If you’re wondering when to start a vegetable garden – the best time is right now!
Around the world, people are embracing gardening as a way to occupy their spare time and guard against possible food shortages.
This year, seed sales are higher than they’ve been in the last 144 years.
You don’t need acres of land to plant healthy food plants and most vegetables grow easily. All it takes is a little know-how and the right items from this garden tools list.
Essential Garden Tools
You don’t need top-of-the-range survival-grade garden tools, like the ones you get from this company, for successful home gardening.
Yet, you do need some essentials to get you started:
A pair of gloves comes in handy for pulling prickly weeds and protecting your hands from irritants. Choose a pair made from durable material that fits snugly.
Water resistance and breathability are two other important things to look for when choosing gardening gloves.
Shovels and Trowels
Digging is an important part of gardening. You’ll need a spade to move mounds of dirt from one place to another, dig holes for plants, lift sods, and for edging your garden beds.
A trowel is used for scooping out weeds, transplanting specimens, and filling plant pots.
You’ll need a sturdy hoe for preparing your vegetable garden and chopping down weeds.
Weeding hoes, called stirrup hoes, have an open square head, while flat hoes work best for turning soil.
It’s best to get a small long-necked version for houseplants and a larger one with a sprinkler head for outdoor plants.
When buying a watering can remember that water is heavy and a large one may be too heavy for you to carry when it’s full.
A wheelbarrow is essential for a larger garden. It easy to move mulch, soil, and compost around when you have a wheelbarrow.
Wheelbarrows come in a variety of designs with two wheels, one wheel, two handles, or one handle.
Garden Hose and Nozzles
You can’t cater to all your plant’s water needs with a watering can. A hose is indispensable when watering large areas, or for running a sprinkler system.
An adjustable nozzle lets you determine how wide and fast the water sprays. Remember, the longer the hose, the lower the water pressure.
Compost and Fertilizer
A compost heap is an important support system for your vegetable garden, but you can buy compost if needed. If you intend to grow some veggies in containers, you’ll need various pots and potting soil too.
It’s best to look up the ideal growing medium for each plant before you start out, or ask your nurseryman for advice.
Seed Trays and Pots
You’ll use seed trays if you decide to plant your seeds undercover during cooler weather. Pots are mainly used for container gardening íf you have limited outdoor space.
Some perennial plants do well if you grow them outdoors in pots during the summer months and move them inside during winter.
While pruners are usually associated with flower gardening, they come in handy for snipping off wayward tendrils and offshoots in the vegetable garden.
Pruning your bushy type of vegetables helps them develop vigorous growth and can stop them from becoming ‘leggy’.
You can keep all your smaller tools on a garden tool rack close to your vegetable garden. That way they’re always close at hand and safely out of the way.
Seasonal Guide on When to Start a Vegetable Garden
You’ll get the best results if you plant seeds according to the recommendations at the back of the pack. Different vegetables grow best when planted at their preferred time of year.
Cool-season plants can tolerate some cold and you can plant them from late winter onwards. These are the best ones:
- Broad Beans
- Brussel Sprouts
The following plants can tolerate cool temperatures, but not frost:
- Swiss Chard
Plant all other vegetables in the late spring or summer months according to the directions on your packet of seeds.
Some vegetables are annuals, which means you’ll need to replant them every year or allow them to seed themselves. Others are perennial, so they’ll stay in place for the rest of their lives.
Take this into consideration when planning the layout of your garden.
Another thing to remember is the ”days to harvest” of each plant. Some vegetables. like radishes and bush beans are ready to eat within a few weeks. Others, like leeks and tomatoes, take months to mature.
Carrots, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and turnips can produce more than one crop in a season.
Planting Your Seeds
Most seeds benefit if you sow them in seed trays and let them grow undercover for a few weeks before you plant them out.
This sheltered start in life gives them a head start on the growing season and can ensure healthy vigorous growth later in life. Plant your seedlings out into the garden as soon as they’re too big for the seedling trays.
If it’s still too cold outside at this time, keep them indoors but transplant them to larger pots. Root vegetables don’t do well when transplanted, so plant them directly outdoors.
With very few exceptions, all plants need water and light to thrive.
Vegetables always do best in a full sun environment. So, a sunny, sheltered spot is best for your veggie garden.
Water your vegetable plants whenever you notice the soil around them has dried out.
More Practical Home Improvements
It’s up to you when to start a vegetable garden and take the first steps toward convenient healthy meals. Gardening is a pleasurable activity that brings delicious rewards, so the sooner, the better.
If you want more information on how to make your home a better, greener place, check out some more our articles. We’ve got all the best tips and tricks for home improvement both indoors and out.