Growing your own vegetables is a delightful way to get back to nature and enhance your table, but vegetable gardening mistakes can damage the experience. Luckily, these mistakes are easy to avoid if you plan ahead and do some basic research.
Not Starting SlowTrying to grow everything all at once is a recipe for frustration. Especially if this is your first attempt, be realistic about how much time and effort you’ll be able to devote to your garden and choose vegetables that won’t require more than you have to give. Baby lettuce is a great first step, especially if your containers are on the smaller side. Other beginner-friendly options include peas, radishes, and Swiss chard.
Not Considering Your WeatherYour area’s climate partly determines the types of vegetables that will flourish in your garden. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peppers, and zucchini tend to grow best in hot weather, while spinach, carrots, and beets prefer chillier conditions. You’ll also need to find your area’s frost-free date, which determines when you should plant different vegetables. The maps on the back of seed packets are a good start, but you’ll need to investigate local weather patterns as well. Another of the more common vegetable gardening mistakes is choosing plants that require more or less sunlight than your garden receives. Take note of how many hours of light your space gets each day and whether it’s primarily morning or afternoon sun; then, choose plants suited to your conditions.
Not Considering Your SpaceHow much space do you have for a garden, and what does that space consist of? Plenty of vegetables thrive in containers, so don’t despair if your space is mostly paved. Do, however, research different varieties to make sure your choices won’t outgrow their homes. For in-ground beds, take exact measurements and plan ahead to ensure none of your plants will crowd out their neighbors. Remember to look beyond the soil surface; tomato plants can grow to amazing heights even in containers, and mint will quickly take over a bed and potentially your entire yard if you don’t set physical barriers deep into the ground.
Not Having the Proper EquipmentWhile most home gardens don’t require tons of equipment, some tools are essential for avoiding vegetable gardening mistakes. A garden hose or watering can tops the list; even in rainy climates, you can’t always depend on the weather to keep your plants healthy. You’ll also need good soil; plan to refresh it at least once a year. A spade or digging fork, comfortable gloves, and garden shears are simple but necessary items. Some vegetables also require specialized equipment, such as tomato cages or bean trellises.
Not Having a Plan for PestsYou’re not the only one eager to snack on your homegrown bounty; a whole array of pests from aphids to slugs to voles can damage your vegetables. Learn which pests you’re most likely to encounter in your area and look for the safest and most eco-friendly means of preventing them. Be especially careful with commercial pesticides as many of them can harm beneficial insects that naturally prey on the unwanted bugs eating your plants.
Not Having a Plan for WeedsLike pests, weeds are an inevitable reality that can lead to vegetable gardening mistakes. Keep a sharp eye on your beds and pull weeds immediately; experiment with different tools and techniques to see what works best for you. If you decide to use herbicide, make certain the product you choose is safe for edible plants. Growing your own vegetables is a fun and delicious hobby, and a little preparation goes a long way. Be sure to explore Red's Home & Garden for advice, inspiration, and all of your gardening needs.
There is something very satisfying about growing your own vegetables. Picking ripe tomatoes for a salad or steaming fresh broccoli from your garden not only gives you fantastic-tasting food but provides a sense of accomplishment from consuming something you took time and care to cultivate. If you are new to the experience, you can assemble a thriving garden quickly. All you need is a little knowledge, and here are the steps to get you started.
Select a Spot for Your GardenThere are only a few requirements when choosing an ideal location for your garden. The primary goal is to pick a location with full sun where all the plants can have optimal growing conditions. It is also essential to have convenient access so that you can give your garden the regular attention it needs. Additionally, try to choose a spot that is level. It will make the garden easier to maintain and allow you to create a healthy environment for growing vegetables.
Plan Your LayoutThe design you choose for your garden is as important as the location. The layout should be designed for both aesthetics and functionality. The primary concern is creating optimal conditions for the vegetables you grow. A simple and casual garden can have wide rows that make fertilizing, watering and harvesting a snap. If you plan on growing a more significant crop, reduce the spacing between rows to allow full use of the area.
Decide What To GrowDeciding what you want to grow is a satisfying aspect of creating your new garden. You may be inclined to try to grow every vegetable you love, but limiting what you cultivate is essential. Select veggies that are challenging to purchase or concentrate on your favorites. For instance, if you are a tomato lover, expand with multiple varieties. This will ensure you are getting the most personal reward for your efforts.
Choose Seeds or SeedlingsWhen in the first stages of making a garden, know that using seeds for each plant you grow is only sometimes necessary. Although you may have particular hopes about what you choose to grow, starting your garden solely from seeds can take time and effort. Instead of nurturing tiny plants indoors until they are ready to cultivate outside, you can easily visit a garden center and select young plants already ready to incorporate into your garden.
Pick the Right SoilA soil rich in nutrients and full of life is ideal for your garden to give the plants you are growing the energy they need to thrive. Inspect the earth and identify its characteristics. Check to see if it is dense, gritty, or dry. You may need to augment it by incorporating organic matter to ensure you provide a healthy environment for your vegetables. The ideal soil should have a rich, dark, moist and crumbly texture.
Prepare for PestsOf course, you knew this would be a subject to address. Controlling pests is part of the package when you have a garden, but it does not need to be daunting. The last thing you want to do is spray your beautiful vegetables with pesticides. Instead, there are natural methods you can use to help mitigate pests. The first step is to control the weeds. Keep them in check by adding clean straw or mulch around larger plants. Keep pets and other animals out of your garden. Consult your local garden center for pertinent information about dealing with local insects and wildlife.
Get Inspiration to Start Your Amazing Garden Today!Now that you have a plentiful bounty outside your door, you may be unable to consume everything. Freeze or can some veggies for winter and have fun sharing your efforts with people you know with a fresh basket or casserole. At Red's Home and Garden, we have all the supplies to inspire you and make your garden dreams come true. Contact us today to get in touch with our team of professionals to help you achieve your vision. Grab some tools and get started!
Spring is just around the corner, and it's the perfect time to start planning and preparing your outdoor living space for the warmer weather. Whether you have a spacious backyard or a cozy balcony, there are plenty of DIY projects you can tackle to create a beautiful and functional outdoor oasis. From building a fire pit to planting a garden, these projects can help you maximize your outdoor living space and make the most of the spring and summer months. In this article, we'll share 10 DIY projects to get your outdoor living space ready for spring, along with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to guide you through the process. So grab your tools, roll up your sleeves, and let's get started!
- Create an outdoor lounge area: Create a cozy and comfortable outdoor lounge area by adding some comfortable seating, a coffee table, and some outdoor rugs. This is a perfect spot to relax, entertain guests, or simply enjoy some fresh air. Spring pillows and potted flowers will finish off the area!
- Fire pit or grill: Build a fire pit or grill for a fun and functional addition to your outdoor living space. You can choose from a variety of materials and designs, depending on your taste and budget like our Techo Bloc stones and pavers! Fire pits are perfect for gathering around with friends and family on chilly evenings, while a grill lets you cook up your favorite meals in the great outdoors.
- Mood lighting: Add some lighting to your outdoor living space to create a warm and inviting ambiance. You can use string lights, lanterns, or even solar-powered lights to illuminate your space. Our Vista Landscape Lighting also adds ambience to your deck, landscape or around the pool.
- Build raised garden beds: Plant a flower or vegetable garden to add some natural beauty to your outdoor space. Whether you have a green thumb or you're just starting out, there are plenty of easy and rewarding projects to choose from. Raised beds can keep your flower, vegetable or herb garden safe from animals, excess moisture and accidental trampling by the kiddos! Subscribe to our email list and receive our FREE ebook “How To Start A Vegetable Garden”!
- Outdoor movie screen: Grab an old white sheet, some rope and clothespins and voila! You’ve got a super easy outdoor DIY project the whole family can enjoy. Get ready to break out the movie projector and some popcorn!
- DIY planter table: Transform a wooden table into a multipurpose outdoor planter with paint, a jigsaw and a plastic planter. The herb garden, which doubles as a live centerpiece, adds a touch of whimsy to the conversation area.
- Repurpose an old cabinet into a mini bar: An old cabinet can function as a mini bar with just a little help. Not only will it look great, but it also functions as extra storage space, too! To get started, apply a fresh coat of paint on the cabinet and add some racks to store glasses. Then, decorate it to match your patio. The old cabinet will easily become a food and drink station you can enjoy for three seasons out of the year (sorry winter).
- Create a kid-friendly zone: If you have kids of your own or frequently entertain friends or family who do, an outdoor kid-friendly zone is the perfect DIY backyard project. It's also an excellent opportunity to let the kids get involved. A playhouse, a swing set, or a sandbox are just a few great ideas!
- Create a bird sanctuary: Build a DIY birdhouse or a birdfeeder and add one of our beautiful birdbaths. Once you finish your bird sanctuary, add a bench nearby so you can sit and watch your hard work pay off.
- Repurpose old items: Decorating your home and yard can be as simple as repurposing old items, such as:
- Tin cans: Tin cans make excellent planters, votives, and outdoor storage containers. You can even paint an old tin can and use it as your silverware or condiment holder at your outdoor bar or kitchen.
- Tires: Instead of tossing worn tires, repurpose them. Tire swings are one front yard staple that never goes out of style. Or, you can paint your tire a fun color and use it as a unique planter in your garden.
- Furniture: Old dressers, nightstands, and wooden chairs can be upcycled into planters or bee houses.
- Glass jars: Repurposed glass jars have become trendy in recent years, largely due to their versatility. Use glass jars as glassware at your outdoor bar, like candle holders or as small planters.
- Pallets: Wooden shipping pallets are another popular repurposing item because they can be transformed into almost anything, including outdoor furniture, fencing, storage walls, planters, and sandboxes.
Tips and Tricks:Here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind when working on your DIY projects:
- Start small: If you're new to DIY projects, start with a smaller project and work your way up. This will help you build your confidence and skills.
- Use reclaimed materials: Reclaimed materials, such as pallets and old bricks, can be an affordable and eco-friendly way to complete your project.
- Don't be afraid to personalize: Add your own personal touches to each project to make it unique and fitting to your style.
- Ask for help: Don't hesitate to ask a friend or your kids to help you with your project. Working together can be more fun and can help you complete your project faster.
Everyone is trying to find ways to save money on their food bill these days. Gardening can be a wonderful way to add variety and flavor to your menu. If you’re just starting a vegetable garden for the first time, watch out for these mistakes.