If you have a yard, you can have a vegetable garden. It’s never too late or too early to get started, even if it’s in the dead of winter. You can just get a jump on being ready for the first planting season. So let’s get started.
First, locate a spot in your yard that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. Six hours is the minimum your garden plants need to grow and produce fruit. The basic tools you’ll need are a spade, a hoe, a rake and a watering hose. You might want to begin with used tools and add new ones as you discover what works best for you. If you’re not up to sod busting, borrow a garden tiller from a friend or rent one from a local garden store. Mark the borders of your soon-to-be garden and break ground. It may take two or three runs over the plot to properly breakup the soil and pulverize the clods. When the tilling is done, rake out the plant matter and remove the roots and stems and toss them in the compost heap.
Amending your soil with bags of manure, peat and compost is always a good idea. Then, plow through the garden again to work the additions down to the root level. In an arid climate, add gardening shale to your soil to retain moisture for your plants on hot, dry days. Ask a local garden supplier what gardeners are using in your area. Next, rake the soil into beds or rows leaving ample maneuvering space inside your garden plot. If it’s planting season, plant the seeds and seedlings of the veggies you love, leaving ample space for roots, stems and branches to spread. Follow the directions on your seed packets. Avoid crowding.
If planting season is still too far away, start composting and have biodegradable matter ready when it’s time to start planting. Cover your plot with about 8 layers of newspaper, dampen it to keep the paper in place and then spread mulch over the surface to prevent weeds from taking over your garden plot. Worms love to eat paper and they will increase the fertility of your soil. If you’ve missed planting season, spend some time planning out your garden and begin collecting heirloom seeds and researching what will bloom where you are planted.