Gardening 1-2-3

Three Easy Steps to a Bountiful Harvest

Although the harvest season has recently ended, it is never too easy to start planning for your vegetable garden. There is truly nothing as satisfying as a ripe red tomato fresh from the vine in the middle of summer or a warm cup of yummy tomato soup in the cold of winter created using tomatoes canned from your very own garden. If you have never experienced the pleasure of these treats, perhaps now is the time to learn how to grow a vegetable garden. The great thing about gardening as a hobby is that it can be as simple or as involved as you want to make it. It can involve growing a single tomato plant in a pot on your back porch or creating multiple raised vegetable patches in your backyard. You can decide how much time and effort you are willing to put into learning how to grow your own produce and your hard work is sure to reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest you and your family will truly enjoy!!

Step One- Plan your Garden Early

Planning your vegetable garden early is a great distraction from the cold, gray days of winter. The local library is a great place to find books on the different types of herbs and vegetables available in your area and what they require to thrive. Seed catalogues begin arriving in mailboxes shortly after the first of the year, allowing even more time to dream and plan. The first step in planning should be to select a space in your yard that receives sufficient sunlight and test the area for available irrigation which is vital to healthy plants. Then you need to decide which items you want to grow, keeping in mind those that will work well in your climate and that will produce the harvest that you desire.

Step Two- Prepare your Soil

As soon as you can get outdoors and begin to work the soil, it is important to do so. A big part of the growing process is figuring out how to create the best environment for your plants, giving them the opportunity to thrive. Proper soil preparation is the key. You can begin by tilling the dirt to break up any large clumps and get rid of any small rocks or roots you may come across. If you are concerned that your soil might be lacking in good material, you can easily create raised beds that you can fill with your choice of garden soil. If you prefer, you can simply add any of the following to your soil to help strengthen the mineral base: organic matter, peat, or fertilizer. This will ensure your plants have the best possibility of growing and thriving in your garden.

Step Three- Plant your Seeds

While many gardeners of the past used to plant their gardens in nice neat little rows, there is now a new trend in the gardening world. Planting your seeds in small bunches allows for better pollination and is easier maintenance for you when caring for each individual group of plants. Once you have planted your seeds, all that’s left is watering, weeding and fertilizing until your beautiful crops are ready to harvest!! Eat them now or can them for a later treat!! Enjoy!!

Jenn is a busy mommy to two little ones and the wife of the sweetest, hardest working man in the world. She blogs at www.OneHouseSchoolroom.com about her family's journey of lots of laughter, a few tears and tons of adventures.