Vegetable Gardening: Growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding. All you actually got to start a couple of decent soils and a few plants. But to be a very successful vegetable gardener and to try to it organically you will need to know what it takes to stay your plants healthy and vigorous. Here are the fundamentals.
“Feed the soil” is sort of a mantra for organic gardeners, and with good reason. In conventional chemical agriculture, crop plants are indeed “fed” directly using synthetic fertilizers.
When taken to extremes, this type of chemical force-feeding can gradually impoverish the soil. and switch it from an upscale entity teeming with microorganisms insects and other life forms, into an inert growing medium that exists mainly to anchor the plants’ roots, which provides little or no nutrition in its title.
Although various fertilizers and mineral nutrients should be added periodically to the organic garden, far and away the foremost useful substance for building and maintaining healthy, well-balanced soil is organic matter. you’ll add organic interest your soil in many various ways, like compost, shredded leaves, animal manures, or cover crops.
Organic matter improves fertility, the structure, and therefore the tilth of all types of soils. especially, organic matter provides an endless source of nitrogen and other nutrients that plants got to grow. It also provides an upscale food source for soil microbes. As organisms within the soil perform the processes of decay and decomposition, they create these nutrients available to plants.
Make Efficient Use of Space
The location of your garden is vital. Yet even as crucial for growing vegetables is making the foremost of your garden space. Lots of people dream of getting an enormous kitchen garden, a sprawling site which will be large enough to grow everything they need, including space-hungry crops, like corn, dried beans, pumpkins, and winter squash, melons, cucumbers, and watermelons. If you’ve got the space and, even more importantly, the time and energy needed to grow an enormous garden well, go for it. But vegetable gardening that makes efficient use of growing space is much easier to worry for, whether you’re talking a few containers on a 50-by-100-foot plot within the backyard. Raised beds are an honest choice for beginners because they create the garden more manageable.
Get Rid of Your Rows
If you’re already producing the quantity of food you would like in your existing row garden, then by switching to raised beds or open beds, you’ll actually be ready to downsize the garden. By freeing up this existing garden space, you’ll plant green manure crops on the part of the garden that’s not currently raising vegetables and/or rotate growing areas more easily from year to year. otherwise, you might find that you simply now have room for planting new crops within the newly available space.
Other good reasons to convert from rows to an intensive garden system:
Less effort: When vegetables are planted intensively they shade and funky the bottom below and need less watering, less weeding, less mulching, in other words, less drudgery for the gardener.
Less soil compaction: The more access you’ve got between rows or beds, the more you et al. are going to be compacting the soil by walking in them. By increasing the width of the growing beds and reducing the number of paths, you’ll have a more growing area that you simply won’t be walking on, and this untrammeled soil is going to be fluffier and better for plants’ roots.
Grow Up, Not Out
Next to intensive planting, trellising represents the foremost efficient thanks to using space within the garden. people that have tiny gardens will want to grow as many crops as possible on vertical supports, and gardeners who have tons of space will still get to lend physical support to a number of their vegetables, like climbing sorts of peas and pole beans. Other vegetables that are commonly trellised include vining crops, like cucumbers and tomatoes.
The fence surrounding your garden could do double-duty as a trellis, goodbye because the crops grown on the fence are often rotated in several years. other forms of vegetable gardening supports are generally constructed from either wood or metal. However, regardless of which design or materials you employ, make certain to possess your trellis up and in situ well before the plants require its support preferably even before you plant the crop. With some vegetables, like tomatoes or melons, you’ll even have to tie the plants gently to the support, or carefully weave them through the trellis as they grow.
Keep Crops Moving
Crop rotation within the kitchen garden means planting an equivalent crop within the same place just one occasion every three years. This policy ensures that equivalent garden vegetables won’t deplete an equivalent nutrients year after year. It also can help foil any insect pests or disease pathogens which may be lurking within the soil after the crop is harvested.
To use a three-year crop rotation system, make an idea of the garden on paper during each season, showing the situation of all crops. If like most of the people, you grow tons of various vegetables, these garden plans are invaluable, because it is often difficult to recollect exactly what you were growing where even last season, much less two years ago. Saving garden plans for the past two or three years means you do not need to believe memory alone.
A Continuous Harvest
Planting crops in succession is yet one more thanks to maximizing the growing area within the garden. only too often, though, gardeners will prepare their seedbeds and plant or transplant all their crops on just one or two days within the spring, usually after the last frost date for his or her location.
While there’s nothing wrong with planting a garden in this manner, wouldn’t it be easier to plant a couple of seeds or transplants at a time, throughout the course of the entire season, instead of facing the herculean task of “getting within the garden” all at one time?
After all, employment nearly always becomes easier the more you divide it up. decide to plant something new within the garden almost hebdomadally of the season, from the primary cold-hardy greens and peas in late winter or early spring, to heat-loving transplants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant once the weather becomes warm and settled.
Then start everywhere again, sowing frost-hardy crops from midsummer through mid-fall, counting on your climate. Keep cleaning out beds as you harvest crops to form room for brand spanking new vegetables which will take their place. you’ll even interplant crops that grow quickly alongside other vegetables that need an extended season, sowing their seeds together. This makes cutting down the bed easier afterward since you’ll have already harvested the quick-growing crop and given the long-season vegetables that remain some much-needed room.
Another advantage of succession planting, of course, is that your harvest season lasts longer for each crop. this suggests that, rather than getting buried in snap beans or summer squash as your plants mature all directly, you’ll stagger plantings to make sure a gentle, but more manageable supply of fresh vegetables.
Keep Good Records
Finally, in Vegetable Gardening, we find yourself where we started with the belief that, although Vegetable Gardening is often rewarding even for beginners, there’s an art to doing it well. there’s also a mountain of excellent information and advice from other gardeners available to you. Yet one among the foremost important ways of improving your vegetable garden from year to year is to pay close attention to how plants grow and note your successes and failures during a garden notebook or journal.
Just as drawing a garden plan annually helps you remember where things were growing, taking notes can assist you to avoid making equivalent mistakes again, or make sure that your good results are often reproduced in future years. as an example, write down all the names of various vegetable varieties, and compare them from year to year, so you’ll know which of them has done well in your garden.
Many people keep a book in their car to record once they change their oil and perform other routine maintenance. within the same way, get within the habit of jotting it down whenever you apply organic matter or fertilizer to the garden or the dates on which you plant or begin to reap a crop.
Over time this type of careful observation and record-keeping will probably teach you more about growing vegetables than any single book or authority. That’s because the notes you create are going to be supported your own personal experience and observations, and can reflect what works best for you within the unique conditions of your own vegetable garden. As in numerous other pursuits, so it’s within the art of vegetable gardening: practice does make perfect.