Vegetable Gardening Tips for Beginners
Growing your own vegetables can be very rewarding. You know exactly where your food is coming from, and you get them in their freshest state. Studies also show that horticulture can be very therapeutic. It is a great stress-reliever, improves mood, and overall mental health!
The best part? You do not need a green thumb or a backyard to get started. Here are a few tips to help you start your mini garden in with whatever space you have available.
Consider Indoor Gardening
The best part about bringing your plants inside is weather control. Prevent frost, too much sun or drowning your plants from harsh weather conditions by taking them in the comforts of your home. You can also benefit from the additional oxygen the vegetables produce.
Use Small Pots and Hanging Containers
These are great space-savers. Small pots are easy to move around, especially if you’re trying to give your plants more sunlight than your apartment could provide, while hanging containers take whatever free space you have above your head. If you have a wall in your house that is getting a lot of sun, look into installing a vertical garden and save the paint on that wall from fading from prolonged sun exposure.
Start with Plants that are Easy to Care For
Salad greens and lettuce are some of the easiest produce to grow and can still thrive even in partial shade. Cherry tomatoes are small, flavorful, can grow in hanging containers. Cucumbers and other climbing vegetables will work great with vertical gardening. Once you’ve gained some confidence, you can try growing some strawberries in small pots or grow a variety of root crops like sweet potatoes, radishes or turnips in small buckets.
Use Good Quality Mulch
One of the challenges of indoor gardening is keeping the dirt in your pots and out of your living room floor. Constant watering and moving your plants around will erode and take out the nutrients in the container that your vegetables need to thrive. Mulching keeps all the dirt in place. While organic mulch are very cheap and easy to acquire, it decomposes quickly and some materials emit a sour smell that can spread in your house. Rubber mulch can help keep all the soil in place while matching your home décor. Make sure you invest in the high quality rubber mulch that has been stripped off of metal pieces and fine rubber particles.
Do not underwater/overwater your plants
This may be easy to overlook and is the usual culprit behind your nursery not providing a good harvest or worse: dying before they bear fruit. Water your plants at least once a week, more if the season is particularly dry and hot. A good rule of thumb is to lightly scratch the top of the soil, if it crumble give your vegetables a good watering. If it’s still moist, give it a day or two to absorb all the moisture in the soil.
Vegetable gardening can be truly satisfying without the need for a lot of space, equipment or experience. All you need to start is a lot of patience for trial and error and some TLC as you wait for harvest season. Happy Gardening!