We’ve all made the promise to ourselves to eat healthier, but many of us forget that vow as soon as we see an ad for a juicy burger or a plate of nachos. Planing your own vegetable garden could be the key to sticking to your vow to eat healthier. How exciting would it be to walk outside and seeing tomatoes, peppers and squash that you planted with your own hands?

  • The first step in creating a vegetable garden is deciding what you want to grow

    • Tomatoes (yes, technically a fruit, but its vines are perfect for at-home gardening), peppers and squash will provide food throughout the season.
    • Carrots or radishes, produce just one in their season, so volume is as important as anything when considering what to plant.
  • Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll need to make space for the garden.

    • Most vegetables can be grown in pots, so you don’t even need a yard to get started.
    • A large space isn’t necessary.   A 10-foot-by-10-foot bed is plenty of space for your first vegetable garden.
    • Raised beds allow the soil to drain properly.
    • You’ll want to make sure to choose a spot that gets ample sunlight, is easy to get to for watering, and has good soil. Most vegetables thrive in soil that is moist, well-drained and rich in matter such as compost or peat moss.
  • With your spot and veggies picked out, it’s time to choose the layout of your vegetable garden.

    • Row cropping is the iconic vegetable garden with different vegetables planted in neat rows.
    • Intensive cropping involves the use of a raised bed and grouping the vegetables together. There is less space to work in this way, so weeding by hand is a must.

After planting your vegetable garden, the work of watering, testing soil temperatures, eliminating pests and weeding begins. High soil temperatures can kill plants, but mulch can help maintain an even temperature in the summer heat. Be sure to read the label of any insecticide you plan to use — remember, you’ll be eating the stuff you’re spraying it on. All that’s left after the hard work is the fun of eating and cooking with the assortment of vegetables you’ve grown. Show off your newfound green thumb by grilling some vegetables in your backyard or cooking for your friends and family. A vegetable garden is something to be proud of.

Don’t forget to order a  Dirty Bird septic vent cover, so your new garden is the only thing attracting attention.