Do you want to start a vegetable garden but do not know which end to take it? Find out how to start your first vegetable garden in 5 key steps!
All ourcultivation advice, vegetable by vegetable, can be found in the Garden and Vegetables section
1. Find the best location
This is the first step in your vegetable garden creation: where are you going to install it? Most vegetable plants require a good sunny exposure, so favor the south or the west.
If your land allows it, choose a flat area that is easier to cultivate. However, it is possible to sow vegetables on a slope or even create terraces. D
n the case of a small outdoor area, know that there are free standing vegetable gardens that fit easily onto a terrace or balcony.
2. Know your soil type
It is important to know your soil well before planting. Indeed, some poor soils will need mulching and organic fertilizers when they risk suffocating clay soil. Soils are classified into three categories:
- Sandy soil: this type of soil is rather poor because it does not retain nutrients. It heats up and dries easily. This substrate will need regular and moderate amounts of organic matter.
- Clay soil: compact and dense, this heavy substrate retains water and nutrients. It becomes hard as it dries and takes time to heat up. The contributions of organic matter will be occasional but copious.
- Loamy soil: this intermediate stage is easy to work with. The silty substrates are rich and permeable, they are often worked with green manures and mulches.
To find out which category your soil belongs to, take a handful of soil and try to form a ball with your hand, just like you would with dough. If you can form a compact ball, your soil is clayey. If you cannot get the substrate together, it is sandy. If you form a semblance of a ball that crumbles slightly, you are dealing with loamy soil.
3. Know the pH of your soil
Finally, to know everything about your soil, take a test to find out its pH. Just take an extract and place it in an airtight container. Then pour water into it and shake. Once the earth has fallen to the bottom, slide a drugstore-bought test strip and observe the result.
From 1 to 6.5 your soil is acidic, from 6.5 to 7.5 it is neutral, and from 7.5 to 14 it is considered basic (alkaline, limestone).
Now that you know your soil better, you can learn about the needs of each plant and provide nutrients for some, lighten the substrate with a supply of sand for others ...
4. Choice of vegetables
The vegetable garden is above all to have fun! Start by making a list of what you want to eat. Then, find out about the planting period and collect all the vegetables that are planted at the same times.
For example beets, zucchini and beans can be planted in May. In July, it is possible to sow carrots, radishes and lettuce for a harvest a little later in the season.
- To read: Calendar of sowing and harvests in the vegetable garden
Ourcultivation advice can be found in the Vegetable garden section
5. Planting plan
For each vegetable you should know:
- Planting / sowing period
- Harvest period
- Planting distance
- Plant requirements
So with all these elements you are now able to draw a plan. Thanks to the planting distance, you know how much area you need for each plant. Thanks to the harvest period, you know when a vegetable or another will free up space in your vegetable garden. Also watch out for crop rotations! Many plants do not need to be replanted in the same place several times in a row.
6. Prepare the ground
After the theory, practice ! You must now prepare your plot to accommodate your future vegetable plants. To do this, remove the weeds and stones. If your yard is grassy, remove the layer of lawn with a spade. You can also spread a plastic sheet for several weeks to suffocate the lawn. It will be much easier to remove. Use a jab to loosen the first layer of soil gently. Finally, use a rake to level everything. Depending on your type of soil, it may be appropriate to add compost. To do this, spread a layer of well-decomposed compost over the entire plot. That's it, all you have to do is plant or sow!