Tips For Beginner Vegetable Gardeners

There’s something special about eating home-grown vegetables from the garden. Fresh-picked peas are a revelation-store-bought ones never tasted as sweet-and who can resist juicy, garden-ripe tomatoes still warm from the sun?

If you are new to vegetable gardening, here are five tips to get you started:

Grow only veggies you like to eat. Home-grown veggies that are noticeably tastier and cheaper include green and yellow beans, broccoli, carrots, green onions, peas (both shelling and snow types), peppers, spinach, tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini.
Plant the stuff you have to shell out bigger bucks for at the supermarket-specialty greens like arugula or mesclun salad mixes, or asparagus. In fact, asparagus is one of the few perennial vegetables. For a Saturday afternoon spent planting your patch, you can harvest for 12 to 15 years.
Grow what’s not so readily available, for example, heirloom tomatoes such as Brandywine. Many varieties available to home gardeners aren’t found in stores, because produce intended for shipping is bred for durability and shelf life-taste comes a distant second.
Choose a level, well-drained spot that gets at least eight hours of full sun each day, and make sure it’s close to a water source. The closer to the house, the easier the plants are to tend.
Start small. Novice gardeners often overplant and become overwhelmed. You don’t even need a separate vegetable patch to begin with. Try tucking a tomato plant or two into your annuals. Each tomato plant will need a space that’s 3-feet square. You can also plant basil, parsley, thyme, and chives into a half-barrel planter near the kitchen door. These kitchen herbs also make great edging plants for your veggie patch.

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