Home Vegetable Gardening 101
home vegetable garden
Anyone can be an organic gardener; the real question we need to ask is why would anyone want to garden any other way?
An organic gardener does not add any artificial ingredients to the garden site and the prime function of an organic gardener is to build soil; fertile, healthy soil.
Health soil means healthy plants, no matter what you grow. This is the first lesson in Home Gardening 101. Build soil.
The first thing you do when starting your home vegetable garden is select a site. The place you decide to put your vegetable bed will need at least eight hours of sunlight every day.
The second step is to decide what you want to grow. What vegetables does your family like to eat? Are you planning to preserve some of your harvest? The answers help you decide what to plant and how much.
Very few people living in an urban setting have enough space to grow all the vegetable they will eat over the year; however, you can design your vegetable garden in such a way as to get a maximum yield from a small space.
How much time do you have to spend in yoru garden? Be honest. This is an important design consideration. You do not want to start a garden that you cannot maintain. If this is your first garden, start small and expand each year.
Planning to grow potatoes, do you have a space to store them? They need a dark and dry space. Burlap bags are ideal for keeping them in after harvesting.
If you are planning to grow cucumbers are you planning to make pickles, for example? If not, perhaps buying your cucumbers from the farmers market and growing beans instead is a good plan.
Beans are a great crop easy to care for, grow vertically so you can get quite a few out of a small space and you can save the seeds for planting next year.
The choice of crops should be related to vegetables you like your plans for what you grow and your time and space available for tending the garden.
Adding organic material to your soil is the best way of growing that soil and one of the best ways of adding compost is to use compost you make yourself, from vegetable scraps, leaves and grass clippings for example.
Steps to take: questions to answer:
1- Where will your garden be located
2- How much sunlight does that site get each day?
3- How much time do you have to care for the garden daily?
4- What will you eat?
5- Will you preserve part of your crop?
6- Compost: start a compost pile if you do not have one.
7- Gardens are best watered in the morning, water deep to reach the roots.
8- Plant herbs, nearby or among the vegetables rows. You can harvest them for culinary purposes, let them flower to attract bees and other beneficials and save their seeds for the following seasons.
9- Do you like cutflowers indoors? If you do, consider planting them near or among the vegetables and herbs for the same reasons you planted the herbs.
10- If planting from seed, follow the planting directions on the seed pack, especially of this is your first garden.
11- Spend time observing your plants. Notice changes.
12- Enjoy yourself, smile, sit back and watch the garden grow.
You do not need to be an expert to get started. Start small, pay attention, make notes, talk with other gardeners, learn as you grow.
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I am not talking about growing hydroponically which is an option but using natural light to keep your family supplied in some fresh produce all year round.