Planning Your Garden
Planning your garden is the first step in your gardening adventure. If you’ve never had a garden before, this is critical. This is when you decide what vegetables, what varieties and how much you will plant….which determines how big your garden is going to be. This is especially important if you are preparing a brand new space for your garden. You don’t want to make it too big or too small. If you have had a garden before, you will decide if you are going to leave your garden the same size or if you need more or less space based on whether you need the same, more or less vegetables out of your garden this year.
Preparing For Your Garden
Where will you put it? How big should you make it? How do you get the soil ready?
Where Will You Put Your Garden?
Almost all vegetable plants like lots of sun….full sun. When you are deciding where to put your garden you need to plan for it to get lots of sun. Sun helps the plants grow and produce more fruit, the more shade your garden gets the more likely it will produce less. Look around your house and find a spot that gets lots of sun if possible. Sometimes the place that gets the most sun is not the ideal place to put a garden. If you have children, you may not want to put your garden in the center of their play area.
How Big Should You Make Your Garden?
How many plants are you going to plant? How much space do the plants take? How much are you wanting your garden to produce?
If you are just wanting to eat fresh vegetables out of your garden while they are in season, then you probably don’t need to prepare a large area, but if you are wanting to preserve vegetables for eating over the winter months, you will need to prepare a larger area. You need to find out how much each plant will produce (on average), how many plants you need to get the produce you want and how much space each plant requires and then figure out how large your garden will be. For example: if you want 3 pepper plants and they require 18″ x 30″ spacing, 3 pepper plants will need 1,620 square feet.
How Do You Prepare The Soil For Your Garden?
After you decide how big your garden will be and where you are going to put it, you need to start preparing the soil for your garden. If this is going to be a “new” garden, you may need to remove grass, weeds, trees, bushes, or whatever is in the way. If this is an existing garden spot, you will still probably need to get rid of weeds, grass and anything else that may be growing in your garden.
To get rid of unwanted grass and weeds, I use RoundUp, a common weed killer. I pick a day that is warm and dry and I mix up the spray and spray the area where I will put my garden. RoundUp usually starts working in as little as one day. You can watch the sprayed area starting to get more and more yellow as the plants start to die. After 2 – 3 days I consider it long enough and I get the tiller out and start to work up the ground.
I work the ground all the way across going back and forth, then I go across it the opposite direction. This way you can make sure the ground is thoroughly. If you have a rear tine tiller the ground should look very smooth and uniform when you’re done.