This year, more than ever, growing your own garden is going to be important.
Gardening is a great way to get your mind off all that's going on in the world and is an excellent way to eat healthier (I'm talking to you sitting over there in your stretchy yoga pants).
Not to mention, it's fun and extremely satisfying.
There's nothing like seeing that little seed you pushed into the ground sprout to become a robust vegetable that you can harvest and eat.
And it can keep your grocery bills down. Has anyone else tripled their normal grocery spending the last few weeks?
So growing your own garden is a win all the way around!
If you're like me and don't have the space or supplies to start seeds indoors in late winter, or just didn't envision how much you'd be wanting to grow your own this year (and who could really have envisioned any of this), there is still hope for you!
Some vegetables will grow quite well by sowing them directly in the ground, bypassing the messy and lengthy indoor seed starting stages (or maybe it's just messy for klutzy me?).
How To Direct Sow:
Read The Back Of The Seed Packets - the packets will tell you just about all the information you will need to know to have a successful harvest, including:
- When to sow outside
- How deep to plant the seeds
- How far apart to plant the seeds in each row
- How much space to have between each row
- How many days it will take for the plants to start emerging
- When to thin your plants
- When they will mature so you can eat them
Know Your Zone and Last Frost Date - Your can find your zone on the interactive USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map where you just need to input your zip code. I'm a firm believer in everyone knowing their zone, because it comes in so handy when planting anything from vegetables to annuals to trees.
Your last frost date is a historical estimate of the last date when you can expect a frost in your area and will be key for when you should be planting seeds in the ground. Your frost date can be found online at Dave's Garden or The Old Farmer's Almanac . You can also find your last frost date by contacting your local extension office.
Prepare Your Beds - Prepare your beds for growing vegetables by removing any grass, weeds and rocks. If this is the first time planting in this spot you should add some compost and fertilizer and mix in into the dirt.
Plant Your Seeds - Plant your seeds according to the seed packets. Some seeds will be planted individually, poked into the ground and covered with soil and some may be planted by scattering them in the row and covering with dirt (in most instances these are the plants that will need to be thinned). Use plant markers so you know what you planted where and make sure to keep the ground moist, not soggy, until sprouting.
Thin Your Seedlings - Thin according to seed packet instructions. When you plant vegetables that will require thinning, you are basically over-planting and then keeping only the strongest and healthiest of the plants. True survival of the fittest in action. There will be some seeds that don't require thinning (e.g., peas) so it's important to read the back of those seed packets.
15 Vegetable Seeds To Direct Sow:
- Swiss Chard
What? No Tomatoes?
There are some plants that are a little trickier to grow from seeds and I normally leave it up to the local nurseries to get those started for me. Tomatoes and pepper plants are two that fall into that category for me.
They're not impossible to grow from seed sown directly in the ground, but since this article is all about the EASIEST, we'll leave those off my EASY list.
What's you favorite vegetables to grow in your garden?
Other posts you may enjoy:
5 Fabulous Perennials To Plant This Year
Old Fashioned Flowers For Your Garden
I'm quarantined, too. I've been ordering my groceries online and then having them put in my trunk in the parking lot at the store. I can't get home delivery where I live. In a week or so I will order tomato plants from walmart with my groceries so I can plant them. That and some lettuce are the only things I really plant, I have a friend who has a huge garden and keeps me in fresh produce all summer
I didn't know Walmart could do the tomato plants! Great to know!
My first choice of vegetables to plant are green beans, corn, squash, and tomatoes. However, the deer have been getting into my garden and eating all the green beans for the past 7 or 8 yrs. I have fenced in my green beans but the wire grass took over and it was horrible getting into the bean patch. I have a large deck so I've been growing green beans and cucumbers there and planting tomatoes near the deck in a flower bed. I keep trying! Love those fresh veggies. My neighbor plants a big garden about 6 mi from his house and he shares!
A couple years ago I bought an elevated planter for my patio and it's great for planting what I can't keep the critters in the yard away from 🙂
I won't do veggies but I am thrilled to be able to plant flowers on the patios-front and back and along the perimeter of our building. This is the only condo development I have even been in that doesn't feel 'condoish'...lol
Great post, Pam. Stay Safe- xo Diana
ps. I suppose you have to be extra careful with your son during this time. So scary-