Enjoying a healthy, delicious, and varied diet has never been easier thanks to vegan meal delivery services. However, growing your own produce is also another way to boost nutrition and flavor in your diet. Although growing your own vegetables takes planning, hard work, and dedication, it’s a rewarding and tasty way to improve your diet and overall health.
Research your hardiness zone
Researching your area’s hardiness zone is key to knowing which plants grow best per the lowest average temperature in your area. The U.S. is split into 13 different hardiness zones in total, and, although plant hardiness isn’t the only consideration you need to take into account, it’s essential for choosing veggies most likely to grow successfully in your garden. For example, zones 1-3 are the coldest zones in the country with vegetables like kale, broccoli, lettuce, and asparagus growing best in these parts. On the other hand, zones 12-13 are tropical environments where plants like hot peppers, summer squash, bananas, and eggplant thrive.
Find the best spot
Planning the layout of your vegetable garden is key to ensuring your veggies have the light and space they need to thrive. Start by looking at your seed packets to find out how much space each plant needs and select the right container or pot accordingly (cramped plants never reach their maximum growth potential). Ideally, you should also choose a spot in your garden that gets morning sun and roughly six to eight hours of sunlight daily — vegetables need plenty of light to grow well. If you simply don’t get much sun, crops like raspberries, cherries, blackcurrants, and cherries fortunately grow well in shaded areas. Don’t forget to also take wind protection into account; installing a simple permeable barrier like a hedge or windbreak can better protect your plants.
Prepare the soil
The type of soil in your garden also plays a key role in choosing the right crops and how best to grow them. Loosely-packed, crumbly loam soil is ideal for veggies; this type of soil absorbs moisture and nutrients, while also staying aerated and drains well. If you have heavy clay soil, on the other hand, you may simply have better success by opting to grow your veg in raised beds with good topsoil. Although clay soil can be improved over time, it can be a long and difficult process you’re better off skipping. Nevertheless, by preparing your soil properly, you can ensure you set your crops up for the best chance of success. So, start by aerating your soil to enrich it with oxygen, which in turn helps it drain properly, as well as helps the fertilizer saturate it completely. Next, weed the soil and dig in organic matter (like compost or leaf mold) to help boost moisture and nutrients.
Growing your own produce is a great way to supplement your diet. By researching your hardiness zone, finding the best spot in your garden, and preparing the soil, you’ll be enjoying your own veggies alongside your vegan meal plan in no time.