Do you want to try your hand at creating a vegetable garden? Then arm yourself with work gloves, spade and rake because the work to be done is long: from preparing the soil to fertilizing, from sowing to the final harvest, your efforts will be rewarded by the vegetables you bring to the table!

You too were won over by 0 km food products. So you decided to make a small plot of land yours and create a vegetable garden so you can watch your vegetables grow, harvest them and bring your products to the table. Where to start? The first step is the one dedicated to the preparation of the land (and perhaps it is the most tiring!). You’ll need work gloves to avoid blistering your hands, a spade, rake, pickaxe, shovel, and manure.

If you’re a beginner , don’t be afraid. Follow the instructions step by step and maybe ask someone more experienced than you for advice, or read some books on the subject. And remember that you only learn by doing, so don’t worry about making too many mistakes, especially in the beginning. If, however, you are a horticultural professional , perhaps there is still some trick that you are missing or some plant that you have not yet dared to grow. This could be the right time.

How to make a vegetable garden from scratch

Preparation of the soil

Contrary to what you might think, the soil must be prepared at the beginning of winter. The earth, in fact, must be moved, fertilized and must rest before sowing which is done in spring.
At this point it’s time to roll up your sleeves. First you need to dig the soil, turn over the earth where you will build your vegetable garden and eliminate the roots of weeds and weeds. Also remove as many rocks as you can, so that working the soil later is easier.
Nourish the soil with fertilizer : the best is equine fertilizer, but it is also the most expensive; otherwise use compost , perfect for fertilizing because it makes the soil very friable.
Break up the larger clods, using the pickaxe and rake, and finally mix well with the fertilizer added to the soil. Ultimately the surface of the ground must be as uniform and level as possible.

Before sowing

The efforts did not end here. The garden soil must be worked again shortly before sowing . Weeds and weeds must be removed if still present, just as large and medium-sized stones must be eliminated.
Work the soil until it is crumbly and well leveled. At this point you can organize your vegetable garden. Think about what crops you want to grow and divide the landin areas of different sizes; seedlings and seeds must be placed in furrows spaced apart and made transversely with respect to the slope that will follow the flow of the water. How is the distance of the grooves decided? Simply imagining what vegetables you will grow and how big the plants grown will be just before harvest.
Another important aspect is how to position the seedlings in the furrows : if they are spring or summer products, you must insert the seedlings into the furrows, to avoid dispersing water; for winter products, however, you must place them on top of the mounds of earth that you have prepared on the furrows, this to avoid possible water stagnation.

What to grow

There are vegetables that are easy to grow and others that are more challenging. If you are new to using a spade and rake, it is better to focus on the simpler ones.
Tomato is one of them It needs good exposure to the sun and a soil acidity between pH6 and pH7. Dig a hole for each seed and space the holes made at least 30 cm apart. It is a climbing plant, so get a structure that supports its growth.

Courgettes must be sown in spring, in the period from March to May Place two or three seeds in each hole and space the holes at least one meter apart. Courgettes need a lot of water, so water every day and in a couple of weeks you will see the first sprouts!

I can’t think of a vegetable garden without carrots . On Ohga we have already explained to you  how to grow carrots . You must sow them in the period from January to October. Also in this case, make well-spaced holes where you will place a couple of seeds for each hole. Make sure the soil is always moist, water as needed, especially when the plants are still in the growing stage.

Lettuce will give an ornamental touch to your vegetable garden: its leaves, in fact, are very beautiful, wide and of a bright green colour, or for some varieties, tending from yellowish to red Excellent for salads, rich in folic acid and vitamin A, lettuce needs well fertilized soil. The seeds should be planted at a depth of between 8 and 16 centimeters and should be watered every day.

Rich in iron and calcium, spinach must be grown in soil that is well fertilized with compost. Water them abundantly and keep the distances between one seedling and another.

But there are also many other vegetables at your disposal. On Ohga, for example, we have explained to you  how to grow strawberries  and how to grow an orange tree .

When to start

Of course, if you want to start a vegetable garden from scratch, the best times are always the spring and summer months. In fact, the increase in temperatures facilitates the germination process, i.e. the emergence of the sprouts from the seed. However, you will have to pay attention to the planting times indicated for the specific plant you want to grow, because some prefer different seasons of the year.