6 Easy Ways To Prepare Your Vegetable Garden
When it comes to gardening, you are probably a very experienced and dedicated gardener who wastes no time tending to the backyard, all day and every day. Your green thumb is off-the-charts, and you could not imagine not spending a day without cultivating your beautiful crops.
More specifically, you absolutely love planting and growing all sorts of vegetables, with their multicolored diversity and deliciousness that are to be prepared and served at your next dinner table. You have found yourself going for long periods in the day just being outside and digging up soil, planting seeds, and watering them for the best nurture possible.
That being said, there is a lot to be done when it comes to growing a vegetable garden, for it is not just a matter of growing a single type of crop, but rather a wide variety of different ones to be served at your next dinner.
In addition, it requires different strategies and types of items to cultivate each and every one, to ensure that they grow to be the ideal and healthiest condition that they can be.
From this, we are here to help you out! Read on to learn more about everything you need to know about starting your own vegetable garden. We will be sharing with you the different types you can grow, as well as just what you need to have in order to make it successful.
We will give you some ideas on which fertilizers to use, along with a step-by-step tutorial on how to plant a successful vegetable garden for you to enjoy time and time again.
Without further ado, let’s get right down to it!
I. Why Create A Vegetable Garden?
First things first, you might be wondering just what is the significance of creating a vegetable garden? Even if you are an avid gardener, you probably might have only planted flowers ( like it ) and plants your whole life, but planting vegetable seeds is a whole other story. That said, you are probably thinking about the benefits of doing so, if there is any?
To answer your question, we tell you that there are plenty of benefits in creating a vegetable garden, not only for your house’s appeal, but also for environmental and personal health reasons. Therefore, we have listed just a few good reasons as to why you should start a vegetable garden at home:
1. Saves you money
If you tend to go to the grocery store and purchase vegetables each week, then you ought to know that you can save an incredible amount of money just from buying a packet of seeds at an inexpensive price and growing your own vegetables to consume.
It is a matter of choosing whether you would like to have vegetables which cost a couple of dollars or those which cost only a couple of cents- which one would you choose then?
Really, growing vegetables on your own saves you a lot of money in the end. Even better, that money can be used to buy other things that you might have wanted, but did not have the expenses to do so. With gardening, you can now go for it!
2. Less chemicals
Whereas many of the store-bought vegetables were cultivated using pesticides and other potentially-harmful chemicals, growing your own produce at home is less likely to contain that sort of material.
True, you will be using fertilizer and other chemical items to grow crops, but at least you know perfectly well just how much you will be using, thereby knowing just what you are putting into your body.
Whether you choose to go for organic material or inorganic for your vegetable, just know that you have complete control over what you grow and what you choose to eat later on.
3. Offers more autonomy
This comes close with point #2, but in any case, producing your own vegetable garden provides more independence for you, as means choosing just which type of vegetables you want to grow to how you want to grow them.
Especially if you like a particular crop, e.g. carrots, then you have full reign of growing more of them to satisfy your carrot cravings, while skipping out on other vegetables which you might be less interested in.
Any case, the freedom to do what you want in your garden beats having to sacrifice certain delicious crops that otherwise might be expensive at grocery stores, thereby giving you a sense of happiness in the process.
4. Gives a hobby for you
In general, having any hobby is beneficial for one’s mental health- after all, it beats being bored at home! Gardening is a perfect passion, not only for benefitting the physical body through raking and tilling, but also through the mind for the rewards it reaps in the end.
What gardening is is that it offers you incremental goals, so that you feel a sense of accomplishment after you successfully grow one particular crop, before moving on to the next one that you are interested in growing.
It can even be therapeutic, serving to take your mind off of otherwise stressful things in your life, calming you down and helping you make wise decisions in how to deal with it all.
5. Offers a communal experience
For those who have family and/or close friends nearby, creating a vegetable crop garden can be an excellent way to bond over company, all the while serving a practical cause for meals to be put out on the dinner table in due time.
You do not necessarily need to garden alone, but rather recruit the help of family members and friends in a communal setting for a happy and productive gardening activity.
II. Types Of Vegetable Gardens
Now that you have a better idea of the benefits of growing your own vegetables, it is now time to go to the next step, which is finding out which type of vegetable garden you want. Believe it or not, there are various kinds out there, and it is a matter of knowing just what you want (and do not want) to cultivate with the space provided in your home.
First, we will break down the several types of general gardens you can possibly have; this is to better help you understand what you do and do not prefer, which will help you determine just what kind of vegetable garden you desire:
1. Indoor gardening
As the name suggests, indoor gardening refers to planting and cultivating plants, flowers, or crops in a covered environment, whether in a greenhouse or within the comforts of your own home.
The level of difficulty to maintain items with this type of gardening greatly depends, for it is based on a combination of light, temperature, and watering systems to make it the ideal place to grow things.
For instance, maintaining a greenhouse will be a lot of work in itself, on top of having to maintain the plants and crops that grow inside of it.
Again, you will need to pay extra attention to the lighting and temperature inside this glass building, for too much of, say, humidity or sunlight can be detrimental to your plant’s health, especially if they tend to thrive in dry and lower light, respectively.
On the other hand, growing plants in your home does not require as much work compared with a greenhouse. Your home is already well-maintained, so it is just a matter of concentrating on your plants to ensure that they receive the best care and attention they need.
Granted, you will need to focus on giving them appropriate sunlight and water, but in the end, it is manageable.
2. Residential gardening
This particular type of gardening is one of the most common ones that gardeners tend to use, especially if they are just starting out. Residential gardening can happen anywhere, whether inside or outside of the home, and it does not require a lot of area to grow plants, flowers, and crops.
When it comes to a vegetable garden, residential gardening can help by planting merely two to three different types of vegetables. This gives you more control over watering and fertilizing, as well as letting you choose which ones you want to grow in the first place, e.g. your favorite vegetables.
Overall, residential gardening is great for just about anyone, from inexperienced to professional gardeners, as well as those who are just doing it as a hobby, rather than as a career.
3. Specialized gardening
Although specialized gardening is not technically affiliated with vegetable growing, nevertheless it is still worthwhile to explain what it is to put things into perspective for the other types of gardens:
Essentially, it is a type of garden which is meant for aesthetic reasons, e.g. making the area look pleasing to the eye, even beautifully-so. It is commonly seen in places such as botanical gardens, tourist attractions, and so forth.
It does not offer anything utile, and some gardeners might even choose to plant some fruits and vegetables which, while lovely on the outside, are actually inedible only for the sake of decorating the household. If you intend to grow vegetables to be transferred to the dinner table, then this type is not the right pick for you.
4. Water gardening
Often used for aesthetic purposes, too, water gardening is a matter of incorporating ponds, rivers, and streams into the backyard, in which you can cultivate things like aquatic plants and fish or you can refer to plant lily pad flowers.
Such gardens are one of the most difficult to maintain, since it involves many steps in making sure that the pH of the water is just right and preventing moss and potentially harmful bacteria from entering and killing off all your hard work.
Some vegetables might do well in this environment, especially if they thrive in humid, marshy conditions. Otherwise, it is best to plant vegetables just a bit outside of the water area, so that they can continue to get water from the source and grow healthily.
III. Things You Need For A Successful Vegetable Garden
From the different types of gardens out there, you have more information to get ready in implementing your vegetable garden for good. In other words, you are ready to gather up the items for crop cultivation and get right well on your way!
At first, you might think that when it comes to a vegetable garden, it requires a lot of items to start out with: after all, that is what you had assumed from watching too many gardening shows which had gone all-out in design and cultivation.
However, you will be very surprised to note that it does not require as many items as you had thought, from which you can breathe a sigh of relief.
That said, we have compiled a simple list of items you will need to grow a successful vegetable garden. Some are optional, some are not, but all the same, here they are:
1. Enough space
Sounds rather vague, but it is a no-brainer that you will need at least some space to grow your crops- after all, you cannot have only a corner to do so, unless the crops you want to grow are tiny to begin with.
Although we cannot tell you the exact dimensions of space you ought to reserve, going with your best judgement about how much room you need in relation to the size of the crop you are growing will work for you.
2. Vegetable seeds
It comes as an obvious that you will need seeds to kick-start your vegetable growing process.
You can find many of your favorite vegetable varieties—carrots, corn, beetroot—already packaged in your local home and garden store, or you can take it upon yourself to extract and germinate them with crops like potatoes.
The possibilities of what you grow are endless, so mix it up!
Of course, you will need soil and fertilizer to cover and offer nutrition to the seeds as they are growing to their matured size. The thing is to know that not all soil or fertilizer is the same, depending on what you are growing.
Varying in different pH and NPK ratios, you will have to be careful when getting these items, especially if they will not be compatible and end up damaging the crops. It helps to do your research beforehand to ensure that things will go smoothly.
4. Growing markers
Especially if you plan on growing them outside on the field, then having growing markers is not a bad idea. Having them will offer a neater workspace that will make it easier to track and manage just how many seeds are growing at a time, along with even distribution of nutrients and water.
On the other hand, if you prefer to grow vegetables for indoor growth, the pots make for a more practical item to have. They are also necessary for the germinating process, especially if you are planning to make your own vegetable seeds from scratch.
Having varying sizes of pots—small and big—will be super helpful, so you can easily transfer the growing seed from one container to the other as it gets bigger and bigger.
Sometimes, if not all the time, you will encounter weeds and other unpleasant extra items in your gardening space, which if not taken care of, can lead to problems with the vegetable growing properly, if at all, later down the line.
Compost, then, fortifies the soil with otherwise lacking nutrients. It tends to be made from scraps found everywhere, including from newspaper, leaves, bark, etc. In fact, you can most likely make your own compost to enrich the soil, and from there you can ensure a better, faster-growing vegetable.
7. Sunlight and water
Besides being essential for maintaining the planet Earth, sunlight and water are also much-needed for cultivating your beloved vegetable garden.
After all, you will need at least some water to activate the nutrients in the soil to make the crops start growing, and you will need a bit of sunlight to support it in the process.
8. Garden tools
Gloves, Kneepads & Kneelers, Safety Glasses; Wheelbarrows, Trolleys & Carts, Transporters; Forks, Shovels, Spades, Tool Sets, Edgers, Dibbers...
9. Seasonal guide
Winter: Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Beets, Celery, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Pumpkins, Carrots; Spring: Cabbage, Asparagus, Celery, Lettuce Broccoli, Carrots, Garlic Mushrooms, Onions, Spinach Peas, Radishes; Summer: Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Carrots...; Fall: Lettuce, Cabbage, Carrots, Peas, Potatoes, Spinach...
All in all, you will need at least some bit of each item listed in this section, for example: 5 best vegetables to plant in the Spring; as means of ensuring a lovely vegetable garden to begin with. Why not get started today?
IV. Types Of Vegetable Fertilizers
More specifically, you will need to look for a good fertilizer that will enrich your vegetable garden. You might be surprised to find out that there are a lot of different types out there, and admittedly, the process of picking one out can be daunting. No need to fear, though, for we got you covered.
Essentially, there are two types of fertilizers, which we break down the differences below:
1. Organic fertilizers
Just like it is with organic food and organic material, organic fertilizer uses natural waste products and other matter for a chemical-free vegetable growth. Specific materials that are used to make organic fertilizer include animal manure, blood meal, fish emulsion, and rock minerals.
Benefits to using organic fertilizers are, as mentioned, a chemical-free gardening experience, along with improving plant structure, feeding soil microbes and offering micronutrients, and protecting against potentially-dangerous fungal and bacterial diseases.
Granted, organic fertilizers take a longer time to cultivate vegetables, but it does so effectively and healthily in the end. Plus, it can be inexpensive to make, since you are using natural material that you can otherwise find in your home already.
2. Chemical fertilizers
On the other hand, chemical fertilizers are not natural, often made from things like sodium nitrate, potassium chloride, and phosphate. They can come in liquid, granular, powder, or pellet form, all of which can be easily activated with just a touch of water.
Chemical fertilizers are widely available in just about any local home and garden store, thereby being extremely accessible to your gardening needs. They are also fast-acting, able to get your vegetables to grow in no time, so that you can better prepare for your garden-to-table meal.
The downside to chemical fertilizers, though, is that, while they are quick-acting on the vegetables, they provide little to no nutrition to help the crops sustain over time. They end up making the vegetables malnourished, which does not offer a good long-term gardening experience.
V. Tips On How To Stop Pests And Diseases In Your Garden
When it comes to keeping your vegetable garden healthy and well-maintained, you do your very best to keep it that way. However, you will most likely encounter some not-so-good forces outside of your control, which will make gardening all the more difficult to keep in mint condition.
One such thing we are referring to is that of pests, many of which are insects. From munching away on leaves to leaving rotting diseases in your precious tomatoes and potatoes, these pests are the worst, and you would do anything to stop them from turning your vegetable garden into a graveyard of those gone bad.
You sent us a couple of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) on this matter, and we are here to help! Here are some ways you can identify and go about treating your vegetable garden in no time:
a. What are some common pests in vegetable gardens?
First things first, we will need to identify just some of the few pests that wreak havoc on your precious vegetable garden. Whereas some of them specialize in particular crops, others are not picky when it comes to eating away at your vegetables. Here are just a few common ones that might be affecting yours:
These critters are considered one of the most common pests in a vegetable garden. They range in all sorts of colors, from green to brown to yellow. What makes them particularly cumbersome is that they feed on just about any type of vegetable, as well as multiplying rapidly in numbers. Hence, that is why they can be a problem to get rid of.
2. Flea beetles
Eating just about any sort of vegetable (e.g. corn, squash, carrots, leafy greens), flea beetles are the bane of any gardener’s existence. Flea beetles tend to feed on seedlings that are just beginning to bloom, and they hop from crop to crop, eating away at them and subsequently leaving small, pin-sized holes in the process.
If the leaves of your vegetables have notable-sized holes and parts torn off, then it is most likely due to grasshoppers. These large, spindly creatures have a large set of chewing mechanisms which cause big parts of a vegetable to be taken in, thereby leaving you with an unattractive set of crops.
4. Stink bugs
Besides being known for their foul-smelling liquid, stink bugs also have large mouths which suck out nutrients from plants and vegetable crops, thereby damaging them in the process. That said, they are necessary to get rid of.
5. Tomato hornworms
In particular, tomato hornworms feed on the leaves of, you guessed it, tomatoes. They are often distinguished with their black horns and in the end, they make for an unpleasant encounter in the vegetable garden.
b. How can I get rid of pests?
Depending on just what kinds of pests are in your vegetable garden, the things you will need and do will greatly vary. While pesticides are not a bad option, we propose to you some more eco-friendly options for getting rid of them while also keeping your gardens safe and sound:
1. Mix home ingredients together
Believe it or not, you have the ingredients at home to kill off those pesky pests from your garden! One of them is by baiting and killing pests with an apple cider vinegar and sugar mixture. Place it around the garden where pests can gather, and kill them from there!
2. Cover your garden
This is not a matter of covering a sheet over your garden, for pests can still infiltrate into your crops, but rather mixing items such as aluminum foil into the mulch as means of protecting the roots underneath from hungry pests. After all, it is worth a shot!
3. Plant companion plants
In other words, plant things like herbs and other vegetables complementary to your most-prized plants, as means of distracting pests from your more precious crops. Things like dill, sage, and thyme are solid ones to consider, so that the pests are not as likely to go after the vegetables themselves.
VI. Step By Step Tutorial On How To Plant A Vegetable Garden
The next step is to go ahead and get started planting your vegetable garden. Especially if you are a beginner to doing so, you might feel somewhat intimidated by it all, from start to finish.
However, we are here to tell you that it is not as daunting as you believe it to be, and by following these few, easy steps below, you will become a gardening pro in no time:
1. Scout your location
The first thing you will need to do is pick the right place to plant your vegetables. You will need to ask yourself if you want to grow them indoors or outdoors, in a garden bed or a pot.
As soon as you decide what you want to do, go about preparing the container for putting soil and fertilizer in, along with the seeds.
Measurements will vary in terms of how big you want your plot of land to be (or pot size), based on just how much you want to plant. Of course, the more you desire to plant, the bigger the space will have to be.
2. Obtain the seeds
In this step, it is either a matter of purchasing a bag of seeds from your local home and garden store or extracting them from an existing vegetable to germinate on your own.
Granted, the latter is more time-consuming, for you will need to perform a whole other step aside from the general vegetable gardening process, but it is less expensive and more sustainable to perform.
More specifically, the germination process is when you extract the seeds from crops like carrots or potatoes, before putting them in germinating soil to activate (as they are in a dormant state when you first pull them out).
The process can take a couple of weeks, but once that is done, you are ready to move on to the next step like its bag-seed counterpart.
3. Space out the seeds when planting
Set up your garden bed or pot with soil and some fertilizer. Add the seeds into the container. For the garden bed, you will need to carefully space them out so that they are not overly crowded, which can lead to the roots fighting with each other for water and nutrients.
As a result, it can lead to inadequate growth of your vegetables. Hence, keeping them farther apart is better than moving them closer. You can refer to the potatoes.
4. Water and sunlight
It is a no-brainer that you will need to water the crops and offer enough sunlight to kick-start their growing process. Some vegetables will need more water and sunlight than others, so it helps to read up on their needs before you go ahead and care for them.
For instance, potatoes do not need an enormous amount of water or sunlight, since they can flourish even in the harshest conditions. On the other hand, leafy greens like spinach and lettuce will need more water and sunlight to thrive. Paying attention and adjusting to these differences will yield beneficial results in the end.
The crops have fully blossomed, and now you are ready to harvest them! It is simply a matter of picking them carefully from the garden, cleaning them, and preparing them for your next delicious meal to be served in due time.
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The important notes
1. Do not plant too early and choosing right vegetable for season
You need to know when kind of vegetables needs the beginning. As well as if you are not prepared for the growth conditions required by the vegetables or the seed does not have enough time to sow, it can harm vegetables.
2. Select a location
You should choose a location close to the source of water and have a direction that is illuminated for at least 6 hours a day
3. Pay attention to the quality of the soil
The common mistake gardenner is not to care for the type of soil and too care to provide over-nutrition to the vegetables.
You need to know that all vegetables requires different amounts of nutrients and soil fertility.
In addition, We should grow the vegetables with 10-15cm of soil.
4. Watering is reasonable
You should water the vegetables early in the morning or late at night and should be watered with a sprinkler or a spray
In the hot season, You should supply more water to the vegetable.
5. When harvesting vegetables
For vegetables such as spinach, spinach, ... when harvesting, you should use a knife or scissors to not break the tree-trunk; with other vegetables, you can spit out it. After harvesting vegetables, you should add the organic and inorganic fertilizers for soil.
Overall, growing your own vegetable garden is not as hard as you might believe it to be. By doing just a bit of research on the tools and steps needed for a successful harvest, you will get there in no time.