Categorized | Growing Vegetables

Preparing For Your Vegetable Garden

Lately, vegetable gardening has become just as popular as going to the grocery store for produce. Vegetable gardening can produce food that is usually cheaper than the shop bought veg, and vegetables from a home vegetable garden taste better by far. It really is no different than growing herbs or flowers and if the proper steps are taken and the plants given the care they need they will flourish and produce the tasty food you will be proud of.

You first need to think about what size of garden you wish to plant and then select whereabouts you will use; ideally somewhere that has good drainage, good air flow, and good soil. Sunlight is also important – the more, the better in most cases. One of the biggest problems with vegetable gardens is that they have such tasty rewards and many animals, such as dogs, rabbits, deer will try to help themselves to the results of all your hard work. Fencing can help to prevent this, but can be expensive. Alternatively, you may want to catch mice, moles, and other animals (be aware of the legal and moral implications of that – may countries have strict guidelines about catching and/or releasing animals).

Prepare your soil properly before planting and will be achieved by care and attention – careful cultivation and the use of organic materials. Plowing the soil helps to control weeds and mix mulch into the soil. If you have a small garden, spading could be a preferred over plowing. Soil preparation needs a good mulch. The soil releases minerals, nitrogen, and other nutrients when organic matter is added to the soil which helps the plants to thrive. The most common and also probably the best type of mulch is compost. While the kind and amount of fertilizer used depends on the soil and types of plants. Nitrogen can help leafy plants, like cabbage, spinach, and lettuce grow better, while root crops like potatoes, beets, turnips and carrots tend to require more potash. The amount of fertilizer can also play a part – tomatoes and beans tend to use less while those like onions, celery, and potatoes tend to need more.

Planning your garden and its layout is essential for vegetable gardening. There is no one plan that will work for all gardens due to the different weather and soil conditions different areas are subjected to. You also need to consider which plants will be planted where, and if any companion plantings can be done. For instance planting vegetables which need limited space together, such as radishes, lettuce, beets, and spinach is one popular way of arranging a vegetable garden. Likewise,  those that require more room together, such as corn, pumpkins, and potatoes can also do well together. Tall growing plants placed towards the back of the garden with shorter ones in the front helps ensure that all the plants can enjoy the sunlight without it getting blocked.

Choosing the right time of year to plant is also important. If you want to get an early start you can begin your garden inside in a hotbed. As soon as weather permits the plants can be transplanted. Make sure your vegetables will receive the appropriate amount of water.  It depends on the type of plant but in general, plants tend to need around an inch of water per week.

Control the weeds all risk them taking up water, light, and nutrients meant for the vegetables. More often than not they bring disease and insects, to the garden. Weeds can be removed by cultivation or mulching. Seeds can be purchased with the intention of increasing protection against the diseases and insects that have become resistant. Another solution to the problem of protecting your produce is to use controlled chemicals.

Vegetable gardening is many people's favorite forms of gardening because you can taste the fruits of your labor. It is not that expensive to start, and the taste of home grown veggies beats the blander offerings of the supermarkets. Your vegetable gardening plot(s) will be full of produce if you take the proper precautions when planting and continue to maintain your garden.

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