Picking fresh vegetables from your garden is not only healthy – it’s a rewarding experience for the whole family to watch the daily progress of little seedlings grow into strong, productive plants. As the weather warms up, experienced gardening enthusiasts and novices alike are inspired to start planning their vegetable gardens. Whether you’re planting in a pot or a plot, here are some handy tips for fostering your garden’s success.
Where to Plant
Vegetable gardens need to be manageable, accessible and located in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. If you’re just starting out, a rewarding yet manageable garden can be planted in a small raised bed or a few large planters. If you’re ready to take your garden to the next level, a larger area can be carved out within your landscape. Choosing a location that is easy to access will also make it easier to water, and will also help you be mindful of maintenance and enjoy watching your bounty grows.
When to Plant
Many of us are itching to get a head start on our gardens as the days warm, but evening temperatures can still dip below freezing over the next few weeks. According to the Urban Farmer, the last frost in the Atlanta areas is coming soon – around April 10 (with a 10 percent variation). The Old Farmer’s Almanac also provides free, printable calendars showing the ideal times to plant popular vegetables, herbs and fruit in your specific area.
Deciding What to Plant
The most important thing to consider when deciding what to plant is what you and your family will enjoy eating. Vegetables such as zucchini, cucumber and squash are very productive when properly maintained. In other words, just one plant of these high-yield varieties may be enough for you and your brood. Want to grow a tomato plant, but tire quickly of plain sliced tomatoes? It could be inspiration to start roasting vegetables on the grill, blend up a new salsa or find a new recipe on Pinterest. If you’re the type that likes to plan ahead, don’t rule our vegetables that are ready for harvest in the Fall. Planting pumpkin seeds in Spring will yield beautiful pumpkins at the end of whimsical, curly vines this October. When looking at maps and seed packages, keep in mind that we’re located along the lines of Zones 7b and 8a.