Are you thinking the time to plant a vegetable garden has come and gone? I have good news for you…there is still time to plant a garden this summer, and I am going to give you the information you need to make that happen. (You have no excuses now.) There are a few things to consider before planting.
Step 1: Decide the location of the garden
If you already have a space where you can plant a garden, great! If not, you will need to decide where to put your garden. Raised beds are a great and easy way to go. If you are pretty handy with building yourself, they are pretty easy to build. If you need some guidance, check out DIY Network’s video or this website from Lowes. If you want something that is more ready to go, you can even purchase a raised bed from a site like this one. The space that you choose for your garden needs to get at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.
Step 2: Prepare the soil
If you aren’t using a raised bed, work the soil with a tiller (or better yet have a friend with a tiller work the soil for you) about 12 inches down. If you don’t have a tiller, you can get one like this insert pix? that will do the job much faster and more efficiently. Add about 2-3 inches of compost to the soil (Black Cow compost is our first choice, but any compost will do the deed). Till the compost in with the soil. Your bed is now ready for planting! 🙂 If you are using a raised bed, you will want to place equal parts topsoil and compost and blend together.
Step 3: Choose what to plant
When choosing what to plant, it is important to choose plants that will do well in the summer heat and what you will actually EAT! Some of the plants you can plant from seed, but some of the plants will need to be transplanted (buy plants at your local garden store). You can see a more exhaustive list of what to plant here. But I’ve done the checking for you and made a quick and easy list that you can use.
Vegetables to plant from seed:
- Snap Beans
- Lima Beans
- Mustard Greens
- Southern Peas
When planting from seed, it is important to take into consideration planting space and depth. Check the back of the seed packet for that information.
Vegetables to transplant:
- Summer Squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Tomatoes (a large plant will be best if planted this time of year)
Most of these vegetables will take two to three months to be ready to harvest. But that means come late summer/early fall, you will have a bountiful spread of beautiful fresh vegetables. (Assuming you cared for them properly AND you remembered to water and fertilize them!)
Step 4: Caring for your vegetable garden
For the plants that you grow from seed, you may find that you need to thin the seedlings once they have sprouted. Again, check the spacing guidelines on the seed packet for how far apart your seedlings should be.
If you have hungry critters that are likely to enjoy your garden veggies as much as you will, you might want to consider putting up some fencing. There are a number of options you can choose from. In my garden, we put up something like this (except it was green) and so far it is keeping the critters away.
Don’t forget to water your garden if you are not getting a substantial amount of rain. If it is over 85 degrees, you will want to water daily (if it is not raining). Remember, plants are living things and need water and love. Happy gardening, y’all!