Planning a Vegetable Garden: Things to Consider

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Grow Your Garden

Some of the most nutritious, beautiful and flavorful food is a product of the spring season, and if you’ve considered growing that food yourself, you’re in the right place. Growing a vegetable garden can be intimidating to the novice gardener, but fear not! We have a few steps and things to consider to help you get started.

  1. Choose a spot for your garden

  • How much room do you have? Measure out a good portion of soil and make sure you have enough room to actually start this project. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!
  • Do you have direct sunlight available? Most vegetables need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight in order to produce the best results. However, if you are stuck with a particularly shady spot, there are veggies made for the shade (click here for more info). 
  • Where’s the hose? How close your garden will be to your hose or water spicket matters. You don’t want to be running back and forth during the peak heat of the summer to water your vegetables.
  1. Test and treat your soil

  • While this might seem like something only pros would do, you don’t want to skip this part. According to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, the best way to test your soil is to soak your soil and let it sit for a day. The next day, grab a handful of dirt and give it a hard squeeze. If the dirt forms a moist ball of dirt and crumbles when you poke it, the soil is perfect! Click here for more on soil treatment.
  1. Choose what you want to plant

  • Do your research. Some plants produce throughout the season, in which case, planting a lot of those varieties might be too much for your needs. Other varieties, like carrots and corn, only produce once per season. Planting more of those up front might be a good idea.
  • Consider companion planting. There are many combinations of plants that have been known to complement each other when grown in close proximity (peppers and onions, for example). The same is true on the opposite end: some plants are bad to grow next to each other (strawberries and cauliflower, for example). Click here to learn more about companion planting.
  • You can plant more than just veggies in a veggie garden! Did you know that plants like marigolds and mint are extremely useful in keeping pests away from your food? When mapping out how you want to plant your garden, try planting these pest reducing flowers around the edges of your garden for protection from bugs, as well as to create more enriched soil and overall prettier garden.

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Tags: outdoors, vegetable garden

Megan Martin

Megan Martin is a Communications Specialist at M3 group and a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids. She is a foodie, a lover of art and tea and everything outdoorsy.