Vegetable gardening is a fun and rewarding pastime, and it’s simpler than you may think to start a garden despite having limited space or resources. One great option for beginners is to start a vegetable garden on your deck. You can grow various delicious vegetables outside your door with careful planning and attention.
When starting a vegetable garden from your deck, you will need to consider the following;
Picking the Right Pots and Planters
- Suitable vegetables for growing in restricted space
- Maintenance and care of the deck garden
- The benefits of gardening from your deck
Several options are available for anyone looking to start a vegetable garden from their deck. Living in an apartment or condo should not restrict you from growing healthy vegetables. If vegetable gardening from your deck interests you, Read On! The following article highlights how you, as a beginner, may start a vegetable garden from your deck.
Garden Design – Pots, Planters, and Railing Flower Boxes
The first part of starting a garden from your deck is picking the right design. There are three different types of pots and planters that can be chosen to help you design your deck garden.
Pots are ideal if you are looking for something small, cheap, and simple. A pot can be small enough to simply plant one or two different things in them like tomatos. If, however, you are thinking you want to grow lots of tomatoes and be able to harvest them more frequently, then consider longer more rectangular planters instead. These planters give a more efficient foot print for your garden and allow you to scale up and plant a whole lot more vegetables.
One drawback to freestanding or ground planters however is that they can be heavy and also require a lot of bending over. If you have a smaller deck which can’t support the weight or you are older and have trouble bending over then you may want to consider railing planters. Flower boxes that hang from your rails are generally smaller and easier to access and may be more suitable for a novice.
Plant Selection for Beginner Deck Gardeners
Selecting the right vegetable plants for your garden can be overwhelming. There are several options to choose from, and it cannot be easy to know which plants will thrive in the conditions on your deck.
- Tomatoes and peppers need a lot of sunlight to grow, while others, like lettuce and herbs, can tolerate partial shade. Tomatoes also thrive on trellises and love warmer weather.
- Plants like lettuce, spinach, and herbs, prefer cooler temperatures. Therefore placing them away from direct sunlight in a semi-shade is best.
- Root vegetables, like beets, also thrive in planters or container gardens.
- Onions grow well in planters or other suitable containers because they don’t have a deep root system. However, they require lots of sunlight.
Several herbs, like lavender, oregano, basil, and rosemary, are great for growing from your deck garden. They also lend their fragrance to warm summer evenings.
While certain herbs like sage, thyme, and peppermint grow well in window boxes, planters, or other suitable containers, they are ideal as insect repellents.
You can utilize an old ladder as a trellis for cucumbers, peas, or runner beans.
If your deck has an overhanging beam, it is ideal for hanging baskets of strawberries, lettuce, and certain varieties of cherry tomatoes. The hanging baskets are ideal for keeping slugs, snails, and other crawling pests away from your fruit and veggies.
When selecting veggies to grow from your deck garden, consider planting vegetables you and your family enjoy. While you may enjoy growing arugula or broccoli, your family may not enjoy them too much. Your time and expense in growing the ideal vegetable garden from your deck are wasted.
Easy Care and Maintenance for a Thriving Deck Vegetable Garden
Although starting a vegetable garden from your deck is a rewarding and delicious experience, it requires care and maintenance to keep your plants healthy and thrive.
As a beginner deck gardener, selecting plants that are easy to care for and maintain is essential. Here are some tips for easy care and maintenance of your deck vegetable garden;
Proper watering is crucial to ensure healthy plants. You should regularly check the soil moisture and water as required.
Overwatering can lead to root rot, so avoid that. A simple way to check if the soil is dry is to stick your finger in it; if it feels dry, it’s time to water.
Most vegetables need regular fertilizing to grow well. Choose a fertilizer appropriate for the type of plants you are growing. Carefully follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the approximate amount to use.
If you prefer organic fertilizers to those with artificial ingredients, you can start a compost heap or invest in vermiculture.
Pruning is essential for the health and shape of your plants. Regularly remove any dead or yellowing leaves and branches crossing or growing inward.
This will help your plants to focus on growing healthy new leaves and flowers. Herbs, like basil, grow better when picked regularly and when you remove the flowers.
Pests are a problem for any vegetable garden. But there are ways to control them without using harmful chemicals. One way is to use companion planting, where you plant specific plants next to each other that repel pests. Another way is to use natural predators like ladybugs, praying mantis, or lacewings to control pests.
Make sure your plants are getting the right amount of sunlight. Move them around to ensure they get the right amount of sunlight.
Remember that you may need to move your pots around on your deck to follow the sun. Consider pots that have wheels or that are easy to lift and move.
Watering Your Vegetable Deck Garden
In many ways, a vegetable garden from your deck is great. Not only do you have fresh, organic vegetables at your fingertips, but you also don’t have the hassle of dragging a heavy watering can or a hose behind you.
However, like any regular garden, watering is essential. Here are a few useful tips to consider when watering your vegetable garden from your deck.
- Mulching is great for retaining moisture in the soil and reducing the need for watering. You can make mulch from various materials such as straw, grass clippings, or leaves.
- There are several ways to water your deck vegetable garden. One of the most popular methods of watering is using a watering can or hose. Another method is to use a drip irrigation system to save time and water.
- Watering frequency depends on the weather and the type of plants you are growing. Generally, most vegetables require about 1-2 inches of water per week.
The Benefits of Deck Gardening: Fresh Produce at Your Fingertips
While gardening from your deck is a fun and rewarding hobby, it can improve your overall health and well-being.
Listed below are the benefits of starting a vegetable garden from your deck;
Growing your vegetables from your deck means you’ll have fresh produce at your fingertips. You can pick your vegetables at the peak of ripeness, ensuring that they are full of flavor and nutrition.
Deck gardening can save you money on your grocery bill. You’ll be able to grow your vegetables and herbs, which can be expensive to purchase at the store.
With soaring food prices, not everyone can afford the high costs of organic vegetables. It is, therefore, an ideal time to begin a vegetable garden from your deck.
Connection With Nature
Gardening on your deck allows you to connect with nature in a small but meaningful way. As you tend to your plants and watch them grow, you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Deck gardening is a great way to get some exercise. You’ll be bending, reaching, and moving around, which will help improve your overall health and fitness.
Gardening has a calming effect on the mind and body. As you tend to your plants, you’ll be able to relax and forget about your daily stressors.
Quality Time With Family
Deck gardening is a fun and rewarding activity to enjoy with your family. It’s a great way to spend quality time together while learning new skills and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Growing your vegetables on your deck allows you to control pesticides and chemical fertilizers, giving you the peace of mind that your food is organic.
Food currently produced by farmers is chockfull of harmful pesticides, and several vegetables are genetically modified. Growing organic vegetables from your deck ensure veggies are GMO-free.
How to Keep Your Vegetables Safe From Pests
Vegetable gardens in small areas like your deck are more susceptible to pests. The close quarters also allow pests to spread quickly from one infected plant to another.
You, therefore, need to be extra cautious and remove pests from any infected plants. Here are a few ways to control pests in your vegetable garden from your deck.
- Regularly inspecting your plants for pests is crucial. Look for signs of damage, such as holes in leaves, discoloration, or wilting. If you notice these signs, take action immediately to control the pests.
- Use natural or organic pest control methods, like using neem oil or making an insect repellent from pepper and garlic. You can also introduce companion planting to eliminate pests—for example, growing marigolds with tomatoes, garlic, and onions around rose bushes. Growing lavender in planters or window boxes will repel spiders.
- Barriers such as screens, mesh, or row covers can help to keep pests from reaching your plants. These are especially effective against fly pests such as aphids or whiteflies.
- Pests are attracted to debris and clutter, so keeping your deck clean and free from fallen leaves, old pots, and other debris is essential.
- Use beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings as natural insect repellents. They act as natural predators and control pests.
- Over-fertilizing can make plants more susceptible to pests, so fertilize according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you notice that a plant is severely infested with pests, removing it from your deck garden is best to prevent the pests from spreading to other plants.
Vegetable gardening from your deck is a great way to grow fresh produce, save money on your grocery bill, and connect with nature. As a beginner, it’s essential to start small and choose easy-to-care-for and maintain plants.
Regular watering, fertilizing, pruning, pest control, and proper sunlight are key elements for a thriving deck vegetable garden. With a bit of patience and dedication, you’ll be able to enjoy a bountiful harvest from your deck vegetable garden. Not only will you have fresh produce, but it also provides you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, a great way to relax and forget about daily stressors, and quality time with your family. Deck gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that can improve your overall health and well-being.