Home vegetable garden ideas – I’m sure by now you would have come across one or two articles encouraging you to grow your vegetables, but you are stalling because you don’t see the need to as groceries are not closed down yet, and you can very much do your personal shopping.
But have you ever paused to consider the rising cost of food and the increasing risk of processed food as well as the presence of GMOs on grocery shelves these days? Well, that should be enough to get you started on your vegetable garden already.
Types of home vegetable gardens
There are lots of people out there who haven’t tried out the tasty sweet flavours of homegrown, garden-fresh vegetables. Trust me, nothing tastes better than vegetables you plant and nurture to fruition. And if you are still considering the stress and cost of starting one, I’ll give you a piece of priceless advice here and now, start small! A small garden you are proud of is much better than a big one you can’t handle.
On this page, I’ll walk you through different home vegetable garden ideas you can try out and start eating the fruits of your labour from the garden straight to the table. But if you are afraid of messing the whole thing up, just know that a trial and error period gives you more reasons to continue because gardening is a continuous cycle of adventure, each day opens you to a better idea especially if you are the creative type.
So let me begin by identifying the types of home vegetable gardens you can give a try.
I personally started my gardening journey when sack gardening was trending. I was curious to see how I could grow a garden on my floored porch by filling some few sacks with soil and plant in them. It turned out it wasn’t a bad idea after all. But asides using sack, there are many other vegetable garden ideas you can try with or without garden space in your home, and I’d be sure to discuss the types of vegetables you can grow in them.
- Sack garden: this requires filling up as many sacks as you can get with already prepared soil and making it ready for planting. Sack garden is a good option for concrete floors or rocky grounds, and you can utilize the space available in your yard.Vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, pepper, potatoes, carrots, zucchinis, and lots more grow well in sacks and produce many fruits if properly maintained.
- Container garden: quite similar to sack garden as it allows you to use a little space for a big yield. There are several containers for planting vegetables, and we have the pots, plastic containers and others varying in sizes.A container garden is for tomatoes, green onions, turnips, carrots, peppers, squash and potatoes. Carrots and tomatoes can be grown together in a container, but vegetables like squash require its own space as it could ‘squash’ other plants as it grows, moreover, squash is a heavy feeder, so you need to plant it alone.
- Raised garden bed: mostly used when the soil condition is not ideal or sometimes if you have animals disturbing your garden. Vegetables like Asparagus, Cabbage, Brussels, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Pumpkin, Spinach or Rhubarb grows well in a raised garden bed.
- Window box garden: usually used to grow herbs and spices. This is usually common in country houses where you find spices, vegetables or herbs growing on the windowsill of grandma’s kitchen. Unlike other garden types, a window box can only grow plants that don’t have deep roots such as lettuce, spinach, oregano, chives, basil and some other spices, but for deep root plants, you may have to use deeper boxes.
- In-ground garden beds: this is very common with houses that have extra spaces in the yard which can be converted to a vegetable garden. Since this is directly on the soil, you can grow corns, potatoes, beets, pumpkins, watermelon, eggplant, squash, tomatoes and as much as your space can allow.
How to get seeds to plant in your vegetable garden.
Personally, I recommend natural seeds as opposed to GMOs out in the market because heirloom (natural) seeds have no human alteration in any form. You can still get natural seeds in organic farms or markets, but one way I get my seeds is by getting them from foods I buy from the grocery and then dry the seeds for planting later. Most of my pepper plants were raised that way. Whatever method you choose; ensure you stay organic as GM seeds are increasing on the store shelves today.
As you prepare to plant your vegetables, it is important to know how to combine vegetables in your garden for the best result. Most gardeners often get frustrated after planting veggies for a while only to lose their garden to pests, diseases or in most cases, poor harvest.
The fault may be from the plants you have combined in your garden. There are complimentary veggies and knowing what two plants to combine or not to will prove very effective in your garden. I have a shortlist of complementary vegetables you can plant in your garden.
Tomato and Basil: not only do these go very well in soup or sauce, but they are good together in the garden also. The basil plant growing with tomatoes in a garden will increase the tomato plant’s yield as well as repel mosquitoes and flies that can be dangerous to the tomato plants. Other plants that complement the tomato plant in a garden include Marigolds (nematode repellant) asparagus, celery, parsley and spinach.
But never make the mistake of growing tomato plants with cabbage or beets, peas or corns and most importantly, potatoes. The risk of spreading diseases around the garden is much.
Cucumbers grow well with lettuce, marigolds, dill corn and peas but should not be grown with aromatic herbs like sage and others.
Pepper is a great garden partner with onions, tomatoes, spinach and of course Basil which gives added flavour to the pepper and helps in repelling spider mites, aphids and other garden pests that may affect the pepper’s growth. But make sure you keep your pepper plants away from beans to avoid spreading virus.
Now that you know some of the veggies you can plant with your favourite in the garden, you can get started with gardening and start enjoying your garden-fresh produce.
Every garden has its bouts of pest and diseases, but there are different ways to keep pest and diseases off your garden. There are many store-bought and home-made insecticides that work effectively on the garden. Some homemade insect repellants are orange peel sprays, neem oil, ash and so many others. To make the orange oil spray, you can soak a lot of orange peels in warm water for three days after which you sieve and pour the liquid containing enough orange oil into a spray bottle. Spray on the stem, leaves and every part of the plant prone to pest attack.
How to extend the growing season of plants on your vegetable garden.
If you are someone like me, I know you love to enjoy an all year round harvest from your garden in season or out of season. It is not impossible, and I will share some tips to keep your garden green and bountiful throughout the year.
Try planting successively. Don’t wait till a plant strops fruiting before planting another. As one is growing, plant another. The secret here is that as one is dying off, the others you’ve planted are getting ready for harvest and the cycle keeps going, well that’s no secret at all. So you can make a calendar or schedule for re-planting in your garden.
Pick your vegetables: the more you pick, the more fruits they yield. Most garden plants have gone to seed because you have left them for so long, so they stopped producing edible yields and start seeding. This is good if you want some of your plants to give you natural seeds for the next planting season, (which you can still achieve by separating the seeders from the growers) but if you are expecting produce, then you have to keep plucking and picking. Plants that easily go into seeding are beans, okra, squash and eggplants.
Water: don’t leave your plants’ water-starved. Keep regular watering periods for the plants, so they don’t dry out, but don’t overdo this as some plants don’t need too much water. You water a watermelon plant too much, and the pod will burst.
Prune and weed your garden. We are often guilty of leaving the weeds once the plants start fruiting, but don’t forget that the weeds are there to compete for nutrients. Weeding not only keeps the soil nutrients for the garden plants but also protects them from ants, pests and diseases the weeds are prone to. Continuous weeding and pruning of the garden keep it neat and productive all season. Some garden plants (eggplants) also tend to grow wild if left unchecked. So try to trim off the long branches, and tips.
Starting a home vegetable garden may not go well at first, but with each trial and successes, you are well on your way to becoming a professional, and you’ll soon find yourself saving the extra bucks that go with buying from the grocery when you grow your own food. I hope you have learnt from this home vegetable garden ideas shared on this page and I’d love to hear from you how you were able to grow your first, second or fifth vegetable garden. Don’t stop gardening, and it is good for your body and safe for your health.