We all have experienced the disappointment that comes from opening up our fridge only to find that our vegetables are already limp, stodgy, or bruised. Starting a vegetable garden is the best way to go in order to have fresh produce all the time while actually saving money. Here are the easy steps for you to follow in starting your own vegetable garden.

1. Select Location

There are three important things to consider in selecting your vegetable garden location. First, the location should have plenty of direct sunlight which is ideally 6-8 hours or more. Second, you should have water access in that location since the vegetable plants need to be watered regularly. Third, it is very important to select a location that has well-draining, rich, and fertile soil.

2. Prepare your Garden

In preparing a vegetable garden, you will need tools to rake out the stones and till the soil. Grab your trowel, fork, and even shovel to remove the stones and weeds in the location. Fencing is also one important part of your preparation because you would want to protect your crops from animals who would be tempted to eat them.

3. Learn your Hardiness Zone

It is important the know which crops will grow best in your area and the best time to plant them. The Plant Hardiness Zone differs from one area to another and this factor has an extreme effect on how your garden grows.

4. Choose your Crops

Consider planting vegetables that your family mostly consumes. This is also a great opportunity to plant vegetables that are hard to find in your area. Try making a list of the vegetables that you tried to purchase but aren’t available. If your climate condition allows, you will not only eat fresh vegetables but also cook in more varieties than ever and save money from groceries.

5. Plant in Sufficient Distance

When it comes to row planting, it is ideal to allow at least an 18 inches distance between your crops. If there is not enough distance, the risk of your plant suffering from diseases is higher. The communication of disease from one plant to another is to a great extent if they are too close together.

6. Water your Crops

Before planting your vegetables, make sure that you keep the soil moist through sufficient watering. Once you have your crops planted, water them between 3 and 4 centimeters every week. If the soil is 3 to 4 inches down, then it’s time to water. The best time to water would be early in the morning so that it will have time to dry during the day.

7. Thin your Crops

Removing crops that are unhealthy or showing signs of disease will allow the other plants to grow better. Thinning is an important process that can be started once your plant reaches 3 centimeters high. After thinning, the healthier crops will then receive proper moisture, nutrients, and light because the competition has been reduced.

8. Remove Weeds

Weeds deprive your crops of moisture, nutrients, and light that’s why they have to be removed as soon as they appear. Check your garden a couple of times a week to ensure that there are no unwanted plants growing in your garden.

9. Apply Fertilizers

Fertilizer is essential because it ensures that your plants receive the nutrients they need to grow and produce food. Liquid fertilizers are the most convenient option because you can just add them while you water. With the easy handling that this type of fertilizer offers, there is no reason why you should skip this important step.

10. Harvest Time

This is the sweetest part of gardening but still has to be done with caution. Once the crop has reached the edible size, you may begin to pluck gently using a garden fork. Try not to damage the roots and it would be ideal to only harvest the vegetables that you need. This way, you will have fresh produce whenever you need them. Happy Harvest!