Vegetable Garden Tips and Supplies

Get Started Right With Our Backyard Vegetable Garden Tips and Supplies

Starting your own backyard vegetable garden is a great step towards self-sufficiency (yep, we’re repeating ourselves yet again) and has many advantages.

Home-grown vegetables and greens are fresher and taste better.

Your food will be healthier because you can practice organic gardening techniques and avoid pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMO) seeds.

Having a backyard garden is also better for the environment, since the large-scale commercial farming and its distribution system is very dependent on petroleum and isn't very eco-friendly. (Hopefully, this all sounds familiar?)

Vegetable Garden Tips on Seeds and Planting:

Careful planning is essential for a successful vegetable garden. The first step is to choose a good area for the garden. It should have plenty of sun exposure and not too much shade unless you live in a very hot region.

A source of water should be conveniently nearby. You should start planning what to plant well ahead of spring. 

Young girl helping water the family garden.

It makes good sense to get in touch with seed companies and ask for catalogs.

These seed catalogs are packed with lots of information about different varieties of vegetables, how to plant and how to care for each variety.

The catalogs also have maps that indicate the ideal date for planting in your region and detail “hardiness zones” that show which varieties of vegetables are hardy enough for your area.

When you have decided what to plant, you can order seeds. It helps to make a sketch of where you will plant each vegetable in your garden since not all vegetables do well together. Please see the Companion Planting Guide to make sure your veggies will get along.

While the seed catalogs have tons of information, it is also a good idea to go to the library and look for some good books of vegetable gardening.

Plan ahead for preparing the soil. You can have your soil tested by your local Cooperative Extension office.

They will tell you what type of soil you have and if it is missing any nutrients. If so, you may have to add some organic material to your soil.

It is a good idea to read up about composting and come up with a plan for composting.

Vegetable Garden Tips on Tools and Soil Preparation:

Watering can, planting pot, soil, and some hand tools for gardening.

Of course you will need to have at least the basic tools before you get started.

It pays to invest in good quality tools that will last a long time, but don’t go overboard with big expenditures.

As you build up knowledge and experience you will develop a preference for certain tools and certain brands.

Meanwhile you can get by with the basic hand tools.

You will want the following, all of which you can easily get at just about any hardware, home improvement or variety store that has a gardening section.

  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Rakes (both a bow rake and leaf rake)
  • Garden fork (sometimes mistakenly called a pitch fork. Similar, but different)
  • Hoses, a soaking hose is pretty handy for irrigation.
  • Buckets
  • Wheelbarrow

Preparing the soil is hard work, probably the toughest part about preparing for planting your backyard vegetable garden (just remember, it's good your family and good for the environment).

If you have grass on the area you plan to plant, you will have to dig up the sod with a shovel and turn it upside-down so the roots are exposed.

That way you will not lose the soil among the roots and the decomposing grass underneath will make your soil more fertile.

When you are ready to plant, the information in the seed catalogs and the instructions that come with the seeds are pretty straight forward and should answer all your questions.

Just follow the instructions and soon you will have the pleasure of seeing you vegetables spring to life and grow. Then, most of the maintenance work will involve weeding and watering.

Final Vegetable Garden Tip:

Consider fencing your garden to keep hungry critters away and check with your local Cooperative Extension office about natural methods of controlling insects and mold.

Before you know it the products of your labor will be used in some great recipes and on your dining room table for your family’s enjoyment and good health.

Backyard vegetable gardens, they're are good for the planet, they're good for your family and they help to increase self-sufficiency!

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