5 Steps to an Easy Vegetable Garden
Do you wish you had yummy homegrown vegetables but you don’t think you can have an easy vegetable garden? Vegetable gardening CAN be a full-time job, but you can also garden in just a few easy steps and get those veggies you’re hungry for with a little effort.
Step one for your easy vegetable garden
Choose a location for your vegetable garden:
Location, location, location. It’s true in real estate and gardening. You NEED 6-8 hours of direct sunlight in your garden per day. Don’t chose a shady spot or your vegetable garden plants won’t grow! If you live in a hot climate like the south, don’t chose a location that gets 14 hours of full sunlight per day either. Here in Oklahoma, we have to have some afternoon shade or our plants will burn right up. I also try to shade more tender crops like tomatoes and greens with taller crops like sunflowers, corn, or okra.
Another thing to keep in mind is location of your water source. I KNOW myself. I KNOW when it gets so hot a grasshopper can burst into flames, I don’t want to stand out in the sun with a water hose and die to death getting my plants a drink. I have learned many a time, I need that water source to be EASY. Make sure you have something set up before the heat sets in or you may throw in the towel and let your veggies get toasted.
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Step two for your easy vegetable garden
Use a low maintenance planting space:
Make sure your space is accessible to you. Make sure you can see it from inside the house so you don’t forget about it. Make sure whether you plant in the ground or in raised beds, you get your soil worked up before it gets too hot to work out there.
Using raised beds helps you have an easy vegetable garden because there are far fewer weeds, you don’t have to stoop over as far to week and harvest your vegetables, and they drain well so if the gardens get too much water, your plants won’t drown. Click here to see some of the benefits of planting in raised beds.
Once you learn the basics of how to grow vegetables, you’ll be a pro in no time. Vegetable garden plants may be easier to grow than you think. People tell me all the time, I can’t grow anything, but that used to be me. Click here to see how I turned my two black thumbs of death into brownish green.
Vegetable gardening for beginners is a fun adventure. You’ll be amazed at the awe and wonder of growing your own food. I learn so much every single day!
Building garden soil is the best way to make sure your space is low maintenance. Healthy vegetable garden plants require less maintenance and produce more. Make sure you amend your space with lots of organic matter and it will be a low maintenance garden for you.
START SMALL. You can always build up, but starting with too much garden is a sure-fire way to get overwhelmed. Make one small bed and expand it year to year until you’re happy with the size. I promise, you’ll thank me for this one.
You can also plant a lot of things in containers. Why that’s not a super easy vegetable garden idea for me is because I don’t like to water every day and pots full of vegetables in the dead of summer when you skin sears off as soon as you walk out the door in the hot, blazing sun. And plants in pots will have to be watered at least once a day, maybe twice when the temps get up over 100 in the vegetable garden. They dry out quick!
Step three for your easy vegetable garden
Choose vegetable garden plants and plant them:
Planning is the most important part of how to grow vegetables. You can plan your way to and easy vegetable garden more than you realize. Make a chart of what you’d like to eat. There’s not since in learning how to start a vegetable garden if you’re going to grow stuff you don’t like.
Make a list of your favorite things and then consider how easy it is to grow them. Home grown tomatoes are the bee’s knees, but tomatoes are finicky and, in my opinion, some of the most difficult plants to grow. If you’re a beginner, maybe consider something easier.
Here are my top picks for super cinchy growing:
- Zucchini Squash
- Green Beans
As you learn more about how to start a vegetable garden, you may add more difficult plants as you continue to grow. Check out the farmer’s almanac here for lots of growing tips and suggestions for your easy vegetable garden.
Now you have to plant what you’ve chosen. For these plants on the list, I suggest buying seedlings at your local garden center for peppers and cabbage. You will have a lot better luck letting someone else start those for you. Then for the other vegetables on the list, direct sow those seeds right into your garden bed. Read the packet and seedling planting instructions for a step by step guide to planting each vegetable garden plant and seed.
Step four for your easy vegetable garden
Learn how to water your vegetable garden:
Most people think you need to water your garden every day, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you water every day, your garden vegetable plants will develop very shallow roots and depend on you for that constant water supply. You should water very deeply in your vegetable garden. Your plants need one inch of water per week all at once. It’s best to water early in the morning before the sun is up beating down on the garden and evaporating all of your efforts. Watering at night can encourage fungus. Click here for more on how much water your garden needs.
Make sure you have a watering system set up before you build your gardens. We have sprinklers that reach most everything we grow with the flip of a switch and a turn of the spigot. We just turn them on and let them go. Drip irrigation is even better for vegetable garden plants.
Step five for your easy vegetable garden
Mulching your vegetable garden:
Mulch will help your new vegetable garden exponentially. We use old leaves or straw we get at the garden store to mulch. (Never use hay, it’s full of seeds) We plant our plants and once they are about 5 inches tall, we mulch around each plant heavily.
Mulch holds in moisture so your vegetable garden plants don’t need to be watered nearly as much. It also blocks weeds from the sun so they don’t germinate and there is far less weeding to be done. Mulch also keeps your soil from eroding in the rain and wind, so you keep more of your organic matter in place.
Mulch is the number one key to why I am still gardening and still loving it. Last year, we didn’t mulch and the garden overtook us. Weeds and watering were overwhelming and we lost a bunch of our soil from our garden beds. The soil in the raised beds was also quite compacted from the pressure of the rain and watering. We promised ourselves to never make that mistake again. Click here for how to much your garden for free.
Careful step by step planning for your vegetable garden will help you have a super easy time growing your own yummy vegetables. Gardening is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and I hope you try it and love it too!
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