For those of us who love being outdoors and eating fresh vegetables in the spring and summer, home vegetable gardening is the ideal pastime.
Planting a vegetable garden has many benefits. When you are out in the garden, your stresses seem to fade away as you simply pick weeds and enjoy the day. Vegetable gardening lessens stress by reducing blood pressure and clearing the mind. Gardening helps you save money on groceries as well, and home-grown vegetables are always the best-tasting because you don’t pick the plants until you feel they are perfectly ripe.
So why wait? Start planning your vegetable garden today! If you have a patch of dirt in your yard, you can create an outdoor garden. If not, you can buy some sizable pots and create a container garden.
Gardening in Pots
Container gardening is a great way to begin. If you have poor garden soil, limited space, not enough sunshine in your garden area or impaired mobility, you may want to grow vegetables in containers. Container gardening makes it feasible to position the vegetables in areas where they can receive the quickest growing conditions. Container gardening also affords better pest control. The downside of container gardening is that containers demand daily watering. The plants must be checked daily and usually demand more maintenance than vegetables grown in the ground.
Almost any produce that grows predominately in a backyard garden will grow suitably as a container-grown plant, and some vegetables are even especially fit for container-gardening. Vegetables that grow very well in containers are those with a confined habit of growth, such as salad greens, spinach, eggplant, Swiss chard, beets, radish, carrots, peppers, bush beans, determinate tomatoes, bush varieties of summer squash and cucumbers, green onions and any number of herbs. It isn’t that other vegetables can’t be grown, but they may not be as suitable for container culture.
Regardless of the type or size of container used, adequate drainage is a necessity for successful yields. It is acceptable to add about 1 inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of the container to improve drainage. For most vegetable crops, you will find 5-gallon containers are the best size.
When you’re planning a garden, it’s important to be mindful of the size of garden you want. Begin small and take things step by step. For beginners, a garden of 25 square feet or less is a great start. As you grow more used to the tasks involved with gardening, you can slowly increase the size as you add more plants.
Another important thing for you to think about is the location of your garden. Plants need about six hours of sunlight to grow in good physical shape, so be sure to pick a place in your yard that’s not too shady. Another important aspect of vegetable gardening is to make sure your garden is located in a place that gives it the right drainage. By sowing your garden away from the bottoms of hills and other places where water is likely to collect, you will ensure your veggies don’t drown.
Making sure you have the proper soil is essential. Soil that’s slightly loose and easy to till is ideal, while hard-packed soil is not. If your yard is lacking loose soil, then mulch or compost will be a big help for your garden. In fact, composting is not only a technique to ensure you have great soil, but is also a helpful way to cut down on your trash.
If you tend to the size, location and soil of your garden, you will enhance your chances for success in vegetable gardening.
Things to Keep in Mind
Anytime you have a garden, you will have bugs as well. Unless you want to use chemicals, you must kill any unhealthy bugs on the plants yourself. You can go to garden shops to buy the good bugs, like ladybugs and praying mantis, to kill off unwanted pests. For large bugs like grasshoppers, you must pick them off your plants by hand.
Another drawback you may have in plant gardening is staying on top of all of the weeds. If you don’t go out daily to pick the weeds, they will choke the plants and take over your garden. Watering the garden regularly helps the plants to withstand some of the bugs that might be on the plants, as well as keeps the plants alive and healthy.
Vegetable gardening is a rewarding experience, because you end up with a delicious harvest. If you enjoyed the ripe, fresh vegetables like your grandmother used to have, then you should bring back to life the memories of those delicious plants in the next growing season.
Mary Amos loves to garden and is blessed with green fingers. Visit www.gardenswebsite.com to make the most of your garden, and www.homeDIYweb.com for other home improvement ideas.