7 Vegetable Garden Shortcuts: Get Growing with Minimum Effort

| 5/11/2017 12:00:00 AM

Tags: organic gardening, vegetable garden, garden planner, Benedict Vanheems,


1. Choose Easy Crops

Try growing crops that are naturally low-maintenance, such as onions grown from bulbs (called ‘sets’) or as young plants, summer squash, and zucchini. Bush beans are a lower-maintenance choice than climbing beans because they don’t need support.

Our Garden Planner’s Filter button can be used to show only crops that are particularly easy to grow. Click the Filter button to the left of the plant selection bar, choose the type of plants you’d like to show, and then select the ‘Easy to Grow’ option.

2. Buy Plug Plants 

Plug plants are raised in a ‘plug’ of potting soil until they’re at transplanting stage. Skipping the sowing and early seedling stage saves a lot of time and space if you don’t have much room to start crops under cover or indoors.

Don’t forget to harden plug plants off properly before transplanting by placing them outdoors for increasingly longer times over a period of up to two weeks.

3. Group Vegetables Together

Grow vegetables that enjoy similar growing conditions (for instance, plants from the same crop family) together to make caring for them easier. For example, planting your cabbage family plants in the same bed makes it easier to net them against common pests. Or try grouping lettuces and other leafy salads together to speed up watering and make it easier to set up shade cloth in hot weather if necessary.

4. Make an Instant Bed

Hoe off weeds on the soil surface then add a thick layer of cardboard, laying it so the sheets have a generous overlap. Pile on a 4-inch thick (or thicker) layer of well-rotted garden compost or potting soil . You can sow or plant at once and will have very little weeding to do.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!