beginning Gardening vegetables blog | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Creating My Own Farmers' Market in My Backyard

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As I wrote about in my last post, I’ve been preparing for a new garden! With the weeds pulled and the soil loose, it was time to start gardening! The Northwest’s weather, which has brought a steady downpour of rain, has made it a challenge to get in a full day of working outside. Because of that, my garden has been prepared over the course of a week at the rate of about an hour a day.

I have planted sweet corn, peas, tomatoes, purple carrots, and hot peppers. I chose these veggies (and fruit!) because they’re some of my favorite spring and summer snacks—plus, they add excellent flavor to a variety of dishes. It’s going to be nice to be able to do some of the grocery shopping in my backyard!

As I began to plant, I followed some simple guidelines from an article called “A Beginner’s Vegetable Garden” in The Garden-Fresh Cookbook. For example, be sure to consider placement when planting your garden and avoid planting too near a tree, which will steal important nutrients from your seeds. Vegetables need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day, and garden rows should run north and south, with the tallest plants on the north end. Your soil should be well drained and rich in compost. And, of course, water! Make sure that your vegetable garden receives at least 1 inch per week.

In addition, it is extremely important to carefully read the labels on each packet of seeds. Every type of vegetable and fruit requires different amounts of soil, water temperature, and sun. For instance, sweet corn needs to be planted 1 inch deep in the soil, while tomatoes, purple carrots, and hot peppers require only 1/8 of an inch.

While tending to my new vegetable garden, I’m looking forward to my next challenge: potted plants! I found an excellent array of edible flowers that are great for growing in pots, and I can’t wait to start! If you have any advice, be sure to share!


Jane received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn’t writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.

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