Planting a vegetable garden

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Is there anything more delicious than fresh fruits and vegetables picked and eaten during the height of their season? Driving across the state of California you pass miles upon miles of farmers’ fields planted for as far as you can see. Have you ever thought how nice it would be to have just a sliver of that in your own back garden? Planting and maintaining a vegetable garden isn’t necessarily as hard as you may think, and the rewards are out of this world! Consider these few steps to see if this is an activity you’d like to tackle:

1. Measure and monitor the light in your proposed garden area. Are there trees or roof lines casting shadows? Do you get all day sunshine or just during certain times of the day? Do you have areas that don’t get direct sunlight at all?
2. Do you have an installed irrigation system, or would you be watering by hand? For obvious reasons a system on a timer is the most convenient, but sometimes hands-on care is fun too and even a little therapeutic at times. If you’re watering daily by hand, give yourself about 15 to 20 minutes and have a backup in case you’re going to be gone from home for an extended period of time.
3. Would you like to start your bounty from seeds or small, established plants? You might take great satisfaction in propagating your own harvest from seeds, and some are easier than others, but there is no shame in purchasing established and rooted plants at your local garden center.
4. Will you want to plant directly into the earth, or would you like to have pots scattered around your outdoor space? Either can produce beautiful results. You’ll just have to do a little research to determine which vegetables grow best and where.

If you decide to give vegetable gardening a go, your rewards will be well worth the work! Imagine plucking ripe tomatoes off the vine for your home-made sauces. Many of our San Joaquin Valley Homes have large backyards and back patios where you can harvest a beautiful and sustainable garden. Visit our neighborhoods page to see which Central Valley community is your next garden home!