The most important and basic requirements for growing your own vegetables are seeds, water, soil and sunshine. It also takes a little work on your part, but it’s not a difficult task. The rewards, of freshly picked vegetables on your dinner table, far out weigh the work. Start your own vegetable garden by choosing vegetables that are easy to grow.
Mark off an area of your yard, with the hoe’s corner, that receives sunshine most of the day. Vegetable plants require ample sun to grow. Choose the vegetable seeds you will grow. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, corn and bush beans are among the easier ones to grow. However, you should experiment and grow those vegetables your family enjoys eating.
Measure your marked-off garden plot and transfer them to graph paper at ¼ inch to 1 foot of measurement. Plan your vegetable locations. To make sure all the plants receive enough sunshine, plant the taller plants across the north end (back of the garden), such as corn. Continue the next row with the next tallest plants, on down to the shortest ones, such as radishes or carrots, at the southern end.
Remove any debris, weeds or rocks in the garden plot. Dig the garden soil to a depth of 1 to 2 feet. Turn the soil over as you go and break up all dirt clods. When the soil turning is complete, rake the area even.
Pour about 2 inches of compost over the garden plot. Work it in with your shovel. Rake the area even, again.
Make rows by placing the corner of the hoe, adding pressure, and walking down the near length of your garden. Leave space at both ends for a walking path. Work another soil line indentation about 2 feet parallel to the first line, allowing the soil to fall inwards. The hoe is also creating water motes, for later use. The manufacturer will recommend the width between rows, for a particular vegetable, on the back of the seed packet. Make all of the rows needed for your garden.
Follow the seed packet directions, for each vegetable, for the depth and spacing of seeds. Plant your seeds in the mounds between the hoe indentations that make up long rows. Push soil over the top of the planted seeds.
Gently spray water over the top of the planted seeds. If the spray is too heavy or harsh, the seeds will be uncovered, so be careful. Check the soil often, keeping it moist, until the seeds germinate (sprout out of the soil). Now you may begin using the hoe motes to water. This will encourage small seedling roots to grow downward. However, you must still make sure that the topsoil does not dry out for another week or two.
Water about once a week, after the vegetable plants are secure and established which takes a couple of weeks, filling the motes. If you have particularly dry or hot weather, check the mote soil for the need of additional watering. It should remain moist an inch below the surface. Check by digging down into the motes with your finger.
Pull all weeds as they appear. Weeds compete with vegetable plants for water, space and nutrients. If you notice an insect infestation starting, spray on an organic pesticide, such as Bacillius. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on the package and do not overspray, which will stress your plants.