SAN ANTONIO – Groceries are expensive, especially healthy organic vegetables and inflation hasn’t helped. It’s why this week in the Gardening with KSAT series we create a beginner organic veggie garden from seed.
KSAT 12 teamed up with the San Antonio Food Bank’s Agricultural Initiatives program to plant seasonal vegetables like corn, beans, carrots, basil and squash.
The San Antonio Food Bank also has a great booklet on everything you need to know about starting a vegetable garden.
Before you decide which seeds you are going to plant, check out the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Spring planting guide, that guides you on what to plant and when.
They also have a herb guide, that might be useful.
KSAT bought seeds from Rainbow Gardens, as they were relatively inexpensive and we probably spent less than $20 on our seeds. Start by composting your soil and finding the right location. You can find a soil prep video here.
Angela McDermott is the San Antonio Food Bank’s farm manager and she guided us on how deep to plant the seeds and positioning.
”The width of the seed is the depth that you plant it,” McDermott said. “When they are really tiny seeds like carrot seeds, you are just going to sprinkle a little soil on top, and you just kind of pack it in a little bit.”
For carrots you want to make rows about six inches apart, not too deep. Carrots like shade and a lot of moisture and can take 14-21 days to germinate.
Remember because of the impact when you water, that’s going to push those seeds down, so keep that in mind when it comes to 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 are going to have it planted kind of in 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 anywhere the wind blows, when the wind blows the effervescent, the pollen from those will fall all on to the ears of the corn and that way you actually get corn.”
You want to put two corn seeds per hole, to guarantee germination. We planted these about a knuckle deep.
Bean Bush Trio
These make beautiful purple flowers before they are ready to harvest. You can eat these fresh like green beans or dry them and eat them as traditional beans.
”Similar to the carrots, you are 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 down the rows. Remember the easiest way to know how far and deep to plant, read the back of the seed package, which always details how you plant.
Basil seeds are tiny. Because they are so small, we put them right on top of the dirt, scattering with no particular pattern in one section.
Water deep and even when you first plant. You want to water at the coolest times of the day, and water often until your seeds sprout. Then water depending on temperature and rain, but you want to keep the soil moist. When it comes to your hose setting, you don’t want it too aggressive. Put it on a gentle setting that mimics rain.
”Even if your hoes, is coming in a little bit hard or fast you can always raise up, so it’s giving a nice gentle shower,” McDermott said.
Within about a week we had sprouts! Three weeks later, all of our seeds are all sprouting, and we can’t wait to update you on the garden as it grows.
If you aren’t sure if you are ready to take on a vegetable garden by yourself and rather learn more, or feel like giving back, check out the Food Bank’s volunteer gardening opportunities.