You can get the hardest part of gardening done in time for the spring season by preparing your vegetable patch. Growing a vegetable garden is a great way to enjoy fresh and healthy food. In the process, you can also teach your children where food comes from. You can start at any time of year, but spring is the best season for such gardening. In this guide, you’ll find practical tips that can help you create a lush growing season for your raised beds.
Table of Contents
Proven methods by which you can prepare your vegetable patch
The best way to prepare a garden bed for spring is to work one garden area at a time. First, dig the soil thoroughly to remove weeds and stones. Then rake it level so the surface is easy to handle. You can sow some seeds directly into the soil as early as March, reading the instructions on the packet. Pre-warming the soil with a cold frame cover, or film protector, can improve germination rates. In addition, this step helps to be able to sow seeds earlier.
When gardening in raised beds , try to stick to the one basic rule: Don’t step on the soil inside the vegetable beds. The biggest advantage of this type of gardening is the light, fluffy, well-drained soil you can develop, which facilitates vigorous plant growth. Stepping on the bed compacts the soil, reduces aeration and slows down the activity of valuable microorganisms under the soil surface. If you do need to stand on the raised bed, you can place a long board over it and step on it while you prepare your vegetable bed.
Choose a suitable garden area
Vegetables need plenty of sun to grow, so choose garden soil that gets plenty of light. As a rule of thumb, an area that you think is great for sunbathing is also an ideal place to grow yours. Also, make sure there is protection from the wind as well, which can weaken stems, break or even damage fragile leaves. If there is no wall or hedge around your future or existing vegetable patch, consider erecting such a fence. Woven branches, for example, are a cheap, flexible and environmentally friendly way to screen a garden bed .
Access to a faucet or a rain barrel will also save you from countless back and forth with the watering can. In addition, drawing a plan for your new vegetable garden still helps prevent future problems early on. Plan beds in groups of four to make it easier to rotate your vegetables around the plot to prevent pests and diseases from accumulating. You can also use cut flowers such as gladiolus, sunflowers and vetches.
Prepare and mark vegetable bed
After you find a sheltered spot that gets at least five hours of sun per day, you can start marking. Do this best in a square or rectangle the size you want. To make sure the sides are straight, you can place stakes at the corners and run a garden twine between them. While you’re at it, check your right angles by measuring the diagonals and adjusting if necessary. Now cut away any turf that may be present with a sharp spade and remove it. There is no need to throw away peat . You can simply compost the soil. Remember to place it in the pile with the roots facing up so it can’t grow back.
Fill the beds with a mixture of soil-based compost and topsoil. If you are preparing soil for your vegetable bed and growing in it, it’s a good idea to do a soil pH test with a kit to find out how acidic or alkaline it is. Neutral garden soil is best, as most vegetable plants do well in it. Also, start small by not digging up the entire garden only to find you’ve overdone it. Instead, dig up a small area and do it right. Cover unused garden areas with plastic sheeting or thick cardboard to keep weeds under control.
Turn the soil and fertilize it
Use a rake to help you prepare the soil for vegetable beds, digging and turning it to a depth of about 30 cm. You should do this by thoroughly loosening the soil, which will swell up when you turn it. This just means that you get a lot of air in the soil. At this point, you should do your best to remove all weeds. Always take the plant out by the roots or it will just grow back. A little effort will save you time and effort later. All soil types also benefit from regular composting. Organic material, such as horse manure , helps sandy soils retain water and gives clay soils a lighter consistency to prevent waterlogging. So to prepare your vegetable bed, add at least one bag of compost and dig it in thoroughly. If you’ve made your own home compost, all the better. If not, the beginning of your vegetable growing journey is the perfect time to do it.
Grow simple plants and prepare the vegetable patch
Planting in spacious rows gives your vegetables more room to thrive. Some vegetables are easier to grow in this process than others. If you’ve never grown your own vegetable patch before, or if you’re planting vegetables with children, it’s a good idea to choose easy-to-grow crops first. Zucchini, potatoes, beans, strawberries, radishes and beets are some great vegetable crops for beginners. As you prepare your vegetable bed, you can sow your seeds. Read the back of each packet for details on when and how to sow. Also, don’t forget to label your rows so you know what you’re growing and where. Whether you grow your vegetables from seeds, seedlings or cuttings from your local garden center, it’s important to make sure you leave enough space between plants to allow for growth and to ensure they don’t compete with each other for water and nutrients.