With the on-going pandemic, many people have picked up home-based hobbies like reading, working puzzles, making bread, and home gardening. It’s astonishing to see how much you can save by growing your own produce. Today, we’ll discuss some of the easiest vegetables for first-time gardeners to help you get started with your own backyard vegetable garden.
Vegetable Garden For Beginners
Before we talk about plant selection, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure not to over plant. Many first-time gardeners make this mistake in their enthusiasm to grow their own food. While it is a gratifying hobby, you don’t want to let food go to waste. A single tomato plant is more than enough to feed a family of four, assuming you have one to two tomatoes a day with lunch or dinner. Additionally, be realistic about how much time you have to devote to gardening. Watering a few plants every day is easy, but many people take on more plants than they actually have the time for and become disappointed and frustrated when they can’t keep up.
Secondly, consider what your family actually likes to eat before deciding what to plant. It’s incredibly easy to grow green beans, but if your family doesn’t enjoy them, they will go to waste. This may seem like common sense, but first-time gardeners sometimes forget about this and focus only on the growing difficulty level.
Also, consider buying an adult plant instead of growing from garden seeds. Some vegetables are only available to start from seeds, but others, like tomato plants, can usually be purchased in their adult stage. Transplanting an adult plant will increase the likelihood of your plant thriving and a successful harvest later down the road. It also decreases the time you have to wait for a harvest.
If you choose to plant tall veggies like beans or corn, be sure to put them on the north side of your garden, so they don’t shade other veggies around them.
Lastly, make sure your soil has been tilled recently and mix in some good compost. If your soil is too compacted, consider an aeration treatment. Aeration will break up the compacted soil so air, water, sunlight, and nutrients can get to the plants’ roots.
Vegetable Garden Plants
Tomatoes reach maturity in 60 – 80 days, depending on the cultivar. Once they reach maturity, you can count on them for a steady harvest until the frost comes in fall. They’ll need at least six hours of direct sunlight a day and lots of water – about two inches per week during the growing season.
Cucumbers are easy to grow and will need a lattice or something else to climb upwards. Unless you have a large family or eat more than one cucumber a day, you’ll likely enjoy a robust crop and may even need to give away some of your harvest.
Because they have a fairly long growing season, you may need to start your bell peppers indoors. Water one to two inches per week. They are heat sensitive, so if the summer weather is scorching and dry, you may need to water more frequently.
This versatile plant comes in “bush” and “pole” forms. Bush beans grow in compacted bushes and don’t require poles or trellises like their friends, making it easy to get a garden started. Both varieties are relatively low maintenance, but pole bean varieties tend to be more disease resistant and yield more crops, so keep that in mind when making your selection of green beans. Unlike other crops, green beans typically reach maturity in about 55 days, so you won’t have to wait as long to see the results of your hard work. Once the seed pods start forming, pick them daily. The more you pick, the more beans will grow to replace the ones you’ve harvested.
What better way to celebrate the harvest than growing your own jack-o-lantern? With relatively little effort, you can have plenty of pumpkins to eat, carve, and convert to pie in the fall. While there are many varieties, most have runners, so you’ll need to dedicate a fair bit of horizontal space for the vines. However, if you regularly prune the vines, the plant will concentrate its nutrients and energy on the fruit, not expanding. Of all the plants we’ve listed, pumpkins require the most dedication, as you will need to fertilize often and turn the fruit as they grow to develop an even shape.
Carrots need loose soil to grow since they flourish beneath the surface. If your garden soil is clay or very rocky, you may need to create a raised bed for them to thrive. This is one plant that should be grown from seeds, not adult transplants. You’ll want to place them two to three inches apart, about a quarter-inch below the surface. Carrots may take two to three weeks to germinate, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any signs of growth right away.
Keep Your Vegetable Garden Healthy And Pest-Free With Showcase Lawn Care Inc.
Don’t let weeds, grubs, and compacted soil put an end to your dream veggie garden. The experts at Showcase Lawn Care are here to help! We offer a variety of services, including weed control, grub treatments, and aeration. Talk to a licensed technician today! Call (763) 425-1200 or contact us online here. We’re also pleased to offer other services like snow removal and lawn care, which you can read about on our monthly blog.