Growing your own food can be one of most fun aspects about your summer! It is so much fun to come to VG in the spring, pick out all of your starter veggies, fruits, or seeds, and get in the dirt. We have all been there, though, when things don't grow according to our plan. Here are some quick and easy tips to growing a successful garden!
1. Try Raised Beds with Rich Soil
If you have the space a raised bed is one of the best ways to grow edibles AND you can make them look really cool! One of the most important factors to any raised bed, container garden, or planting in the ground is soil. I cannot stress this enough...do not dump junky top soil or fillers in . Invest in great soils such as Bactto Garden Soil, Miracle Grow Garden Soil, Mushroom Compost, Cow Manure, all available at VG, of course! Also, adding home compost is great too (coffee grounds, banana peels, etc) It is a proven fact that plants will yield up to 4 times the amount in a raised bed vs the ground.
2. Try planting in triangles instead of rows
If you have space issues, try planting your crops in triangles instead of rows. This also adds a designer touch to your beds. Be sure to stagger your plants and avoid overcrowding. If you plant your crops too close together you will stress the plants and they will not produce as much fruit, and they are more susceptible to insect and disease issues. The best option is to grab a piece of paper and map out exactly what you need so you can lay it out before shopping!
3. Try climbing plants to maximize space. Growing vertical is the absolute best way to maximize tight spaces and the best way to grow climbing vegetables and fruits. Growing vertical makes harvesting and plant maintenance easy. There are a ton of ideas on how to make your own trellises or you can purchase more decorative supports at VG. Try growing cucumbers, beans, peas, and melons.
4. Pick Compatible Pairings
Not all edibles grow well together. For example, mint and onions do not like to be near asparagus. Beans hate to be near beets, and never plant dill near carrots. Edibles that do play well together are tomatoes, basil and onions. Lettuce loves peas, and beets love celery. Be sure to double check before planting.
5. Plant flowers near your garden
Each year I plant marigolds in a large container by my veggie garden and grow Morning Glories on large tripods in the center of my garden. I do this for one reason....bees! We need the bees to pollinate. The more they pollinate the more you will produce.
6. Feed your Food
Just like people, plants need food to grow too! Starting with an excellent, rich soil will be great, but once you are growing, you need to fertilize your babies. VG has tons of options for fertilizer both organic and not organic.
VG recommends Jack's Tomato Feed and Espoma Organic Garden Lime for tomatoes.
VG recommends Miracle Gro Tomato and Veggie feed and Espoma Organic Garden Tone for all other Vegetables.
Stop in to either VG location to check out our expansive selection of vegetable, fruit, and herb plants!