So are you wondering how to start a Vegetable Garden from Scratch?
For the past few years I have had a tiny vegetable garden. I would increase the area every year, but it was still tiny. The main reason is that I was digging it by hand and THAT my friends, is hard work.
My first garden at our present house was a tiny 3′ x 3′ fenced in garden. We had some neighborhood dogs and cats and I didn’t want them getting in there so this was my best solution.
My beautiful raised beds at my old house were the feline public restrooms and I sure didn’t want that happening again!
Each year I added another 3′ x 3′ to my garden and it slowly grew to where I had enough room and I could raise vegetables and herbs.
But my herbs would take over. Now that I have a separate herb bed, that shouldn’t be a problem!
This photo is probably my 4 year old garden and it is now 6′ x 9′. My plan of adding 3′ x 3′ every year worked really well. It wasn’t too much to accomplish and it gave me a new area to plant my tomatoes each year.
My last garden had grown to 12′ x 12′ and I still loved the way it looked! Though, as you can see here, it was mostly herbs.
I gave it up for the Apiary, and although I intended to get a new spot ready earlier, I have waited until it is NOW OR NEVER time. So I am hoping Mr. Menace can find a nearby farmer to come plow up a spot for me. If we are successful, this will be the first time I’ve done it this way in many many years.
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The first thing to do to start a new garden is to break up the ground. There are three methods to accomplish this:
- Dig with a shovel
- Plow with a tractor
- Break up with a tiller
As I just mentioned, I have been doing my small plot with my shovel. Doing it this way, I would pull out all the grass and weeds as I was digging. It is very time consuming but works so well in the end, because you have minimal weeds to deal with through the growing season.
The fastest and easiest way is plowing with a tractor. Of course the main problem with this is that most of us do not own a tractor.
Using a tiller gives the same results as a tractor but takes more time and energy and again, you have to own a tiller.
Mr. Menace was successful in locating a neighbor who was out plowing his garden this past weekend and now mine is plowed too! I’m dancing a garden jig over here!
AMENDING THE SOIL:
When I am planting flowers in the yard I always add compost and manure to the soil that I have dug up, before I put the plant into the ground. Likewise, in my small garden plot in the past, I also amended the soil before planting. I prefer the Black Kow manure and compost, which can be found at Lowe’s in my area.
This method isn’t going to work in my newly plowed garden though. The garden is way too big and I can’t afford that many bags of compost. Plus, a lot of it would be wasted on the non-planted areas between rows and plants and I sure don’t want to fertilize the weeds!
- Raised bed, or small garden plot: add a bag of manure and a bag of compost
- Tilled or plowed garden:
- when planting bedding plants add compost and manure to each plant’s hole
- when planting seeds add compost and manure to each row, then cover with soil before adding the seeds
Getting a garden started is my favorite part! It’s the watering and weeding that must take place later that will test your patience and dedication to gardening.
If you are interested in learning more, you might like this post about planting the vegetable garden.
Have you ever tried raising your own vegetables?