Vegetable Gardening: Getting Started
January is seed catalogue time. For die hard gardeners, it's the time to settle back with a hot beverage and a notepad, and of course a stack of catalogues from the best nurseries and seed suppliers across the country. Experienced gardeners know how much of each seed they need to order to supply their family's needs. They know which varieties have worked best for them in the past, and which ones they are eager to try. By the time such a gardener is finished listing out everything to be ordered, the bill can come out to a couple hundred dollars and there can be orders sent out to half a dozen different suppliers.
So what if you're new to vegetable gardening, and you have to keep to a limited budget?
Buying Vegetable Seeds on a Budget
Even on a very limited budget, you can grow a small garden with a dozen or so different plants. For under $20 you can find a number of vegetable garden starter packs on a site like Amazon, where you probably already shop. If you use a cash back gateway like For The Schools when you shop online, you can save up to 40% off on your purchase too.
Most of the vegetable garden starter kits I saw were for heirloom vegetables, which means that if you save the seeds from this season's crop, you won't have to spend on them next year. Many of the seeds were also certified organic. Most vegetable seeds are non-GMO anyway, but a couple of the kits were specifically labelled as such.
Planning Your Vegetable Garden
It can be pretty daunting to start a vegetable garden from scratch. What kind of soil is needed? How many row-feet will this packet of seeds cover? Is it enough? Does the garden plot get enough sunlight? There are a lot of details for a first-time gardener to cope with – enough to put some people off actually getting a garden planted.
The best thing to do is to approach your garden as a fun project the first year. Do read up on basic gardening. Do find out when you should be planting your seeds. Do pay attention to planting instructions on the seed packets. But don't get too caught up in it.
Don't be afraid to take a bit of a risk. But cut yourself some slack, and remember that nobody's garden is ever perfect. If you get stuck on something, don't be afraid to ask for help. Use a reliable resource like your local university extension office or the vegetable growing guides on the Cornell University web site. These pages are a wealth of information about different varieties of each vegetable, planting information, caring for your plants, pests and diseases, and much more. If you have a specific question about one of your vegetable plants, it's likely the answer is there!
Image credit: Garden fresh carrots by Alexei Abramov/ Pixabay (CC0 1.0)
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/carrot-vegetable-garden-plant-551661/