5 Tips on Growing Vegetables

Your first step should be planning what type of garden you would like. Then decide how much space you have available. Then draw or map out your plan. Remember to get your kids involved in every step and make this just as much their project or a family project.

These tips on growing vegetables are designed to help you avoid the major pitfalls of vegetable growing. Many first-time vegetable growers think the whole process is quite simple – just throw some seeds on the ground, water them regularly and in a few weeks, voila – you have a vegetable garden, ready to harvest. Those of us who have actually grown vegetables know it’s not that simple. There are a few fundamentals you need to understand first and foremost to ensure you get good results.

1. Know What You’re Growing

Not all vegetables are created equal – this is the first thing you’ll need to understand. Different vegetables have different properties, and you’ll have to do a bit of basic research on any particular vegetable you decide to grow. One of the most basic but important tips on growing vegetables is to understand the nature of what you’re growing.

2. Learn About Seasons

Certain vegetables only grow well at particular times of year, so it’s important to know when you need to plant each vegetable in your garden and roughly how long it will take for those plants to mature. It’s an amateur mistake to go ahead and plant all your seeds for different vegetables at one time. Learn when each seed should be planted and when the finished product can be picked – this will also help you maximize your use of space in your garden throughout the year.

3. Learn About Spacing

Different plants have different root structures, so it’s important to know how much room you’re going to need between each seed you plant. Of course, this differs based on the vegetable you’re planting. You’ll have to think carefully about how you divide up the space in your garden to cater to all the vegetables you want to plant – don’t try to cram too much in, as you’re likely to end up yielding less than you’re hoping for if you plant seeds too close together.

4. Learn About Soil and Nutrients

Understanding the nutrients vegetables need to grow is key to successfully producing edible vegetables on a regular basis. Just as vegetables act as nourishment for humans and we need the right balance of nutrients, vegetables also need the right balance of nutrients in the soil to grow to their maximum potential. The big three macronutrients you need to know about are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, collectively referred to as NPK. Knowing this will help you make sense of the numbers and letters you see on bags of fertilizer.

On top of the nutrients involved, you also need to understand the type of soil you’re working with and what it needs in terms of care, watering and extra fertilization.

5. Learn About Your Climate

Your climate affects the kind of vegetables you can grow in a couple of ways. For one thing, your geography determines the seasons – how long the days are at each time of year, how much sunlight and rain you’ll get, and so on. On top of that, certain vegetables just won’t grow in some climates. Each different climate has vegetables which will thrive there, so if you want the best results make sure you grow plants which are well-suited to the climate of your area.

Summer Gardening Ideas

As it is the beginning of the summer soon, now is a great time to be thinking about planting a garden.

Try these ideas for planning and growing your own food.
Growing an Italian Pizza Garden
Growing an Herb Garden
Grow your food scraps

Also check out our Kids Cooking Camp Growing and Cooking as it is the perfect time to get started with this ebook.

This unit gives you tips on growing different vegetables, recipes to try for each vegetable and food facts about vegetables. We've included 10 vegetables and herbs with information on planting and why you should plant a vegetable garden with your kids. Each vegetable or herb includes at least 4 recipes to cook.

Unlike other summer camp curriculum this one is designed to plant your seeds and watch them grow, then harvest them and try the recipes.