Keep in mind that mulching will not only help to keep dirt of the leaves and weeds from growing, it also helps to keep moisture from evaporating and being wasted.
Don’t flood your garden thinking more is better because it will cause your veggies roots to rot and drown. It’s a balance and good draining soil will help keep your garden drained of excess water.
Take the time to check each vegetable you’d like to grow with online sources or seed guides to see how much water they require each week.
We like to water our gardens before the sun is high in the sky so that there is less evaporation which takes less water getting the job done. Watering done early mornings helps to stave off mildew and other fungus due to water on the leaves.
There may seem to be a lot of things to do for a successful vegetable garden so starting small is the way to go. We have found that starting small allowed us to deal quickly with any problems so we learn how to avoid problems before our garden gets too big.
It’s a great time to get yourself a copy of Food4Wealth and learn how to be the best vegetable gardener you can be and this package includes videos which is my favourite way of learning next to actually have a pro in my garden showing me hands on.
Be sure to share your vegetable gardening experience with our readers.