These top tips for a no fail vegetable garden are all things that I live by for my gardens! I’ve had many different types of gardens and these tips I’m about to share with you always ring true for a successful vegetable garden!
Vegetable gardening comes in many different shapes and sizes. And that is one of the many things I love about it! You can grow so many different plants, and grow them in a vast variety of “beds”. But there are some hiccups you can run into no matter where or how you’re growing your vegetables! Below I’ll share my top tips for a no fail vegetable garden in hopes that it can save you time, money, and jumpstart your garden for a successful growing season!
Here are my top tips for a no fail vegetable garden that I’ve learned over the years;
I’ve learned these tips from trial and error, books, gardener guru’s I follow, and of course my mother and grandmother. Some of my earliest memories as a child include my mother working tirelessly and happily in her vegetable garden, and also the sight of my grandmas beautiful flower gardens that surrounded her property.
Note that although I will try to speak to a broad audience, my information may not apply to you. I am canadian and live in a cold climate. I do not have experience growing vegetables in deserts or tropical places! But I hope you can still find ideas and inspiration in this post.
Let’s dive in!
1: Don’t plan a garden bigger than you can handle
I’m sooo guilty of this! I’ve planned a garden that was too big to handle in the past, and it always came back to bite me! Don’t make my mistake. Plan a garden you know you’ll be able to tend to effectively and will be a joy to take care of, not a heavy burden.
2: It’s ok to buy your starts from a store
You aren’t sinning because you’re buying starts instead of growing them! Sometimes it just makes more sense to skip the long process of doing the starting yourself.
3: Test your soil and make sure it’s top notch before you plant!
You can test your soil a few different ways to check on a variety of things. I’ve always found that as long as I know what type of soil I’m working with, I can adjust and adapt to its needs. And in turn my plants always succeed. Research “the jar test” for soil type testing. And also research soil ph, soil mineral needs, and “how to add nutrients to my garden soil”. All searches will provide great results for you.
4: Start with weed free beds
It’s best to make sure the soil is weed free before you plant! One way I like doing this is I water my beds heavily and then put something overtop of them (a tarp, boards, plastic bag or similar will work). The weeds will sprout right up and start looking for the sun. After about two weeks I lift up my tarp and pull out all of the weeds that sprouted. This starts me off with a delay in weeding and gives my seedlings a jump start because they don’t have to fight with the weeds.
5: Provide proper support to veggies that need it
I failed many times at growing certain vegetables because I didn’t give them the support they needed. Plants like peas and beans love tall trellises like chicken wire or panel fence. Tomatoes will fall over if not properly staked or trellised. Cucumbers, squash, zucchini and other members of the cucurbits family love being off of the ground, the fruit grow so much better when its not touching soil!
6: Prepare for weather, animal and pest damage
Good things to have on hand while growing vegetables; nets (for bug or bird crisis), covers (frost or hail), spray bottle with soap and water for unwanted pests (I do about 2 tbsp of dish soap to about 4 cups of water for mine), and some type of perimeter fencing to keep wild animals away (I’ve always had great success with 3 foot high chicken wire).
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7: Get your “second garden” ready
Depending on your plant hardiness zone, you may be able to get multiple crops grown in your growing season. So make sure that once your seedlings and transplant starts are in the ground that you start the process over and get your next batch ready to plant in 4-6 weeks! You can do this as many times as your season allows. For me, I only get about 2-3 rounds of plantings in before the frost kills everything. Of course you can practise season extension methods and build infrastructure to help you grow much longer. But if you just want a basic “summer garden” you have to work with what your environment gives you.
8: Weed every time you visit your garden
This is always good practise to avoid weed build up and it keeps your plants so happy!
9: Harvest gradually, not all at once
Visit your garden everyday and harvest what you can. This will promote new growth and it prevents waste in your kitchen. For instance; instead of having 15 gigantic zucchini sitting on your counters at the end of the season, you will pick the zucchinis throughout their growing stages and use them up before you pick another one. Or for many lettuce varieties, you can pick it every day from the time it sprouts to the time it dies. You do not need to wait until “harvest time”.
Think of harvest time as a decision for your next meal, not a certain time in the season.
10: End your season on the right foot
Ending your season off right will set the stage for a great next season. Pull out dead rotting plants, remove trellises and stakes and clean them, and cover your bed with a tarp for the dormant season ahead.
If you’re a more serious gardener or will continue into winter with your garden covered by temporary shelter you can also plant cover crops and shallow till, add amendments, compost, and prepare your bed in different ways.
There you have it, my top tips for a no fail vegetable garden
I hope these top tips for a no fail vegetable garden can help you succeed in your own gardening journey, wherever and however that may be! My gardening success relies on the information I’ve shared with you here!
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Top Tips For a No Fail Vegetable Garden
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Great tips! I’ve been trying to garden in one shape or form since I was a child. I’ve always loved growing things, but definitely haven’t always been super successful. Especially growing food.
starting small always helps me conquer a plant! I tend to go overboard with everything I do but when it comes to vegetables if you go overboard you will pay the price lol
For me, it’s likely because our soil here in Missouri is really not the greatest. It’s full of rocks so I’ve attempted raised garden beds in one shape or form and never quite get that really successful growing seasons I was hoping for! I think I need to get my soil tested and go from there lol.
Yes definitely get it tested it will help you so much! It always helps me, then I know what to tweak and add in 🙂
Kimberly Blake says
Great tips! I can’t wait to get my garden started. I finally got some fresh compost on my beds this past weekend.
thats exciting! I look forward to starting a big compost pile this year. Do you make your own compost?
Such good tips thank you!
I am brand new to gardening and I am starting a big garden with my boyfriend this year. This is so helpful!
awe Im so happy to hear you say that!! also, doing a garden with a loved one is so rewarding and fun, i wish my husband was more involved in ours lol!
I have never tested our soil, I am definitely going to look into that. Thank you for these tips, it’s great to brush up on some of these things as we are about to enter gardening season here! So excited!
Im excited too! although gardening season doesnt start for a few more months here lol