So you want to grow some vegetables. Maybe some herbs, too. But you don?t know where or how to start. No problem. Some vegetables are so easy, they practically take off on their own, while others need to be nutured carefully. You can start small with a container garden, or go with a raised-bed or in-ground garden. Whatever garden you prefer, success starts with a little planning.
Whether you plant in containers, raised beds, or in-ground, choose a site that offers as much sunlight as possible. You want soil or potting mix that drains well and stays moist but not soggy. Except for herbs, water frequently (with container gardens, you may need to water daily), and pull out weeds. Give your plants the nutrients they need by feeding them with Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® All Purpose Plant Food Ready-Spray every 7-14 days.
If you want to start with a container garden, choose a container with holes in the bottom. Cover the hole with a screen or coffee filter, add a few small rocks for drainage, and pour in a potting mix with plenty of organic material, such as Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Potting Mix. Fill it to an inch or 2 below the rim, and you?re ready to add seeds or store-bought plants. Looseleaf lettuce is a great choice for containers, since it grows so fast. You can start harvesting when the plants are only 2 inches tall. Strawberries, hot or sweet peppers, and onions also work great for containers. Many people love having a pot of herbs growing near the kitchen door, since they're so easy to grow and smell wonderful on a summer or fall day.
If you want to go bigger than a few containers, raised-bed gardening has some nice advantages. You can control your soil quality easily, because you?ll be adding it in. Your soil warms up quickly, and drains well. Also, you don?t have to bend over quite so far to weed and thin your plants. You can find out about building a raised-bed garden in this article. You can plant just about anything you want in a raised-bed garden, but for easy success, go with lettuce, carrots, bush beans, and herbs.
In-ground gardens are great for bigger plantings. Before you get started, you have to remove plants and weeds from the site. To stay organic, you can cover the site with black plastic or garden fabric for several weeks until the plants are killed. Roto-till the site, mixing in organic material, such as Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil with your native soil. Remove rocks and clumps, and plant seeds or seedlings in rows. As with raised-bed gardens, beginning gardeners have more success with bush beans, carrots, lettuce, and herbs. You can also try your hand at hot or sweet peppers, tomatoes, or potatoes. Feed and water your plants regularly, remove invading weeds, and your garden will be a success.