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How to have a vegetable garden.
How I did it: I went the most convenience oriented route. I bought planters, potting soil and in most cases, plants. I made sure I had at least 9-12 inches of soil for my plants, so that necessitated some fairly large planters. All in all, buying the materials, filling the planters and transplanting the seedlings took one long warm spring day. 30 days later I am harvesting spinach and the fruiting plants look like they are doing well.
Lessons & tips: If you are impatient like me, plant leafy greens because they grow extremely fast and enjoy colder weather. My tiny spinach seedlings are producing monster leaves and my lettuce mix from seed should be salad ready in another 2-3 weeks. Leafy greens and herbs also complement fruiting plants such as tomatoes and peppers and can be planted in the same container.
Resources: The book Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail was an invaluable resource. I don't necessarily agree with her organic focus, hybrid plant varieties are great and pesticides are also fine with me, but she has a great style and the book is beautifully made.