Vegetable Garden Tips
These days, many households are growing their own fresh, seasonal vegetables in their very own gardens. If you’re contemplating starting your own vegetable garden, here are some basic tips you should know.
Grow what you like to eat. Plant a garden that will yield the homegrown vegetables that you know your family will enjoy. Don’t over plant. Don’t spend your time and effort growing things you’ll just give away.
Know your vegetables. Do some research. Match what you want to grow with your area and climate for best results.
If you have plenty of time and space, a manageable garden is about 10 feet by 10 feet. Design your garden with long rows or partitioned into grids. Sketch a diagram where each vegetable is to be planted.
Try planting vegetables within smaller sized plots. The beds should be 3 or 4 feet in width. For more yield, plant multiple beds with paths between them to allow for easier reach and upkeep.
Plant crops that can thrive by growing vertically using plant stakes and supports. That way you increase your yield without increasing plot size. Everyone thinks of tomatoes, of course, but pole beans, melons, cucumbers and gourds all do well growing vertically.
Plant your garden so it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Vegetables like tomatoes and melons love the sun. If your location is partially shaded, you can still grow leafy crops like spinach and lettuce. Choose a location that’s protected from strong winds. Choose an area free from rocks and weeds and clear any that remain.
Enrich your soil with generous amounts of organic matter like aged manure, sphagnum peat moss, compost, and leaf mold. Materials should be tilled into the soil in the early spring or late fall.
Spread a thick mulch in your garden to help eliminate weeds, maintain soil moisture and improve soil structure. Excellent mulch materials include shredded bark, compost, cocoa bean hulls, and straw.
Many vegetables can grow even in a container. You can start and in some cases grow your vegetables on balconies, decks, patios, and windowsills.
Water your plants early in the day. Water them deeply, but not soakingly, near the base of the plants. Don’t water the leaves.
A well-tended garden will give you results and an abundant harvest. Be sure to check on your plants every day to see how they’re doing. Make sure they’re adequately watered. Remove unwanted dead leaves, vines and weeds. Check the leaves for molds or diseases. Look for pests or insect infestation. Are they safe from wildlife or marauding pets? Take the proper steps to keep your garden healthy, pest- and animal-free. If you’re kind to your garden, it’s most likely it will be kind to you.
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