How to plant a beginner organic vegetable garden from seed
SAN ANTONIO – Groceries are expensive, especially healthy organic vegetables, and inflation hasn’t helped. That’s why we’re creating a beginner’s organic vegetable garden from seed this week in the Gardening with KSAT series.
KSAT 12 has partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank’s Agricultural Initiatives program to grow seasonal vegetables such as corn, beans, carrots, basil and squash.
The San Antonio Food Bank also has a great brochure on everything you need to know about starting a vegetable garden.
Before you decide which seeds to plant, read the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Spring Planting Guide for information on what to plant and when.
They also have a herbal guide that might be useful.
KSAT bought Rainbow Gardens seeds because they were relatively cheap and we probably spent less than $20 on our seeds. Start by composting your soil and finding the right location. A video on soil preparation can be found here.
Angela McDermott is the farm manager for the San Antonio Food Bank and advised us on planting depth and seed placement.
“The width of the seed is the depth at which you plant it,” McDermott said. “If it’s really tiny seeds, like carrot seeds, you just sprinkle a little soil on top and just pack them in a bit.”
For carrots, make rows about six inches apart, not too deep. Carrots like shade and lots of moisture and can take 14-21 days to germinate.
Keep in mind that the seeds will be pushed down due to the impact of watering. So keep that in mind when considering how deep you plant.
McDermott said corn needs full sun and it’s best to plant them in a block, at least six inches apart or more.
“It’s not going to be planted in your traditional rows, you’re going to have it planted in sort of squares,” McDermott said. “And that’s because corn is pollinated by the wind. So you want to make sure you have enough corn that way wherever the wind blows. When the wind blows the shower, the pollen from these falls onto the ears of corn and in this way you actually get corn.
You want to put two corn seeds per hole to ensure germination. We planted these about ankle deep.
Bean Bush Trio
These form beautiful purple flowers before they are ready for harvest. You can eat these fresh like green beans or you can dry them and eat them as traditional beans.
“Similar to the carrots, you’re going to make rows for the beans,” McDermott said. “They can be about six to eight inches apart.”
We planted the beans about six inches apart in the rows. Remember the easiest way to know how far and deep to plant is to read the back of the seed packet which always describes how to plant.
Basil seeds are tiny. Because they are so small, we put them directly on the dirt and scatter them in one section without any particular pattern.
Water deeply and evenly when you first plant. You’ll want to water during the coolest times of the day and water often until your seeds sprout. Then water according to the temperature and rain, but you want to keep the soil moist. When it comes to your hose setup, you don’t want it to be too aggressive. Set it to a gentle setting that mimics rain.
“Even if your heels come on a little hard or fast, you can always stand back up so there’s a nice gentle shiver,” McDermott said.
Within about a week we had sprouts! Three weeks later all of our seeds are sprout and we can’t wait to update you on the growing garden.
If you’re not sure you’re ready to tend a vegetable garden yourself and would rather learn more or give something back, check out the Food Bank Volunteer Gardening Opportunities.
Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.