The amount of garden area that you need depends on what you plan to grow in your garden as well as the amount of space that you have in which to create a garden. While some people make do with a small patch of land, you have most likely seen others who have an entire back yard devoted to gardening.
My advice to you is this – use up as much space as you can spare. The tips given in this book will not only help you save money because you are growing fresh vegetables instead of buying them, but it will also save money when it comes to storing them.
A friend of mine decide one year to have a tomato garden. This was a long time ago, before I knew anything about gardening or how to preserve certain foods. She and her husband planted 40 tomato plants in their garden. The entire garden consisted of tomatoes.
If you have never grown anything, you should know that tomatoes are the easiest of all of the garden vegetables (even though it’s a fruit) to grow. Her tomatoes came out in full bloom and then started producing fruit. Pretty soon, my friend was giving tomatoes to just about everyone she knew, including the mailman.
The entire neighborhood was tomatoes out and she vowed not to do this again. A great many tomatoes went to waste and a great deal of bunnies were happy. But this didn’t have to be the case.
Had my friend known that canning tomatoes is one of the simplest of all garden fruit and vegetables preservation, she could have had tomatoes, sauce, salsa and just about anything for the entire year.
IF YOU HAVE THE GROUND – PLANT THE VEGETABLES
If you have the ground, plant the vegetables. Always consider that some plants may not do well. Despite your best efforts, some crops will be eaten by sneaky critters like rabbits (although I will give you tips on how to deal with that) and some will just not work out. Every garden has duds.
While you do not want to start out with a garden that is overwhelming and takes up your entire backyard, you do not want to have a small garden that only produces a few fruits and vegetables and does not really save you any money. Remember, your victory garden should be one that will save you money not only in the months of the harvest, but for the year afterward. So you need to have plenty of room.
Section off a piece of land in your yard where the garden will grow. Bear in mind that certain vegetables, like corn and potatoes, take more room in which to grow. Tomatoes grow up and can be confined to a smaller space. Others, especially the root vegetables, need a foot between them to grow properly and not get entangled in the ground.
Also keep in mind that you need to have space between the rows of crops in order to maintain the garden. A friend of mine had a great idea to build a tomato garden in a small patch of ground on the side of the house. She figured she could get 10 tomato plants in their easily. She planted them, watered them, made sure they climbed their cages, but had no where to walk.
Once the tomatoes had grown, she couldn’t get into the garden without stepping all over the plants. Do not let this happen to you. You need to have rows between the crops where you can work so that you can properly maintain the growing crops and, when harvest time comes, harvest them as well.
After you have marked off the area where you are going to plan your garden, you need to then start to prepare the supplies you will need to get the garden going. You can get the following supplies from the garden store, or borrow them from a neighbor:
- Garden gloves. You will need these throughout your gardening, so be sure to get a good pair.
- Garden Hoe
- Garden Spade
- Garden rake
- Chicken wire or some fencing material to keep the garden contained and the animals out.
These are the materials that you will need to dig up the garden and get it ready for planting. Some people rent a rototiller to turn over the soil in the garden. This does the job quickly in a large vegetable garden, but costs money to rent. It is also a heavy piece of machinery and can be difficult to maneuver.
I always preferred using the old fashioned garden tools, but if you are strong enough to use this battery operated or electrical power device, then you might want to go for it. You are going to need to turn the soil over in order to get it prepared for gardening.
Also, take a look at the dirt that you have under your lawn. Chances are it is black dirt, like clay. This is difficult soil in which to grow crops. You need to have good soil and may want to pick up some bags of potting soil for your crops. If the dirt is hard and seems like clay, then you need to mix in some good top so that your vegetables will grow. As you continue to grow the garden, the more nutrient rich the soil will become. As years go on, the garden soil takes on a life of its own so that you will not need top soil.
It is a good idea to stake off where you want to have your garden with some stakes and string. This way you know where you plan to dig and will have an even looking garden. After you have prepared the area by sectioning it off and getting the necessary supplies that you need to prepare the garden, you can then start digging.