It’s spring, it’s the ideal moment to begin a vegetable garden. You are just in time to to plan and decide what you will grow this year. Okay, I admit it can look very daunting to start a vegetable garden, but there are so many benefits of having a vegetable garden. But believe me, you don’t need magically given green thumbs to know how to garden. In this article I will help all you new gardeners to start a vegetable garden. You will see that it is not as hard as you think it is and you can reap the rewards later. Also, I know that gardening isn’t that easy for everyone, but I will cover that also.
Begin a vegetable garden.
I will talk about this first because it will give you an answer to the question “Why do I want a vegetable garden?”. Well first of all, self-grown vegetables are more delicious than the vegetables from a store. Plus, It is fun. You can see the fruits of your labor growing, you could use it as a place where you can go to and spend some time outdoors and it can also be a great way to spend some time with your children. Having your own vegetable garden can also be a great way to save some money. You can even earn something!
This should be one of the first things you should ask yourself. How much space can you or do you want to devote to your garden. If you don’t have much space at all, you can still have a garden. For example, you could try a container garden. You can place it in the kitchen and grow some herbs or you can grow some radishes on the window-sill for example.
If you have some more space I would advise using raised beds. These are beds of any format where the soil is raised above the surrounding soil. The soil from the beds is mixed with compost so that it has more minerals what means a higher yield. You could make a frame around your beds to make it look cleaner.
When deciding where you are going to build your garden, you need to pay attention to a few things. You will need as much sun as possible don’t build your garden under a tree because this will take a lot of sunlight. You also want your garden to be close to a source of water. Because most plants aren’t very tolerant to drought. Finally you will need good soil. Of course you can always make your soil better with compost, but you will not grow a lot on sand for example.
Another advice I would give you is to keep a compost bin nearby. Here you can deposit all your organic waste and when it is composted you can use it to fertilize your crops. Also when cooking, try to save your organic waste and also throw it in the compost bin. This will give you free fertilizer from a better quality.
Most novice gardeners tend to waste a lot of money on a fancy irrigation system. This is actually just a waste of money because you will probably start small, so don’t be too lazy. And there is quite a chance that if you like gardening you will be expanding your little vegetable garden.
An example of raised beds for your vegetable garden.
What To Grow?
Deciding what to grow isn’t really easy because it diverges a lot between different climates, seasons and soils. You should see for yourself what you can grow. I would advise to start small. Like a pot of parsley on the kitchens window-sill. Or a patch of radishes. These are quite easy to grow. Tomatoes are also a very nice crop to cultivate because you will use them a lot and these plants can yield many tomatoes. Beans are another must have in your garden. They are easy to grow and you can harvest them right before you prepare them. Some other examples are cabbages, carrots, Brussels sprouts and basil.
Maintaining Your Garden
Most vegetables require a steady supply of water. Therefor you should water them every once in a while. Plants in pots, watering them twice a week would be enough. Raised beds drain faster so you should water these every other day. A good indicator to see if your plants need water is when the top inch soil is dry. When you cultivate crops you will find weeds growing between them. These steal the water and nutrients. So you should get rid of them as fast as possible. Try to pull them by the root as this will prevent them from growing back. Fertilizing crops is also important. This will help you with maximizing yields. The easiest way to fertilize your crops is by applying packaged vegetable fertilizer, following the directions on the bag. But the best way to fertilize your crops is by using organic compost. Look out that you don’t use too much fertilizer as this will decrease your yield. Still keep an eye out for signs of pests, like nibbled leaves, insect infestations, snails, etc. You don’t want your hard earned crops destroyed by some insects. With some nets you can protect your crops against birds, you could use some pesticide to protect against insects and crushed egg shells keeps off the snails.
So now after all the work you have put in your crops. And all the time you have spent in your garden it is finally time to reap the rewards. Don’t hold back to pick your vegetables, many can be harvested at different stages. For example, Lettuce can be harvested very early. If you take a leaf it will continue to grow and produce. Cucumber can be harvested when the fruit is just a few inches long, or it can be allowed to grow to full size. Most of the time it is just: “When it looks good enough to eat, it probably is”. Some vegetables are even like: the more you pick the more it will produce.
Fresh and healthy harvested vegetables.
I hope I helped you with this article and I wish you good luck with your gardening project, so that in a few months you can harvest the fruit of your labors and enjoy your self grown veggies.
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