At Brady Nursery, we give you the best products and tools to start a vegetable garden in your own backyard. It may seem daunting at first, but gardening is a very rewarding hobby. There are a lot of factors to consider when building a garden in your backyard. Answer a few questions before shoveling out that first scoop of dirt to encourage the most successful garden possible.
- Where is the best spot to place the garden?
- Are you going to plant in a plot, in raised beds, or in containers?
- Which vegetables will you grow?
FIND PRIME REAL ESTATE
The first step in ensuring the success of your vegetable garden is to pick a prime growing location.
- First, choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. Most vegetables need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day, but a few veggies, like lettuces, will tolerate some shade.
- Next, choose a spot that drains well. Wet soil means wet roots which then means rotted roots. Locations with poor drainage can still be successful if using a raised bed to help with drainage. If you have rocky soil, till and remove the rocks. Rocks will interfere with root growth and make for weaker plants.
- Lastly, if planting in a plot, check that the spot has nutrient-rich soil. Your soil is what feeds your plants, so just like with humans, proper nutrition is important. If you have nutrient-poor soil, you can mix in plenty of organic matter to help your plants grow strong.
CHOOSE YOUR VEGETABLES
When choosing which vegetables to plant in your garden, it’s important to choose ones that will grow successfully in Kansas. Some popular vegetables that do well in Kansas include:
- Green Beans
*Brady Tip - Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in backyard gardens and containers throughout the world. They thrive in our Kansas summer heat, so be prepared for a large harvest!
It’s also equally important to choose vegetables that you will eat and enjoy. It’d be silly to plant brussel sprouts if no one in your family enjoys those. Put more effort into the vegetables that will be consumed on a regular basis. Keep in mind that certain veggies are far superior when homegrown, like lettuce and tomatoes for example. Homegrown herbs are also far less expensive than grocery-store herbs.
*Brady Tip - Mix in flowers such as Marigolds, Zinnia, and Sunflowers to discourage pests, attract pollinators, and add some color to your garden!
Container planting is another great way to grow vegetables. Containers are especially ideal if you have limited space, a small backyard, or poor soil. You can also grow just about any vegetable in a container. Like with vegetables planted in the ground, it’s important for container gardens to have the same essentials as listed above. This includes a prime location with plenty of sunlight, the right type of vegetables, and proper maintenance and care. When planting in containers, there are a few difference that should be accounted for:
- Growing Location - It's best not to use metal or dark-colored containers. These types of containers can become very hot and cook your plant's roots. Make sure you choose a container large enough for good root growth and drainage. A container too small will reduce your harvest.
- Watering - You may have to water more frequently when using containers. At the height of summer, you'll probably need to water at least once or sometimes twice a day. Watering is often the most high-maintenance and critical aspect of vegetable container gardening. It’s also important to create drainage to keep your plants from drowning in the container, especially when it rains.
- Soil - Use high-quality potting soil and not soil from your garden. Garden soil will become compact in the containers and won't drain water properly. It can also bring in weed seeds and soil-borne diseases.+
- Choosing Vegetables - Look for bush or small varieties (often referred to as a bush or compact).