Having your own vegetable garden at home sounds like a really good idea. It means that you can choose, plant, and harvest your favorite vegetables by yourself. Through this, you will not only learn about how to start vegetable garden but also how to take care of the crops as well.
Some people are lucky to have spacious garden, and some only have small room for gardening. The size of your empty lot does not really matter. What does matter is, when you can manage the space and turn it into beautiful vegetable garden.
Starting vegetable garden is open for anyone. Amateur gardener or professional ones can have their own gardens as long as they are willing to learn everything about planning vegetable garden.
Types of Seedling’s Containers
To start vegetable garden, first, you need to know the types of containers that you can use. It depends on the area you want to develop as a garden. Also note on mind that the containers which you chose are convertible with the plants.
Basically, there are two types of trays, with divider and without divider. People usually use trays with divider one to start seedling different seeds.
- Small Pot Container
Small pot container is commonly used for seedling. Using this, it is easier to pick several pots for seedlings in accordance with your vegetables’ planning. It always comes with the hole in the bottom, so what one needs is just to fill in with soil and plant the seeds.
Cell packs are quite small, thus, it is perfect for seedling small plants like lettuce or sprout. It is also used as seedling containers for flowers. Usually, one pack has six boxes. Although you can find the bigger one with nine boxes or more.
Aside from buying those containers above, you can also reuse stuff in your home or kitchen. It saves money, of course, and the homemade containers are such a big help if you do not have time to buy containers at shop.
- Egg Shells
Pierce a hole in bottom of an egg. The hole will keep the excess moisture away. You can put these egg shells into the egg carton for a steady container.
- Egg Carton
Placing seed in egg carton saves time. It is good using egg carton because once the seeds start to grow, you can directly plant it on the ground.
- Paper Cups
Do not throw away your paper cups. Instead, you can use it for seedling pot. Punch a hole in the bottom, add soil into the cup, and put in the seeds. Later on, this paper cup seedlings can be transferred into the ground right away.
Starting Your Vegetable Garden
Planting vegetable crops from seeds is an economical and perfect way to grow your plants. You can choose to plant vegetables like tomato, lettuce, or pepper/chili. You can also plant your herbs, too. Below is the steps for starting a vegetable garden:
You need seedling pots or pots, seeds, and porous seed-starting or potting mix. If you don’t have porous seed-starting, you can make your own mix by combining peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
- Fill in pots to just below the rim with the mix. Moisten it, and let it drain.
- Scatter seeds over the surface and cover it with the proper amount of mix.
- Moisten the soil lightly. Do not over pouring water into the seedlings.
- Label the pots by crops’ names and write the date, starting from the seedling day.
You need to transfer or transplant the seeds once they germinate. For most cases of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant or melons, you have to set the containers on a water heater or using a heating mat to keep the soil warm. The seeds of those vegetables can only germinate in the temperature between 24ºC and 32ºC.
- The time to transplant the seedlings into individual pot is when they develop the second set of true leaves. Fill in the containers with potting mix, moisten and drain.
- Remove seedlings from original pots by squeezing both sides of pots, turn it upside down. Carefully pull the soil ball with both hands and set it on a flat surface.
- Separate the roots of seedlings carefully.
- In the new pots, poke a hole in potting mix. Place the seedling and firm the mix around it. Give seedlings some water and set them in bright light areas, but do not expose to direct sunlight for few days.
- Give the seedlings fertilizer once a week.
Seedlings need bright light to grow properly. If you do not have places with bright light, you can use fluorescent lights. Once the sprout is seen, you will have to light them for 12-14 hours and set the light fixture 6-8 inches above the plants. Do not forget to water them regularly, too.
That is the steps on how to start vegetable garden using pots. Having vegetable garden at your home also serves as a recreational activity. In another way, you can have your supply of vegetables and at the same time, you can have fun keeping up with it.