Tips for Growing Vegetables
Vegetable Gardening is a relaxing and rewarding pastime…
It can also have other great benefits, including the possibility of saving money as well as improving health.
It’s not news that the economy is causing a lot of grief to people. Average people, who were likely already struggling to make ends meet. With the cost of living rising all the time, then it is rare to find an opportunity, that will not only save money, but will actually improve your health and quality of life, all at the same time.
Growing vegetables in your own backyard, is one thing you can start to do immediately and it won’t be very long before you start reaping the rewards. But where do you start? Perhaps the best starting point is to consider just what you might want to grow. Of course this will not only depend upon what you like to eat, but also the climate you live in, the time of year and of course the amount of space you have available.
Which brings me to my first tip…
1. Planning can save a lot of wasted time and money and will almost guarantee your chances of success. This will involve making sure you have everything ready with your plan in place before you even start.
When you come to choosing what to plant, and exactly where to plant it (all part of your planning), then you want to keep in mind that some plants will grow much faster than others… Plus, vegetables for the most part require a lot of sunshine each day to do well. Keeping these things in mind will help you decide exactly where you will start your garden, as well as how you go about planning each of the garden beds, and where you will plant certain types of plants.
For example, keeping in mind that your veggies will need around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day, take into account that some plants like radishes or lettuce grow quite quickly, and so to save space in your garden you can grow them in between other more slow growing plants like corn or tomatoes.
So for the second point…
2. Draw up a plan for your garden beds, focusing on what positions you will allocate to growing certain types of vegetables.
While you are drawing up your plan, keep in mind the need for water and drainage, sunshine and the type of soil. You might also want to consider the positioning of the sun as it travels across the sky, so you can assess the amount of time that the plants will be receiving their sun baths during the day.
The next point you will want to keep in mind…
3. Save on watering by using a good layer of mulch around your vegetables. You can even prepare your beds by layering a layer of dried chicken manure (or cow or horse if you can get that more easily), and then layering wood chip material over that. You want to make it a good thickness, and just make sure that when you plant, that you plant into the soil under the mulch and not into the wood chips.
This is a huge tip right there. Not only will you be improving your soil over time as these materials break down, but you will also be protecting the soil, which is a living organism or at least contains a lot of living organisms, but you will be retaining moisture that will drastically cut the need for you to water your garden. In fact you may not have to even water them at all!
If you need to water, or you want to have a ‘watering’ backup plan, but still wan to conserve water, then install a drip-feed irrigation under your mulch. This will ensure that the precious resource of water will not be wasted, and at the same time, your vegetables will be juicy and healthy.
The next great gardening tip…
4. Reduce garden pests by using good garden hygiene. Yes as strange as that may sound, providing your plants are healthy…. and you keep your garden ‘clean’ then you will greatly reduce the likelihood of getting attacked by bugs and diseases.
Certainly you will want to keep a watch on your garden, checking it each day. By doing this, you can not only keep it clean and tidy, but you can keep a look out for garden bugs so you can deal with them quickly should they turn up. Many times, manual removal of some pests will be the most effective ‘non-chemical’ method.
Avoiding the use of nasty chemicals around your home and garden is one positive step not only for the health of you and your family, but also for the environment. When you spray even some of the ‘natural’ pesticides, they kill both the beneficial insects along with the bad… Not the best way to go, even though it might seem like the answer, it really isn’t.
The next tip…
5. Become a composter…. This will not only get rid of all the organic waste materials from your kitchen and the garden, but is rather satisfying to see what would otherwise be smelling rotting material, turn into sweet smelling humus that will be the best fertilizer for your garden… and all for free!
While most of us think of pests and bugs as being the flying and crawling kind, you will also want to make your garden ‘animal’ proof…
Here is your final gardening tip…
6. Enclose your garden in a suitable fence to keep out either domestic or wild animals that will damage your crop.
While a fence is a cost, it can be done very economically with a little ingenuity, and it will be well worth the time and effort. Not only will this help to protect your harvest from being eaten or ruined by stray animals, it is also able to provide some ‘vertical’ space where you can grow things like beans, cucumbers or other climbing plants.
Sure there is some work involved, but this work is healthy work… It is out in the fresh air and sunshine (be careful not to get burned), which is great for your health and well being. Growing a garden is an opportunity to become more self-sufficient and will help you save some money while enjoying some of the best tasting and health giving produce available…
And so rewarding knowing that you were responsible for the delicious harvest just a stones throw from your kitchen door. Don’t put it off, if you have not already, then get started today!