Mar 22, 2020
Lizzie and Brian discuss the beginning steps for someone with
little to no experience.
Vegetable Gardening 101 Tips
- Location, location,
sun. A sunny spot is
essential for vegetable gardening. Partial shade is OK for
leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, collards, etc), but fruiting
plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, corn, zucchini, etc.) just
won’t perform in shade.
- Safety: If converting from lawn space, when was
the ground last treated with
pesticides/insecticides/fungicides? -Verify what was put on
it, and when/whether it’s safe to use this ground for growing a
- How big do you want to
- Bigger is not necessarily
better. Your garden
of any size will not significantly feed your family. This is
a marvelous hobby, but unless you’ve got a tiller, an acre of good
land, and unlimited time, you won’t be living off the land.
Let your space, your available time, and your desire for
supplementing your diet with more wholesome food be your guide for
how much to plant.
- Cut out the
sod. A sturdy
serrated knife does this wonderfully. Then lift up a corner,
and pull up a sheet of turf exposing the topsoil below. Use
the sod in bare spots, or flip it over to expose the roots, and
- Preparing the
- Establishing a new garden
- Till the soil.
All plants will do better in
well-tilled soil. Either borrow a gas or electric tiller or
use a spade to turn and break up the topsoil at least 6 inches
Fallen leaves can be tilled
straight into the soil to improve structure and
aeration. NON MEAT/NON
DAIRY kitchen scraps can be
composted and added to the soil as well. Establishing a
compost pile is one of the best investments you can make for your
use 10-10-10 (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium in equal parts) bulk
fertilizer in 40 pound bags, and usually use 2 per year.
Spread per instructions on the bag. Miracle grow spray fertilizer
are great too throughout the growing season, but pricy over
packets tell you planting depth and spacing. Purchased plants
usually don’t but this info is readily available online for any
sort of plant.
- -Usually between ¼ inch and 1 inch in
depth. Space requirements vary greatly. I recommend planting
as densely as recommended to crowd out weeds and conserve precious
conserves water, keeps soil temps stable, and reduces weeds.
Grass clippings (though not from herbicide or pesticide treated
lawns!!) are excellent. Pine straw is good. Straw and hay
will break your heart because of all the grass and weeds you’ll get
2-3 weeks later. Old sheets of newspaper work fine but need
to be weighted down.
- SUPPLIES. FYI. Pike is taking phone-in orders
(and possibly online orders with delivery or pickup. -Please,
please practice social distancing!
- 10-10-10 Fertilizer.
or plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant need to be bought as plants
because they won’t sprout in cool soil and they have long growth
requirements). Cucumbers, cool-weather greens, and most
everything else can be started from seeds
plastic sheeting for protecting plants sensitive to cold before
April 1. (10 to 12 feet wide, by 15-25 feet
- A big
bag of potting soil if starting anything in a greenhouse from seed.
I use yogurt cups or paper cups for seed starts with a drain
hole in the bottom.
stakes or cages. - Most tomatoes, pole beans, and cucumbers
grow 5-6 feet tall on average and need pretty sturdy support.
Peppers and eggplant only grow 2-3 feet tall and need much less
- Cotton, jute, hemp or other natural
twine. -Cheap is fine. It’s useful all over the garden for
supporting plants, and never goes bad. -Buy
trowel, shovel, and hoe.
- Garden hose with an adjustable
insect spray. - I don’t heavily use pesticides, but this is a
good one for controlling the biggest offenders without poisoning
yourself or the environment.
couple of sturdy buckets for mixing fertilizer, weed collection,
of some kind if not using grass clippings.