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This is how you start your own vegetable garden

Have you wanted to start your own vegetable garden for years so you’ll be able to eat from your own garden next season, just like I (Floor) do from my own backyard? In this blog I’ll tell you how to start your own vegetable garden. What you read below are my own experiences about what you need and not need to do to make your own vegetable garden a real success!

Plan your vegetable garden

I make a plan for my vegetable garden every year. That's always one of my first pieces of advice when people ask me how you can get more out of the vegetable garden. With a plan you have actually thought of everything before the season starts and you know what you want to do. You can also just start, because I also did this in my first year (2013). The disadvantage of that is that you often start sowing too late, you immediately start sowing outside while it's better to start indoors first and that some plants don’t have enough space to grow. A few years ago, I sow my tomato plants much too late (in May), so I was unable to harvest any tomato that year. By making a vegetable garden plan, you create a better overview, leaving you more time to enjoy the garden and to rummage in the soil. It is not for nothing that this is "My stress free zone".

A plan consists of a drawing with the correct dimensions of your vegetable garden or place where you want to grow your vegetables. This can of course also be in pots or containers. In this drawing I indicate exactly where I sow what type of seed. Ask yourself where you want to start the vegetable garden: Is this in the open ground or do you want to do this in special cultivation products such as the elho growtable xxl? Check the dimensions of these products and process them in your plan. I grow mostly in the ground soil, but also many crops in pots. Herbs, for example, are ideal in pots. I put these close to my kitchen door, so that I can reach them easily and quickly.

I also draw the position of the sun in my vegetable garden, so I know where the sun will be most of the time. My vegetable garden is located on a place where there is most of the time sunlight. I have linked a schedule to my vegetable garden plan. This is also referred to as a sowing and harvesting calendar. Here I find per chosen vegetable or herb when I should start sowing indoors or outdoors, when I can plant it out and it is harvest time. I have noticed that since I plan a vegetable garden every year, I can also harvest more from the garden. So planning this is a big advantage!

Choosing crops and seeds

Before you can create the sowing and harvest calendar, it is smart to ask yourself what you like to eat. I myself eat a lot of tomatoes and eggplant, so these crops are really not missing on my list. If you are just starting out with vegetable gardening, opt for easy crops such as radishes, beets, lettuce, arugula, spinach, zucchini, beans and tomatoes. Tomatoes may be a bit trickier, but all other crops will do well for everyone. This will certainly motivate you to never stop gardening afterwards! Also take a look at my vegetable seed box, because it contains all these crops and you can get started right away!

Now that you know where to start the vegetable garden (whether in special growing products or in the garden) and what you want to grow, it is time to buy the seeds. I always make a list of seeds that I want to purchase. By doing this on time, you will receive all seeds on time and you can start at the right time. There are many online seed suppliers, but many growers and garden centers also have a wide range.

Sowing and harvesting calendar

Once I have all the seeds in, I create a sowing and harvesting calendar that is right for my vegetable garden. All the information you need to make such a calendar can be found on the back of the seed bag. This shows the time when you start sowing and when you can harvest. You will also find the planting distance that you must maintain when you plant the plants in the garden. If you do not maintain these dimensions, the plants can oppress each other and eventually even die. It is therefore important to note for yourself that you do not forget to take into account the distance between each plant. I do not only process this in my sowing and harvest calendar, but also draw this out on my vegetable garden plan so that I can be sure that everything actually fits in my vegetable garden. You have therefore incorporated all the information you need to start with your vegetable garden in a vegetable garden plan with a sowing and harvesting calendar.

Quick vegetable garden tips & facts:

  • Only grow what you like to eat in the vegetable garden
  • Don't start too big, use for example the growtable xxl or a number of cultivation pots from the elho grow your own collection. This way you can test whether you like vegetable gardening and if it suits you. I  started with 1m2 with tomatoes and that was where the vegetable garden virus developed in me.
  • Do not sow a lot in one time, but spread the sowing a little. This way you can also harvest gradually.
  • Sow on time and not too late or too early. Take a good look at the back of the seed bag because here you will find all the information you need. I start with a lot of crops on the windowsill first. For this I use the elho grow houses with the transparent hood. These are perfect for growing the first seedlings. Then I repot the plants when they have four leaves to one of the elho growing pots.
  • You can also start a vegetable garden if you have less sun in your garden. Make sure you use crops that need less sun, such as parsley, lettuce, arugula and beans.

Who is Floor?

Floor Korte, better known as Floors Moestuin, is expert in the field of vegetable gardening. For a number of years now, she has gotten to grips with the vegetable garden virus and grows her own vegetables, herbs and fruit in her own garden every year. Not only does she inspire others with her vegetable garden passion on her own blog Floors Moestuin and Instagram page, she also has written 2 books about sustainable (vegetable)gardening.

Picture Hanke Arkenbout Photography