Three Steps to Set Up a Vegetable Garden

The most crucial step in the process is to set up your home vegetable garden properly.
When it comes to working in your vegetable or kitchen yard, I like to hear, “worst first.” To put it another way, if you put in the effort to set up your Garden correctly from the start, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and disappointment later.
Taking the time to set up your home garden the first time properly means you’ve already completed the most challenging task. And you’ll be grateful for months and years to come.
I can’t tell you how many Garden consult visits my business, Rooted Garden, has had with clients who have an established garden setup that isn’t working. Much of the time, this is due to the Garden not being set up thoughtfully or carefully in the first place.
So, bear in mind the adage “worst first,” and put in the effort now to ensure a good vegetable garden this season and for many years to come.

STEP ONE: Decide on a layout and location for your vegetable garden.
Choosing a place and a design for your home vegetable garden is the first step. When it comes to selecting a new house, the site is almost everything. The price of the same place in two different parts of town would almost definitely be very different. The one in the ideal location is much more valuable than the other. The same can be said for your kitchen garden.

Select a Location
The most difficult decision to make is where to put your vegetable garden or kitchen garden. There are so many variables to consider when choosing a venue, or there are so many limitations for some of us.
It’s a good idea to map out your property before deciding where to put your home vegetable garden to understand better the space available, where existing structures are situated, and which places are better than others.
Before deciding on one, suggest at least three or four different places for your home vegetable garden, and then think about your priorities and ambitions for the Garden before settling on one.
A student asked if she could grow some herbs or vegetables in one area of her landscape and then set up a separate raised bed garden in another place to develop a different form of a plant during a recent gardening workshop.
‘Of course,’ I responded.
In reality, I do the same thing. My kitchen garden is located on my house’s side, where it will receive the most sunlight and better complement my home’s design, and I grow the majority of my herbs in a separate location right outside my back door on our deck.
So, if you’re planting one, two, or twenty vegetable gardens, weigh all of your options before deciding on your top choices.

Make a drawing
After you’ve decided on a site for your home vegetable garden, you’ll need to come up with a plan.
Of course, there are many different layouts to choose from (well, maybe not quite that many). However, the only limit to the design and layout you can make for your home garden is your imagination.
My advice is to build a design that complements your home and its overall aesthetic, and I always recommend including several gardens in your vegetable garden design.
In most people’s minds, a vegetable garden is a single raised bed in the middle of the yard that is overgrown and unkept. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
‘Just say no to the lonely, awkward garden,’ I like to say.

STEP 2: Organize Your Raised Garden Beds
Installing your raised garden beds and soil is the second stage in planning your vegetable garden.
It’s time to create and install your raised beds after you’ve agreed on a design and location for your home vegetable garden.
When it comes to growing herbs, vegetables, and fruits, I prefer to garden in raised beds and don’t garden in any other way.
Rooted Garden specializes in raised gardens and web design and installation kitchen gardens all over Houston, Texas, using this form, which I teach at Kitchen Garden Academy.

Make Space for the Vegetable Garden.
Be sure to clear your garden area before rushing to put your raised beds in order.
Take the time to clean up any existing trees, grasses, or other vegetation in this field, and then level the ground.
This could be the step in the process that takes the longest; at least, it seemed that way for Jason and me when we were setting up our gardens, and it’s undoubtedly the slower part of the process when we do this for Rooted Garden clients.
However, taking the time now to clear your kitchen garden location of all vegetation and level will make all the difference in your long-term success.

Raised Garden Beds Can Be Built or Purchased
You may build your raised gardens out of various materials, but I strongly advise you to use a natural and durable wood, steel, or stone. In Houston, we usually use cedar wood for all of our raised beds, and I used it in my Chicago home garden.
Unless you’re growing vegetables on a patio, you’ll want your Garden to have an open bottom to allow water to drain quickly and efficiently. I like to suggest that unless you have at least 15 square feet open, it’s not worth creating a raised bed garden. Otherwise, you’re paying a lot of money for a lot of material and very little gardening space.
You can design your own raised Garden, buy a do-it-yourself kit, or get it prepared for you by a Garden Coach company. Regardless of how you go about it, I strongly advise you to take your time and make sure you’re getting the best deal you can. The higher the quality and better the construction from the outset, the longer you’ll be able to use this raised bed.
Be mindful that many online raised bed retailers won’t give you a bed that is more than 1″ thick. As a result, your raised bed would be less stable and able to endure years of humidity and severe weather. When buying online or from a retailer, be sure to inquire about the wood’s thickness before handing over your credit card.
After you’ve cleared your garden room, it’s time to put your raised beds in order.
Since they’re challenging to transfer once the soil is in place, line them up carefully.

Install the Soil for Your Vegetable Garden
It’s time to carry the magic: garden soil, once your beds are in place.
This is the grunt work, but it’s also where the magic happens. The most crucial aspect of your home vegetable garden is the soil, which is more important than any other factor. As a consequence, don’t scrimp on this move!
When I teach my students how to make my soil mix, I always tell them to think about nature. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of synthetic fertilizers or goods that promise a miracle.’
Nature is a marvel in and of itself; no additional equipment is needed.
In your home vegetable garden, I suggest using sandy loam soil with plenty of compost. This mixture is excellent for most vegetables and herbs, and I use it in all of my Rooted Garden kitchen gardens.
This signature soil blend is used in every Garden I’ve planned and planted.
Don’t waste your money on cheap dirt or try to make up for what you lack with miracle products. Consider nature and make great soil a top priority for your Garden. You will not be disappointed.
The width x length x height of your raised garden beds is a straightforward formula for calculating the amount of soil you’ll need for your gardens. When you order, buy, or make your soil mix, this will give you the cubic feet of soil you’ll need.

STEP THREE: Create a Vegetable Garden Plan and Plant
It’s almost time to plant your home vegetable garden now that it’s been planned and set up.
But hold off on purchasing any of the plants just yet.
First and foremost, we must prepare.
Planning your Garden’s goals before buying plants or seeds is just as critical as doing the worst part first for home vegetable garden success in the setup process.
One of the best ways to get started planning is to consider what fruits, herbs, and greens you already eat in your house. Before you start planning your plantings, take a moment to make a list of those.

Recognize the Seasons in Your Vegetable Garden
One thing to keep in mind when you prepare your vegetable garden plantings is that each season is different. Some gardening websites refer to ‘zones,’ which are a rough number that shows where your last and first frost dates are.
However, after gardening in more than five states, I’ve discovered that the ‘area’ isn’t nearly as important as the monthly temperatures and the planting season I’m in. So spend some time learning about the temperatures in your town for each month, and you’ll get a better idea of what you should do in your backyard.

Plants for Your Vegetable Garden
After you’ve mastered the seasons, it’s time to master the plants. Plants like some temperatures, just as we do. Some of us prefer summer, while others prefer winter (well, I’m not sure about that last one).
It would help if you picture yourself as an Airbnb host for your plants, and your mission is to make them feel at ease. You’ll be less likely to plant tomatoes with cilantro if you learn which grows at which temperatures (even though the hardware store sells them simultaneously).
So, figure out which plants thrive in which temperatures, and you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful and productive vegetable garden.

Make a planting strategy.
Finally, devise a strategy. Now that you know when certain temperatures occur and which plants like certain temperatures, it’s time to choose the plants you enjoy eating and want to grow the most.
Setting goals for planting in a kitchen garden or even a more extensive home vegetable garden is critical to success. Since we don’t have much room at home (unless you have a farm), now is the time to determine which plants will take precedence this season.

You’re finally ready to start buying seeds and plants after you’ve made your plan, and you’re well on your way to making the best vegetable garden ever.

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