Vegetable Garden Planning: Techniques
You've got seed packets in your hands and visions of delicious vegetables in your head. Making that vision a reality is easy. Just decide what vegetables you want to grow, how much you want to plant, and what technique you want to use and you're on your way to enjoying a delicious feast to feed you, your family, and even if your neighbors. Learn how to get started with the vegetable planting methods below.
Vegetable Planting with the Broadcast Method
Broadcasting is an easy, time-tested method for planting seeds in bigger vegetable gardens. It works well with small seeds, such as lettuce, carrots and radishes. To broadcast, sprinkle the seeds lightly over the soil. Next, to help your seeds make good contact with the soil, press them lightly with a board, then sprinkle a little sand or compost over them. Be sure to water your new plants frequently. Seeds and young seedlings do best with frequent, light watering. Once established, watering deeply about once a week will be adequate for most of your vegetables. Feed your new vegetables every 2 weeks with a plant food, such as Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food, starting about a month after planting.
Vegetable Planting with Hills
To plant your vegetable with the hill method, you'll plant in circular areas about 6-8 inches in diameter spaced several feet apart. Note that the hill method is a misnomer: it refers to simply generously spacing apart your crops in circular groups (creating actual hills or mounds can cause your soil to dry out too quickly). Use this technique for big, sprawling vine crops, such as winter squash, melons and cucumbers, as it allows the crops lots of space to spread their roots out. Plant five seeds per circle. Water to keep the soil consistently moist, thinning your plants to three per circle once they're established. After your plants are established, feed them with an organic plant food, like Natures Care® Organic All Purpose Plant Food which will continue to feed for up to 2 months.
Vegetable Planting in Rows
If you like a well-organized garden, sowing seeds in rows is a great idea. You'll grow lots of plants and can tend to them easily. Plants such as tomatoes and zucchini thrive in conditions that allow for good air circulation, so rows are a good option for these. Plants that require trellises or string support, such as peas, also do well in rows. Just sprinkle the seeds in rows (space according to seed package instructions), press them in and cover them lightly with sand or compost. Water to keep your seedlings consistently moist. After the seeds germinate, thin them out according to the spacing instructions on the back of the seed package. Once the seedling are established, begin a regular feeding routine, always following directions on the plant food label.
Short on Space?
If you're short on space, read "Growing a Small Space Vegetable Garden."