How to make a Vegetable Garden?
Making a Vegetable Garden
I have always been a huge gardening fan and it is one of my favourite activities. In fact, my entire family loves it and we always had both flower and vegetable gardens. Though I never have been much into the ground work (we always had servants who did that part), I always use to acquire new fancy or flowering plants whenever I see one. Friends and relatives houses have always been my favorite hunting grounds for this. Apart from that, I use to buy plants from outside too. I even had my set of gardening equipments and tools. My mom, (she is no more) on the other hand, was more into vegetable gardening. I don't remember a time when we had to buy vegetables from the market as long as she was alive except for onions. We always had fresh vegetables from the garden around the year. My Dad too always use to buy new varieties of flower or fruit bearing plants whenever he saw something which interested him. With a lot of land we never had to do any container gardening but we maintained a terrace garden. We also kept indoor plants at home.
My mom used to say that plants are like kids and they need a lot of care. According to her it gave her immense satisfaction to see the fruits of her labor. She always supervised the entire activity from preparing the land, sowing seeds, planting and daily maintenance. Mostly my Mom made me sow the seeds or do the planting when I used to be home as I was born on the Bharani Nakshatra which is said to be very auspicious for such activities according to her. As for me, I always knew when there was a new bud or pest or flower in my favorite plants. In my childhood I even used to talk to the plants and used to feel a pain in my heart when I see them dying or infected. I remember crying for days when my brothers pet rabbits spoiled our vegetable garden.
How to prepare land for Vegetable Garden
As I said, I never was the one preparing the ground for gardening but I sometimes have supervised this activity. From what I recollect, there are basically three steps to Gardening of any kind.
Planning the Vegetable Garden
Planning is the first step and it is important to first decide where to do the gardening, choice of vegetables to grow etc. When planning the site things like quality of soil, watering facilities, availability of sunlight,fencing and sunshade, procuring good quality seeds, drainage facility etc should be considered. It is also important to decide the plants or seeds to plant in the vegetable garden depending on suitability of land, season or preference of family members,time required for the plant to mature, quantity of consumption etc .Also one has to decide on the area each variety of plant would be utilizing. For vegetables which require sowing of seeds replanting area should be decided and plants which are creepers need a support to grow which should be considered in the planning stage itself. Another consideration should be the height of plants.
Preparing the Soil
The quality of soil is of prime importance in a vegetable garden. The soil has to be watered and plowed and all weeds removed. Gardening tools and equipments like spade, hoe, watering can etc comes handy while preparing the soil. After plowing reasonable amount of manure can be added to improve the quality of the soil. Experts must be able to guide on things like acid and alkaline content required for different vegetables, pH of the soil etc. I remember that the vegetable bed continuously plowed and watered for almost a week before the seeds are sown or plants are planted.
Planting your Vegetables
1) Sowing Seeds : When opting for seeds always remember to use only the best quality seeds. In order to get healthy plants the quality of seeds is very important. Sow the seeds evenly in a plowed soil bed. Also ensure preventing measures so that ants or insects do not eat the seeds sown and that there is no excess sun or water. You can use a hoe for making 'V' shaped furrows of the required depth or to cover the seeds once sown.Watering of the seeds gently taking special care not to uncover them. Once the seedlings have emerged use only the strong and healthy ones for re-planting and this should be done without disturbing the roots of the plant.
2) Planting or Replanting : Ensure that only healthy plants are used for this purpose. Planting can be done on the preplanned layout decided while planning the vegetable garden. Similar plants can be planted in a row. For planting gardening equipments and tools can be used to space the plant and making the hole required for planting. Special consideration for space should be given for veining or creeping plants. Also ensure that the plants are not too crowded. The work does not finish with just planting. The plants require a lot of care and maintenance. Plants are just like kids who require the correct upbringing. Make sure your plants are not exposed to too much chemicals, sunlight,wind or water.Also be vigilant against pest and insects which may harm your plants. Use fertilizers and pesticides as recommended. Remove the weeds in your vegetable garden often.
Gardening Tips and Advice
- If you are a beginner think small. Isn't there a saying do not bite of more than you could chew.
- Take guidance and tips from those who have already been involved in vegetable gardening.
- Choose a location which receives at least 5 hours of sunlight in a day.
- Livestock manure and compost is a cheap option to chemical fertilizers.
- Procure quality seeds from nurseries or reputed seed companies.
- Ensure proper fencing and shade for plants.
- Rotation of vegetable plots is a good idea to replace the depleted nutrients.
Note: This Hub was written in response to a Forum post asking for advice on Vegetable Gardening. I am no expert or guide to the enjoyable activity of Gardening. So feel free to share your expertise and add more tips to make this article more useful to readers.
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© 2008 Anamika S
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