Tips for Planning a Vegetable Garden
One of the best things about the weather warming up and the seasons changing is being able to plant a garden. Is there really anything better for a foodie than being able to gather fresh vegetables whenever they want them, cook them up and then enjoy them in a homemade meal.
If you want your garden to be fruitful and abundant, however, there’s a lot more to it than just sticking a plant in the ground or tossing some seeds into the soil. First up, you have to have a plan and you must pick out the best location for a garden, which means at least six hours of full sun.
You also need an area away from the wind, along with fertile soil that drains well. For convenience sake, try to pick a place that’s close to your water source.
Next, figure out what you want to grow. Generally, this means what you like to eat most. Also, determine how much you want to plant and how much time you’ll be able to spend on it. The worst thing you can do is plant a large garden and then not take care of it, which results in losing a lot of great veggies.
Making sure you have fertile, well-prepared soil is crucial before planting. If you’ve used the same garden space every year, all you really need to do is add some fertilizers and organic material such as Fertilome Gardener’s Special fertilizer & Daddy Pete’s Composted Cow Manure. If you’ve never gardened in a particular spot, you might want to check your soil’s pH levels for optimum results.
Don’t ever begin planting without a plan. Know where you’re planting which vegetable, how much you’re planting and don’t forget to use stakes to mark where your rows will be planted. Also, if you’re planting climbing plants like beans, set out stakes. Make sure you leave enough room between rows so that you have a path to walk through.
When sowing your seeds or placing plants, it’s important that they’re planted at the right depth and that they’re spaced properly (crowding plants will inhibit growth). If you’re planting seeds, stretch a string between the stakes to keep the rows straight. Another tip: water the garden space the day before you plant. Also, mark each row so that you know what you’ve got growing – it’s really easy to get confused with all those rows!
Cover the seeds you’ve planted with soil and firmly pat the soil down, then water thoroughly.
A few more tips to help maintain your garden:
If it’s not raining enough, make sure you water your garden. Vegetables need at least an inch of water a week.
Mulch between your rows as that will cut down on weeds, while also helping to keep moisture in the soil.
Check your plants regularly to make sure you’re not having any issues with pests. Early discovery of pests makes it easier to get rid of them. It’s best not to use pesticides once the plants have fruited.
Weed regularly – doing it sporadically just leads to more and more of the aggravating nuisance.
After harvesting, keep spent plant and vegetable matter into a compost pile so you can use it the following year.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be eating delicious, fresh food in no time. Happy gardening!