Simple Steps to a Vegetable Bounty
- Start by choosing a location for your vegetable garden that receives 6+ hours of sunlight daily.
- Improve soil nutrition and drainage by adding Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil (in-ground) or Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix (containers).
- Consult with local gardening professionals about which edible plants grow well in your region.
- Create a planting timeline to know when to put your cool-weather and warm-weather crops in the ground.
- Fast forward to harvest time by starting with young plants from Bonnie Plants®.
- Check soil moisture often and water when the top inch becomes dry.
- Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture and prevent weeds.
- One month after planting, begin feeding with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organic® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules.
Creating a terrific vegetable garden is easy, whether you have a small yard suited to containers, or you want to create a patch big enough to feed you and your neighbors. One key is to amazing success is to use Miracle-Gro® soils and plant food together to create the ideal growing environment that will allow your veggies to reach their full potential—and deliver an impressive harvest! (More on that below.) With a little preparation and planning, you can enjoy fresh delicious vegetables year after year. Read the tips below to learn the basics of vegetable gardening.
Decide how ambitious you want to get with your vegetable garden. No matter what size you decide to make it, be sure your chosen location gets at least six hours of sunlight - the more the better. Consider whether you want to grow vegetables in the ground, raised beds, containers or a combination.
Pick Your Plants
Learn what grows best in your area and in the space you've allocated by consulting your local garden center staff. If you plant seeds, you'll find instructions for spacing and planting depth on the packets. Remember, though, that seeds take longer than starter plants to produce vegetables (some need to be started indoors up to 6-8 weeks before your last frost date). Instead, consider planting your garden with vegetables and herbs from Bonnie Plants®, which provide a short-cut to a great harvest, as the plants are already well on their way when you purchase them.
Enrich Your Soil
Soil provides the nutrients your vegetable plants need to thrive. If you're planting in the ground, enrich the existing soil to improve the texture and add nutrients. An excellent way to do that is to add Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil. Work a 3-inch layer into the top 6 inches of your soil using a hoe or a tiller. Remember to pick up rocks and remove any weeds. If you simply don't have room for a traditional garden, consider planting in containers instead. Fill them with Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix. Both In-Ground Soil and Container Mix contain lots of organic matter in the form of aged compost. This not only adds top-notch nutrition to the soil, but also helps create a balanced texture that gives roots a place to grab hold and soak up those nutrients while allowing excess water to drain.
Get the Timing Right
With vegetables, timing is everything. Broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas, and spinach like cool weather. So, you can plant them in early spring before the last expected frost. Many cool weather vegetables can be planted again in late summer for a fall or winter harvest. After the last frost date, when the soil has warmed, plant your warm-weather vegetables, like corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
Nourish Your Seedlings
Once your vegetable garden is planted, your plants will need regular watering and feeding. It's best to water in the morning, which allows plants to dry by nighttime to help prevent disease. Your vegetables' needs will vary; some, like eggplants and peppers, are heavier feeders than others. About a month after planting, sprinkle Miracle-Gro® Performance Organic® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules evenly around your plants. Gently work the granules into the soil, then water to start feeding (make sure to follow all of the directions on the label). By feeding the microbes in the soil as well as your plants, this fertilizer makes it easy for the roots of whichever kinds of vegetables you're raising to access just the right amount of nutrition.
Prevent Weeds with Mulch
Weeds compete with your vegetables, stealing nutrients, water and sunlight, so be sure to keep them out as your vegetables grow. Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch, such as Scotts® Nature Scapes® Color Enhanced Mulch, around your plants to help discourage weeds by blocking growth and access to sunlight. Mulch also helps retain soil moisture and improve the aesthetics of your vegetable garden. For more dirt on gardening, read our How to Start a Vegetable Garden 101 article.