This year I've decided to start a small vegetable garden in my backyard. I've done some research and here's what I have found to help first-time gardeners. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.
Tools that will be needed:
Spade or spading fork.
Steel bow rake.
Garden hose long enough to water the entire garden.
Cute hat to block the sun. Your neighbors will surely stop and ask what you are growing.
Understand that most vegetable plants need good drainage and at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. My west-facing backyard will be perfect.
Test the soil to figure out what it needs before you plant – in our area the soil will need good prep. Visit your local nursery for recommendations on rotofilling, organic matter, fertilizer and other supplies,.
Pick the seeds you want and follow the directions on the package. Select transplants that are about as tall as they are wide, dark green in color, vigorously growing, and free of spots or lesions on the leaves.
Water your garden if you get less than one inch of rain a week.
Add mulch around your plants to control weeds, prevent moisture loss and discourage pests.
Thin your plants to increase growth.
Weed early and often. When you see a weed, immediately pull it up by the roots.
Use weed and pest control chemicals wisely, remembering that pesticides kill the good bugs along with the bad bugs. Always follow package directions carefully.
I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions for a successful growing season.