Learn how to create a beautiful, nutritious vegetable garden this spring with this handy collection of tips to get you started.
Plan Your Spring Vegetable Garden
- Get a jump-start on your seeds and begin planning your spring garden in the winter months. There are many vegetables that you can plant in December for early harvest, such as kale, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, garlic and some lettuces. Also, by starting early, you can lengthen your garden’s productive life.
- Research the vegetables you'd like to grow. Make sure your plants will get enough light in the location you choose.
- If you gardened last year, review the results you got. Were you happy with your plants’ yield? If not, consider relocating or changing techniques.
- Try new varieties that you haven’t tried before. Get adventurous with your vegetable garden, and your family will reap the benefits in nutrition. Experiment with arugula, mustard greens, kale, turnips, kohlrabi, English peas, chard and radishes to spice up your menus and add variety to your garden.
- Consider incorporating herbs into the mix. If you've already been growing herbs, incorporate a new one. Basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary are great first herbs, or you can try exotic varieties like cilantro. You’ll love the flavor fresh herbs add to your cooking, and you’ll enjoy savings when you don’t have to buy expensive dried herbs.
- Keep in mind that attracting pollinators will improve your garden’s production, perhaps dramatically. Incorporating a few flowers into your garden will keep the bees swirling and your plants happily yielding throughout the season.
- Do some research about plants that are native to your area. Try incorporating those into your garden. Plants that naturally grow where you live will be easier and more likely to yield than imports.
- Go organic. Explore nontraditional gardening means, and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you're feeding your family healthier alternatives that you grew.
- Start a compost pile. If you haven’t been composting, consider starting this season. Your vegetable and yard wastes will decompose into the perfect mixture for you to grow next year’s vegetable garden. It’s easy to get started, and you’ll feel good about using your waste efficiently.
- Get your family or community involved in your vegetable garden project. From giving some of your yield to neighbors to donating to a senior center or food bank, you'll enjoy sharing your nutritious harvest with others. Your children will love gardening with you if you give them tasks to do, and they'll enjoy the good feeling of sharing the family produce.