Step 1 – Choose a Spot
Start small, with an area about 6 by 9 feet, so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Look for a level, sheltered site that’s sunny for at least four to six hours a day, and close enough to a faucet or rain barrel so that watering won’t be a problem. Of course you can always add an irrigation system later, for now though let’s just keep it simple.
Don’t worry if space an issue, we can always find some well suited containers and plant away.
Step 2 – Pick the Plants
List your favorite vegetables, then add a few that are hard to find or expensive at the market. Consider the amount each plant can produce; plan for preserving or freezing extras so nothing goes to waste.
For small spaces, choose compact dwarf or bush hybrids. For example, the tomato plant is now available in so many varieties of both dwarf and regular mature size. Use a combination of seeds and baby plants to get start. We carry both, and it’s a lot of fun to experiment with new varieties only available in seed form.
Co-planting or companion planting is great to reduce the existence of pests in your vegetable garden. For example, plant the herb basil next tomatoes, plant marigolds to keep bugs away, and if you need bees, plant borage.
Step 3 – Plan the Plot
Draw a rough design on graph paper, consult seed packets for spacing or better yet come down to Civano Nursery and have one of our garden professionals do the work. Don’t forget your companion plants! If you plan on having a large vegetable patch, plan on adding stepping stones for ease of access and it saves tracking soil into your home.
Step 4 – Preparing and Planting the Garden
Measure and mark out the plot with stakes and string. Due to the fact our soil is so hard, we suggest starting off with a raise planter. You can use wood or horse troughs which we carry at Civano Nursery. We highly recommend using Black Gold vegetable mulch or even picking up one of our large bags of specially made compost which has been made from recycling plant material at our Civano Nursery compost yard.
When planting your seeds or seedlings, keep in mind to leave enough room for the mature height of the plant. Also leave space also for successive plantings, such as lettuce so that you always have a fresh supply.
When watering your vegetable garden, don’t just storm with plants with the hose. Treat each individual plant to watering directly around it. To reduce disease, be conservative in your watering habits. Keep an eye out for weeds and hand pull or hoe as necessary.
DON’T FORGET TO FERTILIZE, why am I yelling you may ask? We are growing crops here not just plants, and in order to get the best produce from our vegetable garden we need to fertilize often.
Vegetable garden Checklist
- Choose a Spot or container and make a plan
- Garden gloves and tools ready
- Prepare the plot and add garden compost Black gold
- Pick up seeds and seedling
- Fox Farms Fertilizer
- Recipe book