Hitting the gym for physical exercise and hanging out with friends to refresh yourself even though you are not too much into socializing is no more needed now. Home gardening can bring you tons of benefits, by understanding the entire gardening concept I realized that not all introverts need to push themselves in acceptance of social life just for physical and mental benefits. I realized plants and flowers can be a great friend too!! Not sure what more gardening has to offer? Having a vegetable garden in the backyard would be nothing but a boon to you!!

A health freak like me who always depended on protein shakes and bars, understood that there’s nothing more tastier and healthier than cultivating organic vegetables in the home garden and consuming the same.

Planting your first vegetable garden?

I guess we are on the same page right then, sharing a common interest in organic food.

New to gardening? It’s ok, there’s something which always happens for the first time.

Today, step by step, I’m going to share tips on how to start a vegetable garden. This strategy does not involve a big financial investment or expensive repair expertise, but some elbow grease and a limited budget are needed. All of life’s nice stuff takes a bit of effort, and a vegetable garden is no different.

Where to put up a vegetable garden?

The only parameter you need to look for when choosing a location for growing organic vegetables is the sunlight. Most of the veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, etc require 6-8 hours of sunlight for themselves to grow better and faster and so choosing a sunny spot for the vegetable garden is a must. I was aware that sunlight is the key and this helped me find the right location within few minutes for my vegetables to grow in my garden

How big a vegetable garden should be?

The bigger the better it is, however, for people like us who don’t have a huge garden need not be disappointed. Irrespective of the size of my garden, I just made sure that there is enough room for my vegetables to root and grow and guess what? The results were mind-blowing!!

A 4 by 8-foot bed is ideal for you to begin with your vegetable garden but if you lack space or wish to start even smaller then I would suggest you try planting container-friendly veggies and herbs in pots or window boxes over a sunny deck.

Remember, a home garden doesn’t have to be large to be productive.

What to grow in your home garden?

Options are endless!! I was so fascinated with my first ever vegetable growing garden that I wished and tried my best to grow every vegetable but with good research, I understood that a beginner like you and I can’t make it happen. Just like me, you might also get tempted to want to grow everything but hold your thoughts and think if it is possible and you will get your answer. I would suggest you pick 4-5 types of vegetables and dedicate yourself completely to grow them well.

With so many options available, let me help you by stating the Must-Have’s one

Chilli

This one is super easy to cultivate. You can get the seeds from in your kitchen for the same.

  • Mix equivalent proportions of cow dung, loam, and compost (or tiny pieces of thermocouple).
  • In a small pot, put the potting mix and soak it overnight in enough water.
  • Press each of the chili seeds loosely onto the soft soil the next day and cover it with mulch/hay.
  • Water every day before tiny seedlings germinate into the seeds.
  • Move each sapling to a bigger pot with a height of at least 20 inches as soon as the leaves grow.
  • Water every day before the plant blossoms. Reduce the watering frequency after flowering occurs. When fruited, harvest fresh chilies.

Tomato

  • Tomatoes are key in nearly any dish, from a bowl of veggie platter to delicious gravy. Here’s how you can grow your tomatoes at home with ease. 
  • In the ratio of 30:20:20:20:10, prepare the potting mix by combining sand, red soil, compost, cow dun,g, and neem cake.
  • Sow the tomato seeds, equally spaced from each other, into the potting mix. Sprinkle, after sowing, with water.
  • To create a semi-greenhouse effect, mulch the seeds with hay/dried leaves and cover partly.
  • Continue spraying water till the seeds sprout every 2-3 days. Transplant the sapling into a big pot after four sets of young leaves emerge, and stake it on all 4 sides with sticks.
  • Once a week, apply a tablespoon of compost to the tomato plant before it flowers.
  • As the tomato plant is sensitive to mealybug and leaf miner attacks, once every 15 days, spray concentrated neem oil in a dishwasher solution.

Coriander

Who doesn’t enjoy a steaming bowl of gravy or a tropical salad of fragrant and fresh coriander? Each dish to which they are added is bound to add a wonderful fragrance to these tiny leaves. And growing them on your own is amazingly fast.

  • To split them into two, take a handful of coriander seeds and press them gently. Soak the split seeds overnight in water.
  • In equal amounts, combine sand, red soil, cow dung, neem cake, and compost to produce the potting mix.
  • Drain this potting mix well and to plant the seeds, scrape lines over it.
  • Spread the seeds uniformly over the lines that are scraped. With soil and dried leaves, cover the seeds loosely. Sprinkle it with some water.
  •  Spray with diluted buttermilk or Panchagavya once every 15 days, after the seeds have sprouted. Do not overwater the veggie plant
  • Once it’s prepared, harvest the Coriander.

Spinach

The iron-packed powerhouse leafy green, from baby spinach in salads to spinachy goodness in pasta alfredo, is a must-have to have in the home garden. The plus is that it’s still growing very fast! 

  • Using well-drained loamy soil filled with organic compost, prepare a potting mix.
  • Gently sow the spinach seeds in rows or blocks between 1-1.5 feet apart, cover with soil loosely, and water well before germination.
  • If true leaves start appearing, spread out the saplings about six inches apart to provide enough space for each crop.
  • Maintain direct exposure to sunlight or partial shadow during the day.
  • Whenever needed, pick the leaves. Until the end of the season, the leaves will continue to grow. 

Radish 

Depending on the region, radish can be embraced in a variety of ways, regardless of the underrated ingredient in the Indian culinary scene. What few individuals know is that developing at home is super easy as well. 

  • Make use of a well-drained red potting soil that is rich in homemade organic compost and combined with cow dung.
  • Sow the seeds, at a distance of 1 inch, by creating scratches of about 0.5 inches in the soil.
  • Divide the seedlings about 2 to 4 inches apart until the seeds germinate in about a week. Ideally, for growing the long, white variety of indigenous radish, potting containers of about 20 liters should be used.
  • In your garden, try to grow one or two (or all!) of these nutrient-dense, tasty vegetables, and you can get twice the health benefits: nutritious food and spending time outdoors, cultivating your plants.

When to start a vegetable garden?

This one is the most crucial, if you go wrong with the seasons of planting any specific kind of vegetables then the hard work that you have been doing until and now and which you would be continuing to do will all go in vain. Let me explain it to you in a simpler way, just like each of our bodies react differently depending upon the season, it’s the same case with veggie plants. Some might grow extremely well whereas some might grow better in winters. It would be your call on deciding what and when to grow.

  • Warm-season vegetables- Eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, cucumbers and zucchini are warm-season crops.
  • Cold season vegetables- Leafy greens like spinach, rhubarb, and chard grow, broccoli, peas grow better in cooler months

How to start a vegetable garden?

Once you’re done with determining what where and when to start your veggie garden, it’s now time to buckle and begin with the preparation of the soil for the new garden to prosper effortlessly

High-quality seeds

Invest in better heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds, or open-pollinated seeds that are less prone to illness and proven to produce healthy plants (or save your seeds). These kinds of seeds should be brought by your nearest grocery shop or garden center. To purchase organic and non-GMO seeds, you can also look for them online.

Invest in good quality soil

As a beginner,it was extremely difficult to understand the working of the soil, and with different types of soil available, I messed it up. But that didn’t stop me. I continued to research about it for days and weeks together and then I concluded that with 6 types of garden soil namely- Sand, silt, clay, peat, chalk, and loamy soil, studies claim that most vegetables grow best in loamy soil which is nothing a but a perfect blend of sand, silt, and clay soil. The appropriate ratio for a vegetable garden is approximately 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. That’s not it, to continue improving the health of your veggies, consider adding mulch, compost, or any other kind of organic matter to your garden

Add compost to your soil

Wondering why compost is so important? What exactly does it do? Let me tell you, for your plants to survive, compost promotes immunity in them and expands the life of the crops. Compost contains fungi, minerals, and bacteria that are highly beneficial to the plans.

Use organic pesticide

It is unavoidable to have pests that feed on your vegetables. Using a noninvasive pesticide or insecticidal soap for bugs. Companion plants such as rosemary repel certain unwanted insects, and predators targeting common pests attract others such as dill and parsley. Surround the perimeter of your garden with a fence or net to prevent larger animals.

Add weeding in your schedule

Just like you and I, our garden always requires pampering and detoxing. Check your garden every morning, take a look to see where the weeds are growing. Before the afternoon, you would want to pull them, while the soil is still moist and the weeds are quick to pick. You can buy a couple of weed cutters, but your hands are ultimately the perfect method for weed removal.

Water the garden frequently

To keep the soil consistently humid during the growing season, gently sprinkle the garden with water. To provide a pleasant rain-like mist for your garden, buy a spray nozzle for your hose.

Maintain a dairy

We will not catch up to the standards of an experienced expert, no matter how much time we devote to research. Invest in a garden planner and watch the growth of your crops. Note when and where your vegetables have been cultivated, whether or not pests are interfering, and any important information about your crops’ growth and health. When collecting information about your garden, you may want to be as detailed as possible.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Extreme planting. When it comes to the scale of your vegetable garden, be realistic. Getting carried away and planting so much is quick.
  2. To neglect to fertilize. Keep note of where and what type of fertilizer vegetables require to be fertilized.
  3. Planting the least liked edibles. Many early gardeners assume that in their gardens they ought to grow one of any sort of vegetable, and so some of those vegetables go to waste.
  4. Give up too early. When gardeners should do all right, there are certain seasons, but things still go wrong. Hail, drenching floods, drought, pests of all sorts, and unforeseen circumstances will cause garden challenges.
  5. Not getting the soil tested. The best way to determine what the garden soil wants is to do a soil test.
To wrap up,

I hope you enjoy and have a lifetime experience in this vegetable planting at your garden journey of yours. I wish you all the success!!

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What vegetables grow in 30 days? 

Many vegetables grow in 30 days which includes lettuce, spinach, radishes, Arugula 

2.Which side of the house is best for gardens? 

South, as it gains enormous amount of sunlight which is essential for a garden to bloom 

3.What is the easiest and fastest vegetable to grow? 

Radishes

4.What are the hardest vegetables to grow? 

Cauliflower, Carrot, Muskmelon, Onion