Vegetable Gardening Tips

vegetable gardening tips
I want to dig a veggie garden. Any tips and tricks?

I’ve never done this before, but I’m not a stranger to gardening. I’ve done some landscaping in my life and have raised herbs for cooking.

I want a small vegetable garden in my backyard. How large of a bed should I need and should I put it in a full-sun spot or a shadier area?

Keeping in mind that this is a small garden, what would be the best way to dig it? I’m not afraid to do some manual labor — in fact, I like it. What tools will I need to till the ground? There’s only grass there and the soil may be clayey.

I’d like to grow some herbs like rosemary, mint and basil. I’d also like to have strawberries, tomatoes, garlic and a few other easy crops. What others would be good for beginners?

Also, if there are any decorative flowers or plants that would make the garden look nice as well as functional, let me know.

I live in USDA hardiness zone 6b, meaning the average temperature 0 to -5 degrees F.

I always recommend a raised bed garden, regardless of size (assuming that one doesn’t have a half-acre to till).

Our last garden area was small – about 8×20. We dug/leveled and surrounded it with two rows of landscape blocks. Filling that with a combination of black dirt and compost (some sand and peat) gave us a good total of about 10-12 of tillable soil; deep enough for root crops.

We just used a garden fork and shovel to turn over the ground, although I had occasionally rented a small tiller to turn in some rough compost at the end of the season.

Always go for an area with the most sun you can get; you can always erect sun shade material if need be.

For small gardens (which includes our 8×20) I discourage people from growing things that need a lot of space, such as sweet corn, squash, melons, etc. It’s just not worth it for what you’ll get in yield.

Most common things we’d plant would be:
- one or two cherry tomato plants
- a couple sweet pepper and/or hot pepper plants
- a trellised Asian cuke plant or two.
- Multiplying onions (similar to green onions)
- herbs like oregano, thyme, basils, chives and garlic chives.
- lettuce greens.

As far as decorative flowers go, you can have them in separate pots around the garden, atop the landscape blocks, or hanging from iron plant hangers, and use the garden space for mostly veggies.

Strawberries are often more trouble than they’re worth, as they are prone to a lot of pest problems.

Hope that helps you a bit.

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden : Tips for Pest Control in a Vegetable Garden

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