How does your vegetable garden grow?

Amid the turmoil and tragedy of COVID-19, many Americans found solace in simpler things — long walks, mindfulness and meditation, and…. gardening.

Growing veggies at home isn’t just a great stress reliever, it’s been a great way to save money as produce prices rose in uncertain times.

Sun, soil, water, and attention

Not surprisingly, you’ll need the right combination of sun, soil, and water depending on the types of plants you want to grow — so choose a sunny spot (in your backyard or windowsill) and one that drains well and doesn’t stay too wet, buy the seeds of your choice and choose a fertilizer mix that’s ideal for growing vegetables (your hardware store or gardening center should be able to help.)

What to plant?

Next, you’ll want to choose the right plants for the time of year. Veggies like radishes, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, and squash are usually best to plant early in the season.

Produce like lettuce, arugula and peas grow fast in lower light and can be ideal if you’re starting your garden indoors.

If you’ve got a hankering for corn, it’s usually best to wait until temperatures warm up — corn seeds don’t fare well in cold soil.

You might also consider planting perennial plants that will offer up vegetables for many years to come, like asparagus, a variety of berries, as well as herbs like tarragon and rosemary. Just make sure to protect them against very cold temperatures.

Remember, growing a vegetable garden can take some time and patience to get right. Don’t be discouraged. Overwatering is usually the biggest mistake green gardeners make, so start there.

For more vegetable garden ideas and inspiration, click here and here. 

Have you started a garden during the pandemic or are you planning to soon? Share what you know with the Shop Talk community.

Did you know?

Stagger planting

Remember you probably don’t want all your lettuce or cucumbers maturing at the same time, so it’s a good idea to stagger your seed planting by a few weeks. (Source)

40 thoughts on “How does your vegetable garden grow?

  1. I go to the farmers market and purchase my fruits and vegtables, since there is a pool in our yard so can’t plant anything.

  2. No, I have not planted any vegetables’ this year. I already have alot of flowers and trees in my yard and really don’t have to room. We had an awful lot of work done in our yard recently so I did not want to plant anything new so it would not get damaged.

  3. We are trying our hand at container gardening. Around the perimeter we planted flowers that keep vegetables from being eaten by worms, attracting other insects and so far all organic.
    The gardens are on the south side of the house so they will have a longer growing cycle. We have to water the gardens at least once a day and get a thorough soaking.
    The Hubbard squash are in their own container so they will not cross pollinate with others in their type group. The bush green beans are growing like weeds and the cauliflower and broccoli are doing great too.

  4. You will need good compost,put all your table scraps into an old garbage can occasionally throw some dirt on makes the best food for your garden. We grow potatoes, collards, cauliflower, parsley and we have the most beautiful garden in the back yard and flowers growing in the front yard courtesy of Lowes clearance flowers.

  5. Hi fellow gardeners. When I was younger my mom would put egg shells in a mixture of potting soil and regular dirt. Mix it all up and put the plants or seeds in the mixture then cover with regular dirt to keep it in the ground. Then crush up 2 aspirinso and put one top of the ground soil, then water the proper way.
    I would love to have a garden that way but I don’t have the room where I live. Hope you enjoy the info.

  6. Gardens are nice to have and may disstress you from other things in your life. But they requiew weeding which can be another stress. Start small the first year or two to get the hang of it before planting a big one which might be overwhelming

  7. I have started gardening myself, it makes me excited to see flowers and vegetables coming up. It is so relaxing for me. Thank you for the great tips and information.

  8. There are so many other things to consider when growing a garden. One of them being, do you have the time to grow one? There are some time consuming tasks with a garden and you should be prepared to invest the time into one. We grew tomatoes for many years and will not have any this year as we are getting too old and physically challenged! But if you have the time to grow a garden you will have so many great memories in the years to come. Have fun!!

  9. I have gardened for years. This year I have cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, basil, zucchini, and potatoes. We can tomatoes. we eat a lot of vegetables in the summer and fall

  10. Thank you for this fantastic information!! We always plant veggies and herbs year round. We use epsom salt to give them nutrients.

  11. Been gardening for DECADES .. it is the way that I’ve made ends meet (yes, I also do home canning too).

    One thing I am doing differently is now I am far more invested in not only making best use of my Patios for growing Herbs (that I use in cooking and also flash freeze/dry at home too), as well as using raised planting beds so I am not in tremendous pain from my permanent disabilities as I tend my garden (for example, having spine fusion means we can’t do things on ground level or bend down, we need to have our gardens raised so pain is limited as we do what we need to do to maintain the garden and make sure it is weeded, watered, etc).

    I agree with the point about using perennials (just be aware, best to put mint in patio planters instead of in the ground — it is more like an INVASIVE species, and will overtake everything once it gets established in any ground level planting bed). So that, I have a couple of dedicated over the patio railing planter boxes that holds the mint that I’ll use for everything from flavoring tea to adding to recipes (and I’ve even flash frozen into convenient recipe portions the leaves and then sealed these frozen leaves with the sealer I have). Thus, always have herbs that were fresh from my garden (yes, I even flash froze parsley, Minced Fresh Garlic, etc). It is all about knowing what we used to do because we couldn’t AFFORD to buy store-bought groceries (yes, hard childhood, went through horrid divorce, so I always economize and do what I can myself from my gardening/planter boxes/planter pots).

  12. I grow all kinds of goodies. I’m trying to grow a permaculture food forest. This summer I planted okra, roselle, pole beans, tomatoes, Barbados cherry tree, tom thumb peas, figs and more. I like to do the chop and drop method. I use lemongrass and pigeon peas a bit for that method. I do bio chard occasionally and I need to do some Hügelkultur. I have not done them at this property yet.

  13. The thing that i do the most is given my garden plants miracle grow food every few weeks and make sure i water every day, I do tomatoes every year, THis year I thought i would add something else and decided to try orange and yellow peppers. So far my little garden is doing well.

  14. i have wild bunnies all around my home so no place in my yard is any good. i will keep getting mine from the grocery store and farmers markets

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