(NC) Ready to start your own vegetable garden this year? It can be daunting at first, but gardening is an incredibly rewarding hobby to get into.
If you have never tasted garden-fresh vegetables you will be amazed by the sweet, juicy flavours and vibrant textures. Theres absolutely nothing quite like fresh veggies, especially when you can grow them yourself.
Here Canadian grower, Andrew Hendriks of Hendriks Greenhouse, shares some tips for getting started:
Pick the perfect location
Selecting a good spot for your garden is absolutely key, as it can mean success or failure. Most vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight per day, aside from the leafy produce that will tolerate some shade. Avoid areas that receive strong winds that can knock over your plants; same with places near too much foot traffic or prone to flooding.
Soil is everything
Hendriks says if you have poorly drained soil where water can pool, plant your vegetables in a raised bed or row for improved drainage. Wet soil means wet roots, which can turn into rotted roots. The PC vegetable and herb soil mix is a great option that provides all the four key ingredients that will make your garden flourish: organic compost, sphagnum peat moss, cow manure and topsoil.
Keep it small
A common error that beginners make is planting too much too soon. Make sure that you have paths that allow you to access your plants to weed, harvest and reach the centre of the row or bed easily. If you dont have the space, plant any vegetables you can vertically with a straight stem and stake into your garden or any pots. Tomatoes are great for vertical gardens.
Choose your vegetables
Now its time to choose the vegetables you want to grow. Keep things simple by choosing items that you and your family will enjoy eating. Hendricks suggests planting vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, carrots, peppers, leafy greens and herbs. These foods grow in abundance and come in many different varieties, making them the perfect vegetables to throw on top of the grill and enjoy with family all season long.