Ok so here is where I get overwhelmed. If you are like me you will have your garden spaces all marked out, soil prepped, and fertilized. BUT there are sooo many veggies and herbs I want to plant, how will they all fit? What kinds of tomatoes do I want (cherry, beefsteak, heirloom…), how many kinds of hot peppers do I REALLY want and will I eat them all? Here are a few suggestions to help you decide:
What to pick? Select what you and your family love to eat, but be open to branching out to different varieties than what you see in on the supermarket shelves. Talk to fellow gardeners or your local nursery about how many plants per person should be grown. This gives you an idea of spacing and if your gardens can handle all the plants you want to grow. For example; it is recommended to grow 4-6 tomato plants for a family of 4. Four to six broccoli plants for a family of 4 (you get the point). And lastly, what do you really cook with on the regular, then pick one or two new vegetables to test out each year.
Growing your own vegetables can be the most gratifying hobby you do and also the most flavorful. Believe it or not it is also relatively easy as long as you start correctly from the ground up. There are three basic ways to grow edibles: containers, raised beds or the ground. Choosing a spot has to be right for youfirst and foremost. Once gardening becomes a chore- it isn’t fun anymore. If you start out with a 50ft bed and no time to manage it, you leave the garden behind, left to collect weeds, never to be tended to again and you decide you hate gardening and it is too hard. That’s not fair to you or your garden. So, you need a site in your yard that has the most sun. Veggies require 6+ hours of sun. Then you can choose the way you will grow your veggies.
Pros- They’re perfect for small spaces. Just make sure they’re deep enough for roots to grow and wide enough so the plant doesn’t blow over in the wind. They are also easy to move and place elsewhere if they are not getting enough sun.
Cons- When it is hot and sunny they need frequent watering; almost daily.
Pros- You can customize size, soil and correct problems easily. *use untreated wood to prevent chemicals from leaching into the soil.
Cons- Since you need to fill the beds with soil, initial costs could be higher than growing in the ground. You may also need to water and feed more frequently because they drain so effectively.
Pros- This method is most economical and requires less work in the beginning. You can water less.
Cons- You have to work with what Mother Nature has provided, which could include poor soil or lots of inconveniently placed tree roots or rocks. Therefor adding to the cost.