"Garden Tomatoes" by OakleyOriginals on Flickr

"Garden Tomatoes" by OakleyOriginals on Flickr

I was surprised recently to overhear a co-worker complain that vegetable gardens require a lot of work. Perhaps a large vegetable garden, sure, but they don’t have to be. Vegetables are plants — you put them in good soil and water them frequently, and they grow, all other things being equal.

My setup is pretty straightforward: I bought a bunch of 10-foot 2×6 boards, cut them in 6′ and 4′ sections, and constructed a 6’x4′ open-top box in my back yard, near the house. I then filled it with top-notch potting and vegetable soil.

Every year, I buy seeds from Home Depot (though I’m currently looking for more local options) and spend about 30 minutes planting them. They go in simple rows.  Being single, I don’t need hundreds of green beans, so I only put in half a dozen of each plant. My current crop includes onions, green peppers, tomatoes, green beans, eggplants, and potatoes.

Then I make sure they get plenty of water. I weed occasionally. I wonder if folks are intimidated by that word, “weed.” It conjures up images of undulating acres of crops, and back-breaking work. Not quite in this case; I just spend a couple of minutes every week or so pulling out plants that don’t belong there.  (Otherwise, they crowd out the veggies.)

That’s it. Really. No fertilizer, no hoeing, no mulch. Just harvesting the veggies once they’re ripe.

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