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Want Homegrown Vegetables? Here's Where to Start

Bell peppers in a garden

As convenient as local grocery stores are, they don’t exactly have gardens in their storage area where they are harvesting homegrown vegetables and offering farm-to-table produce. (True story: we once worked at a grocery store where customers were upset that this was the case. Sorry, but there just wasn’t enough room in the fridge for a garden bed!)

Growing your own veggies can offer a bunch of benefits, from tastier meals, to being outside more as you tend to your garden, to simply eating more vegetables! Farm-to-table—or in this case, vegetable garden-to-table—foods are gaining in popularity among generations who want to incorporate more sustainability into their lifestyles, and want to save a few bucks on their grocery bill. So, we’ve put together a guide to get you started on your own vegetable garden this summer!

Choose Your Veggies

When you’re growing your own vegetables, of course you want to make sure you like what you plant! Our best tip is to start small and stay safe at first, picking vegetables that grow easily and that you know that you like. Some of our go-to choices include bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. These are typically easy to plant and grow, perfect for beginners or experienced gardeners. They are also versatile veggies, and you can use them for just about any meal

A few other ideas for beginning your vegetable garden: carrots, parsley, basil, and squash. Once again, these are common vegetables that are easy to incorporate into just about any meal, and can grow without a lot of extra work from you.

Prepare Your Vegetable Garden Area

The next step is to decide where you want your homemade vegetable garden. 

Choosing the best spot for your garden involves locating optimal sunlight in your yard — at least six hours of full sunlight per day is ideal. It is also important to choose a spot for your vegetables that drains well and won’t necessarily flood or dry up in wet and dry spells throughout the season. It’s all about finding the perfect balance!

Then, you can prepare the soil or even start building your raised garden bed, if you choose to go that route. Pull weeds, rocks, and other debris from your garden area and make sure it is nice and clean. This is also a great time to till the soil and spread compost, manure, or other organic components that encourage plant growth and keep your soil healthy. 

If you’re building your own garden bed, be sure to leave a spot for drainage, and follow the steps to ensure the bed is the right dimensions for the produce you want to grow.

Plant, Tend, and Harvest

Now the fun part: planting! Each vegetable will have different instructions on how to plant them: some require more space in the ground than others, and some need to be planted earlier or later in the season based on their germination periods. Be sure to read each packet of seeds carefully before planting so you can have the most bountiful harvest possible. 

Once you have your seeds planted, it is just a matter of regular maintenance and tending. Water your seeds regularly, and consider adding some more compost later on in the season to promote growth among your garden. 

Be sure to watch your veggies as they begin to sprout and grow! It is definitely a good idea to add some sort of fencing or other protection around your veggie garden, since it can attract cute but pesky animals such as bunnies or even deer. You don’t want all your hard work nibbled up by the local wildlife!

How Long Veggies Take to Grow

Depending on how long it takes for the vegetables you want to grow, you may want to consider buying plants from nurseries, or starting growing them indoors so you can enjoy them all summer long. 

  • Bell Peppers: 60 - 90 Days

  • Carrots: 70 - 80 Days

  • Cucumbers: 50 - 70 Days

  • Tomatoes: 60 - 100 Days

Enjoy Fresh Veggies This Summer!

There’s nothing quite like fresh vegetables grown from your own garden. Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and more taste great in all sorts of recipes, and you can even freeze them to keep over those long Minnesota winters. Starting your homemade vegetable garden is easy, and can be even easier with the local landscaping company at SunKissed Landscapes. We can get you started by creating a raised garden bed, or preparing your yard for vegetables, flowers, or anything else you want to grow!

Get a free quote for your summer grocery bill today.

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