Vegetable Gardening For Beginners

Written by Sarah Provost
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If you're contemplating planting your first vegetable garden, you're about to embark on a very satisfying (and delicious!) project. A warning, though: once you taste vegetables picked fresh from your own garden, you'll never be completely satisfied with anything less. Your first step is to choose what you'd like to plant and be sure you have suitable conditions. And a word to the wise: don't get carried away!

Start with Tomatoes

I urge you to start with tomatoes, since the taste difference is more astonishing than with any other vegetable. Tomatoes need plenty of sun, so be certain the area you intend to use gets at least four hours of direct sun daily. If space is limited, try one of the bush varieties that don't need staking. Among the easiest to grow are Sweet 100s, which produce long grape-like bunches of fruits literally as sweet as candy. For larger fruits, try Bush Early Girl, and if you have room, plant a yellow tomato, too.

Peas, especially those such as Sugar Snap which have edible pods, are easy to grow and much tastier than what you can buy. There are a few bush varieties, but most will benefit from being grown against a fence or supported on wire towers. Plant in successive weeks to extend the harvest.

After tomatoes and peas, it becomes a question of personal preference. Summer squash and zucchini are very undemanding, and also come in compact varieties for smaller spaces. Radishes, carrots and other root vegetables are easy to grow, but you have to dig and loosen the soil fairly deeply. If your soil is heavy or rocky, root vegetables won't do well.


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