How to Have a Successful Vegetable Garden
Planting a vegetable garden can be a very rewarding project. It is also great for your body simply because of all the exercise you will get, and the healthy vegetables you will eat. Nowadays it is also desirable to have pesticide free vegetables, yet people often feel intimidated by the idea of planting vegetable gardens especially in a city. What with the busy lifestyle, tight spaces and air pollution, it might seem unlikely a vegetable garden would survive. The fact is you can grow vegetables even if the centre of a busy city. To maximize your chances of success, though, it is important you start by getting the basics right.
Vegetable gardens are usually easier to maintain than flower gardens simply because veggies are more resilient, especially in differing types of weathers. Flowers are typically affected a lot more by changes in the weather, and do not easily adapt. Vegetable gardens usually require a lot of space, even though a few veggies are going to thrive in plant boxes. The space required depends on what type of vegetables you plant, and what you expect from your vegetable garden. You can use a garden potting shed, if you have space, for starting the potatoes tubers off and this ensure a good start for when you plant them in the ground.
Regardless of whether you expect to use a plot of land in your garden or start with just plant boxes, soil preparation plays an important role in the survival of your vegetable garden. There are three types of soil: sand, clay and silt. Sandy soil is loose and helps the roots of plants breathe because it lets the air pass through very easily. Clay soil absorbs water faster and keeps it inside longer; a soil composition with a lot more clay particles in it would be ideal for places which are as well hot, and also the soil dries up swiftly. Silt is a fine mixture of sand and clay particles.
Check to make sure you have just the right mixture of sand, silt, and clay before you begin planting your garden. Ideally, silt and sand should both be 40%, and clay should be 20%; this is to make sure water drains correctly. Too much water can choke the roots or even make them start to rot! One good method to test whether the composition of your soil is right starts by scooping out a handful and forming a ball with it. The soil should hold the shape of the ball easily. If it cannot hold the shape, your mixture probably has too much silt or sand. On the other hand, if the ball does not crumble easily when you poke it, the soil mixture probably has too much clay in it. Experiment with this until you have the proper balance of silt, sand and clay.
To prepare the soil for your vegetable garden, dig up the soil and break up the lumps. Take out the rocks, roots, and weeds while you’re at it. Once you finish cultivating the soil, pick what kind of vegetable you want to grow there. Keep in mind, some veggies do not grow well when planted too close to certain other types. For example, avoid planting potatoes close to squash or tomatoes because it inhibits their growth. They can co-exist but just not beside each other.
The traditional way of planting vegetables is in straight rows. Some individuals prefer to plant alternating rows of different sorts of veggies. This way, when one vegetable is ready for harvest, the rows between have veggies that are not yet ripe. An alternative method is to plant in beds rather than the conventional rows. Plan the size of the beds so you can very easily reach into it and pull out the weeds that are going to grow among your plants. Raising the beds slightly off the ground allows for better heat retention during cold weather. It also makes for a good drainage around the beds.
After you decide on the kind of vegetables you want and plant them, you need to learn about how to water them adequately. Vegetables require consistent watering. When planting a vegetable garden in a big space, think about utilising a soaker hose. A soaker hose has numerous holes along its body and waters your garden by letting the water seep through its holes.
Planting a vegetable garden will require some work and a fair amount of patience. The rewards are easily worth it all, though. Particularly for people concerned with the state of their health. Growing your own veggies allows you to raise crops without the use of pesticides. Besides contributing to your wellness, it is a great feeling knowing that your are eating something that you grew in your own vegetable garden.
All About Gardening
If you are thinking about starting a garden, the first thing you need to consider is what type of garden you will have. There are many different selections and often it can be hard to pick just one, but hopefully you can narrow it down. But by narrowing it down, you’ll make the gardening experience easier on yourself and the plants. If all your vegetation is similar, then it should not be very hard to adore them all. So here is the majority of the main garden ideas for you to decide from.
If you’re just seeking something to look nice in your yard, you will want a flower garden. These are normally jam-packed with perennial flower. Perennial flowers are flowers which stay healthy year-round. They’re essentially weeds as a consequence of their hardiness, only nice looking. Different areas and climates have different flowers which are thought perennials. If you do a quick internet search for your area, you can probably find a directory of flowers that will bring your flower garden to life. These usually require are employed in the planting stage – after that, the flower take care of themselves. The only downside to this is that you don’t have any item to show for it.
Another alternative for your garden is to have a vegetable garden. These normally requires some more work and research than a flower garden, but can be more rewarding. No matter what time of the year it is, you can normally find one vegetable that is still prospering. That way you might have your garden giving you produce nearly on a daily basis through out the year! When starting a vegetable garden, you should build it with the thought in mind that you will be adding more kinds of veggies in later. This will help your expandability. Once all your present crops are during the off-season, you will not be tied to almost nowhere to put the new crops. A vegetable garden is ideal for someone who wants some produce, but doesn’t want to devote every waking hour to perfecting their garden (see underneath.)
One of the more tough types of gardens to manage is a fruit garden. It’s definitely the most high-maintenance. When growing fruits, a good many more pests will be attracted due to the sweetness. You not merely have to handle having just the proper dirt and fertiliser, you have to address choosing a pesticide that won’t kill whoever eats the fruits. Your fruit garden will no longer produce year-round. The soil needs to be just right for the plants to grow, and putting in another crop during its off-season could be disastrous to its growth process. If you’re willing to put lots of work into maintaining a garden, then a fruit garden could be a good selection for you.
Easy tips for Vegetable Gardening
So now that I’ve outlined a lot off the main garden types that people choose, I hope you can create a good decision. Essentially, the garden type boils down to what kind of product you want, and how much work you want to put into it. If you’re searching for a product with no work, then choose a flower garden. If you want lots of delicious product, but you are willing to expend hours in your garden every day, then opt for a fruit garden. Just ensure you don’t enter something you can’t handle!
Planting Vegetable Gardens for Stress Relief
It’s not easy to ignore the soaring prices of food items these days, including vegetables. Although your garden may be small and your vegetable garden may not provide all that you need, it will have a dramatic effect in reducing your food bill. Imagine not having to run to the grocery store to buy some of the ingredients for your cooking. Some of the most common vegetables that you need are already right there in your very own backyard.
Depending on the kind of vegetables you plant and your methods of preserving them, the economical benefits you get from your vegetable garden may be felt all year round. You may also think that your kids will likely to eat less each time your serve them vegetables. It is obvious that kids would prefer to eat burgers, hotdogs and others. However, there are several cookbooks available in bookstores that can show you a variety of vegetable meals to prepare that are appetizing even for the kids. When what you serve on the table does not look and taste boring, your kids will surely dig it.
With a variety of vegetables practically ready to pick right in your garden, you will find it more pleasing to cook and serve vegetable dishes to your family. This means that everybody will get to enjoy the numerous health benefits of eating fresh produce, since vegetables are packed with tons of nutrients. Aside from the fact that they are low in fats and calories, and contain no cholesterol, you will also get a steady source of the following:
This is important for normal bowel movement and good for your entire digestive tract. Dietary fibre is also known to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body, lower the risk of heart diseases, as well as fight off certain forms of cancers. If you are on a diet, you will also feel much fuller faster. Some vegetables rich in dietary fibre are peas, carrots, cabbage and spinach. This is necessary for keeping blood pressure at a normal level. It is also important in keeping the brain, muscles and other tissues in the body functioning normally. Vegetables that are loaded with potassium include potatoes, squash, tomato, eggplant and celery.
Vitamin A is great for the eyes and skin. Vitamin C is necessary to maintain healthy connective tissues and is known to boost the immune system. Vitamin B is important for extracting the energy in the carbohydrates in several food sources. Carrots, asparagus, broccoli and green pepper are rich in Vitamin A. Broccoli, peas and beans are a great source of vitamin B. Your dose of vitamin C is supplied by red cabbage, kale, parsley and turnip. Other vitamins and minerals you can get from vegetables include calcium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, iron, niacin, foliate, zinc and manganese.
Instead of setting up a swimming pool or a Zen garden in your back garden, why not plant vegetables instead? Planting vegetable gardens is a great way to spend a quiet time de-stressing while getting in touch with nature. Having a steady supply of vegetables will also lessen food expenses and improve the health of your loved ones.
Better Veggies With Heirloom Seeds
A growing number of seed companies are offering and regularly selling heirloom vegetable seeds to discerning gardeners. Heirloom seeds routinely grow distinctively flavored vegetables that our great-grandparents used to dine on in the days when there were no modern hybrid seeds. Naturally, modern hybrid vegetables continue to be healthy, quite edible, and more convenient to grow compared to heirloom vegetables. As a matter of fact, these advantages were the purpose behind the development of hybrid seeds to begin with.
However, just as with homemade bread and handcrafted quilts, many folks feel the additional effort that these vegetables call for is warranted by the old-fashioned taste and the nostalgic connection to our heritage.
By and large, the vegetable seeds which are called heirloom seeds must exhibit two attributes. They are required to be open-pollinated, and the variety must be a minimum of 50 years old. Even though some seeds which are featured in catalogs or stores might meet one of the aforementioned prerequisites, they must actually meet both requirements for an established seed retailer to call them Heirloom.
Most seeds bought currently are referred to as Hybrids. A hybrid is a plant which is the product of cross-pollinating two genetically separate species. The drawback people have with hybrids is, they can’t replicate themselves. If you plant these seeds, then gather the seeds from the resulting plants, that next generation of seeds will merely have the characteristics of one of its genetic predecessors. Maybe a very basic explanation might help.
If your seeds grow into hybrid plants which were a cross-pollination of red peppers and yellow peppers, the hybrid could grow orange peppers. If you gather the seeds and store them in your workshop from those hybrid peppers you can sort them and then plant them, the second generation plants will just produce either green or yellow peppers.
Heirloom seeds, on the other hand, are open-pollinated seeds. As a result, if you harvest seeds from heirloom plants, the resulting plants will grow ‘true to type’, meaning that the exact same vegetable will appear over and over. The capability of these vegetables to replicate themselves is the means by which these varieties have carried on for all those years.
While the fifty year minimum for establishing the heirloom varieties might appear to be arbitrary, the decade which followed the Second World War marks the beginning of when major seed companies began developing and marketing the more durable hybrid vegetable seeds. Today’s gardeners have developed a new approval for the older vegetable varieties, nowadays, and the seed companies have responded by committing growing percentages of advertising space to Heirloom seeds.
Please do not conclude that hybrid vegetables are always bad. The technology which resulted in our hybrid vegetables has given us better growing conditions and higher yields in modern agriculture, and that has multinational benefits. Heirloom vegetables are sought after by a few home gardeners, though, as a result of their texture and flavor, and their ability to evoke memories of Grandma’s tomato soup.
Growing Tomatoes In A Cool Greenhouse
If you are in a cool climate, then you need a greenhouse to ensure a good crop of tomatoes. Growing tomatoes in a cool greenhouse is really very straightforward. You can either start with plants bought from your local garden centre or grow them from seed.
If you are growing them from seed, then you will need to start sowing your seed early, probably before the last frosts are over and the best way to do this is to sow them indoors. I usually sow in 3″ pots – 3 seeds to a pot and place on a well lit and warm window sill.
Make sure that they do not dry out. Once the plants begin to show, and when there is no risk of frost, transfer the pots to the greenhouse or a dedicated garden potting shed. Grow them on until the plants are well established in the pots, but before the roots begin to circle in the pot.
The soil should be retained by the roots until a good network of roots shows. If you leave them too long in the 3″ pots, they will become root-bound, and will take much longer to re-establish when transplanted. You should then separate the three plants and re-pot each one into a 5″ pot. Grow on like this until they are ready to be potted on again. Now you need to decide how and where you are going to grow them. If you decide to grow them in grow bags, then they should be planted no more than three to a grow bag.
However, I have found that they grow rather better in deeper pots than a grow bag. One successful technique is to cut a grow bag in half and stand each half on end, with one plant in each. This will give you a much deeper root run. I usually now grow my tomatoes in large pots in a good homemade compost.
As you put your plants into their permanent position, consider supports for them. They will want good support up to the roof of your greenhouse. A good way of doing this is to tie a 6ft bamboo cane to the roof of your greenhouse and put it into the pot as you plant your tomatoes. The plants will become very heavy when laded with fruit so canes will need to be supported from the roof of the greenhouse
Tie the plants to the canes as they grow. The side shoots that grow from the leaf joints should be regularly removed while they are still small. Watch them grow and produce fruit, keeping them always watered. Don’t let them dry out, and keep the watering consistent. Uneven watering can cause greenback – which makes the fruit go black at the bottom and makes them inedible. If this happens, pick the infected fruit off and make sure the plant is watered correctly. They should recover. Tomatoes need about 1 litre (2 pts) of water a day, although cherry tomatoes such as gardeners delight only need 1.5 litres (3 pts) of water a week. This makes the fruit taste sweeter.
It is advisable to maintain humid conditions when the flowers appear by spraying the plants daily. You should also gently shake the plant to move the pollen about. Remove all the leaves below the lowest fruiting truss. This will give the plant more air and light so the fruit will ripen faster. At this point start feeding with liquid seaweed. (Tomato feed purchased from garden centre is equally good.). Some people also feed epsom salts because they say that it makes the tomatoes ripen earlier. This has not been proven, and is in any case unnecessary in a dry cool greenhouse.
Pick the fruit regularly, that way you get the sweetest flavour and picking encourage the production of more fruit.
Tomatoes are one of the easiest greenhouse crops and are very rewarding, reliably giving a heavier crop of ripe clean and healthy tomatoes than you could grow outside.