Vegetable gardening: 5 tips for success

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seed packets, beet seed

Do you dream of serving a fresh salad filled with things that you grew yourself? Vegetable gardening can be very fulfilling especially as you start to harvest and enjoy delicious, homegrown vegetables. It can be equally disappointing when the garden doesn’t work out and you are left with withering plants and shriveled vegetables come harvest time. Here are some tips for success that will help you to make the most of your vegetable garden.

Know your seasons

When planting vegetables, you need to know your seasons. If you don’t plant soon enough, your plants won’t have enough time to grow and mature before the freezing cold of fall kills your plants. On the other hand, if you plant too early, you can lose everything to a late spring freeze. Find out the optimal planting times and seasons in your area. Remember that they won’t be the same for every type of plant.

Follow the instructions

It sounds simple and it is. If you want success in your vegetable garden, read the planting instructions that come with your seed packets and seedlings. The plant manufacturers know how deep the beet seed needs to be planted and how far apart each seedling should be. Never assume that you know best and ignore these instructions. It is a good idea to create a file and store these instructions throughout the growing season in case you have questions about the plants down the road.

Plant what you love

You will be more excited about the developing carrots and green beans if you love to eat them. As you choose plants for your garden, keep your culinary preferences in mind. Choose vegetables that you and your family enjoy. This way you will get more satisfaction from your garden and will be more motivated to do the necessary work.

Choose a few easy-to-grow options

Some vegetables are easier to grow than others. While this doesn’t mean that you can’t take a chance and try growing asparagus this year, it does mean that you should choose some easy-to-grow plants too. These vegetables will grow easily and will produce a harvest no matter what. This will give you the satisfaction to keep working in the garden even if some of the more difficult plants struggle. Some great vegetable suggestions for beginning gardeners include radishes, beets, leaf lettuce, zucchini, and peas. Some of the more difficult vegetables include celery, cauliflower, artichoke, and eggplant.

Harvest on time

Vegetables taste best when they are harvested on time. While the harvesting window is usually at least several weeks, it is important to make sure that you start picking and enjoying your vegetables during this optimal window. Since you will likely produce more than you can comfortably enjoy on your own, start harvesting as soon as the first vegetables are ready. This will give you an opportunity to enjoy fresh picked flavors throughout the harvest time. If you still have more than you can handle, share your bounty with family and friends.

If you use these tips and have some patience, you can have a great and delicious vegetable garden this year. Growing your own food is very fulfilling and educational. Remember that all skills take practice, so keep trying even if you struggle with growing a few types of plants.

- Jacqueline Rosser is a guest writer for BrooksidePatioFurniture.com, which specializes in outdoor wicker patio furniture.  Also, make sure to check out this site if you’re interested in learning about bonsai trees.

2 Responses to “Vegetable gardening: 5 tips for success”

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