Ready to start growing your own food?
Here are helpful tips to make your new vegetable garden a success.
1. Location. Where is this garden going? Here are important features that you are going to want in your garden:
- Pick a location that is primarily flat. This makes the area easy to work and you will not have to worry about seeds and soil being washed away with the rain.
- Decide on a location with good drainage. Are there weeds or grass already growing here? Good! This indicates drainage and nutrient rich soil.
- Gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Yes, some vegetable plants can grow in less sunlight but you will be decreasing your options of what you can grow.
- Mark the corners of the garden with stakes.
- Tie string from one corner to the next and map out your garden. We have used a garden hose before but it is not as precise as using the stake and string method.
- Check corner measurements if you want perfect 90° angles. We used a squaring tool from the tool box but honestly, just grab a piece of paper and check the angles.
- We are lucky enough to be an owner of a very very old and hand-me-down rototiller. But you can easily rent one from your local hardware store for the afternoon. You could do this by hand depending on the garden size.
- Till the area at least 2 times to chop and turn over the dirt.
- Check the acidity of the soil. You can get a simple pH tester from your local garden shop or hardware store.
- Do you have topsoil down a few inches or is it only on the surface? We have red clay here in North Carolina only inches (if that) under the topsoil.
- Need to remove any rocks or garbage from the area? We had both to remove in our garden. The back corner was filled with 2-3 inch rocks that we removed as we came across them. The area was partially used as some sort of a planting bed, so there was weed barrier in some areas that need to be ripped out.
- Add any raised beds, if that is your plan.
- Add any topsoil to the area that is needed. We calculated our soil need on this site.
- We used a very simple t-post and flexible mesh fencing. Quick! Simple! Inexpensive! This can easily be repaired and the best part is that the design of the garden can be expanded!