Learn How To Grow Vegetables
Vegetable gardening at home is catching on these days. People can plant vegetables at home for consumption or to sell them. The activity is also an excellent way to save money on groceries, and more people are showing off their green thumbs since it’s easy.
If you’re looking to get in on this new activity, here are some tips you will need to consider.
1. Start Small And Grow
Since you’re a beginner, it’s always recommended that you start small with planting vegetables. Operating a small garden is more comfortable and less time-consuming, and you have a higher chance of success than if you decide to have a bigger one.
You should also get the hang of the necessary gardening skills before you spend the time and money on your hobby.
So, if you’re looking to start a vegetable garden, the ideal small garden should be about 10 x 10 feet. Keep it simple and easy – select a few vegetables that you’ll like to grow, then plant a few of each vegetable type.
A small garden won’t produce much in terms of debris and waste, so keeping up with that will be easy. You’ll also have a higher chance of making a great harvest, which will give you some food when the summer period comes.
Keep in mind that you could always go even smaller than 10 x 10 feet if you want. The point is to maintain a lean operation that won’t frustrate you out of planting before you have a chance to enjoy it.
2. Selecting The Crops
In terms of crop selection, there are two main things you have to always keep in mind:
- Grow What You Will Like – What are you passionate about eating? Answer that question, and you’ll have the right vegetable to plant. There’s no point in planting something you won’t eat – or sell, give away, or desire some other form of value out of.
- The Crop’s Productivity – Before you select a vegetable, consider how much of it you will be able to eat, and how much you can store. You should also know how many seeds you will need to plant – a lot of people tend to plant too much and waste the harvest.
- You can get produce from peppers, tomatoes, squash, and several other vegetables throughout their season. So, you might not need too many plants in that case. However, you can only harvest vegetables such as corn and carrots once before you have to plant them again.
- Plant Crops Successively – One of the most prominent pieces of advice is to plant both warm and cold-weather crops. This way, you can get harvest throughout the summer, spring, and fall. Radishes, lettuce, greens, carrots, and broccoli are great for the spring. Then, plant vegetables like eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs when the summer months come.
In the fall, you can get a great harvest if you plant vegetables like kale, cabbage, and potatoes.
3. Selecting The Right Gardening Spot
You also need to consider the growing site quite carefully. If you plan to situate your garden in your backyard, you have to be willing to go out every day to water the plants, check for pests, and pick ready produce. Your yard should also have a structure to prevent unwanted entry – both from humans and animals.
A garden that’s closer to the house will be more comfortable for you to pick herbs or harvest-ready produce.
The sun’s movement will also play a significant role in determining the ideal garden position. For maximum exposure to sunlight, try to orient your garden from north to south. Plants positioned from the east to the west tend to shade each other.
So, wherever you choose, consider the following: soil, sun exposure, and access to water.
4. Plan For The Sun
Evidently, vegetables need sunlight to begin producing their food. For optimal productivity, they will need at least six hours of direct, unobstructed sunlight daily. So, if your garden will be in a shady place, you might not have the best luck.
If your garden does provide partial shade, then you want to plant herbs and vegetables that are more accommodative to such conditions. Thyme, lettuce, kale, spinach, chives, and more are great examples.
You can also plant root vegetables – radishes, carrots, beets, etc. – if your garden gets about four hours of direct sunlight in a day.
At the same time, you could consider container gardening. If you have a sunny area of your house, put the plants in containers and place them where they’ll thrive.
5. Testing The Soil
Less-than-ideal soil conditions will make your vegetables suffer. It’s always ideal to test your soil before you begin, so you can get the best outcomes. If you don’t have any soil-testing kit, you can conduct a manual test this way:
- Soak And Dig – Plunge a hose in the soil and soak it. Wait for about a day, then dig some of it up for the test.
- Squeeze The Soil – Squeeze as hard as you can for the best diagnosis. If you find that the water streams out, just add organic matter or compost to optimize the soil’s water drainage.
- Open Your Hand – If the soil forms a ball or breaks into considerable chunks when you poke it, it’s in excellent condition. If the soil doesn’t form a ball, then it’s too sandy. You can draw the same inference if it forms a ball but falls apart quickly. Add some organic matter to improve the soil.