It’s spring! It’s finally here! I don’t know about you, but I am so ready to get outside and get to work. And today I want to talk vegetable gardening!
This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. See my disclosure policy here.
Green Thumb? Not So Much.
We had tried vegetable gardening in the past and it was always a huge fail. But I really wanted to be able to grow our own food so when we moved into our new home last May we decided to give it another shot. We have the perfect little corner that gets plenty of sun on the side of the house.
We bought seeds and planted them in little pots over spring break in March. My mother-in-law let us keep them in her greenhouse and she took care of them until we were ready to plant.
It was amazing! The garden took off and we had tons of okra, tomatoes, peppers and even a couple of watermelon.
Since we honestly were skeptical that we were capable of having a successful vegetable garden, we didn’t plan really well in how we planted it. The okra was up front and grew so tall it was difficult to reach some of the other plants. The tomatoes spread and grew into other areas crowding out the squash. It was kind of a mess!
Gardening: Planning the Layout
So this year we did our research. We read to see what plants thrive next to each other and which ones don’t. Which ones need a lot of water and which ones only need it occasionally. What plants grow successfully in our zone. This site HERE is a great resource for what to think about when planning a garden. Garden.org will allow you to enter your zip code to find out what zone you’re in. It tells you when the best time to plant is and what you can expect to grow successfully in that area.
We only started the carrots and onions indoors this year. We had intended to grow it all from seed like last year but just ran out of time. So we purchased several plants.
We made a list of the vegetables we were planting and then charted them out on paper so we had a plan going in and would also remember what was planted where. It looked like this:
Back in the fall, we had read about how to prepare the soil during the dormant seasons to get it ready for planting in the spring. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a great post on how to winterize your garden. We piled the fallen tree leaves on top of the soil and started collecting coffee grounds, eggshells, and banana peels to mix into the soil.
Compost is an important part of having a successful garden. It contains nutrients and improves the structure of your soil. It contains fungi and bacteria that are beneficial to the soil and help the plants grow to be healthy. You can start a pile outside with old leaves and a little soil and allow it to decompose over the winter. Read more about outdoor compost piles HERE.
You can also start compost indoors using leftovers from your kitchen. Instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, keep them for compost. We just kept a container similar to this on our counter. Coffee grounds add phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium to your soil. Add eggshells to that for a calcium boost. Cut up banana peels and add them to the pile to keep insects away.
When you’re ready, sprinkle it over the garden and blend it into the soil.
Ready to Plant Some Vegetables!
After all of the prep work, you’re finally ready to plant! Here is a list of items that will be helpful in planting your garden:
My hubby got the tiller out and broke up the soil. Then we rounded up our three kiddos and had them help with the digging and the planting and the watering. We desire to instill a knowledge of where food comes from and the gratification of enjoying the fruit of your labor!
Make sure you follow the instructions on the seed packet or purchased plant to get the correct depth they need to be and width they need to be from the next plant.
We’re excited to see how it turns out this year since we were more prepared! We’re also planting pumpkins and watermelons in a separate plot so they don’t get tangled with the rest of the plants. I love a good watermelon!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today! I hope this post was helpful! If you have some gardening tips to share, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Be sure to follow me on social media and subscribe so you don’t miss a post! Have a blessed day!