Grow Your Own Vegetables (Part 01) - Introduction to Home Gardening and Preparing the Land
Introduction to home gardening...
Ever wondered cutting down on monthly grocery bills on buying vegetables that are not that difficult to be grown at home? Well don't keep wondering, just get to it. Farming and cultivation is in our genes, it is as easy as learning ABCD.
Not only you can cut down on grocery expenses, but also home grown vegetables are more safer to consume, meaning we know how the vegetables came into our plates in and out. Home grown vegetables are far more fresher than any you can buy at a grocery store. Also minimal or no use of pesticides and insecticides makes our home grown vegetables far more healthier to consume.
This article will guide you through the process growing some essential vegetables in your own home garden.
You need to specify a land area for the vegetable cultivation. There is no requirement as to what size of a plot you should select. It will solely depend on what you plan to grow and how much of work you can handle. If you are rather a busy person a 20 by 20 feet plot of land would suffice. If you have more free time to dispense, you can extend the plot of land up to a size you think you can manage.
If you don't have a backyard or enough ground to grow vegetables, don't turn away. You still can grow the essential vegetables in vegetable pots. They are neat and easy to move around as well. They are very cheaply available, and I will post some links to help you choose.
You can use these planter boxes to grow your vegetables in...
Preparing the land can be a tedious work if you don't have the necessary tools.
For tough earth
For digging the earth you need a pick of some sort that has a flat end to loosen the soil and a pointy end to penetrate the soil. If you think a pick is difficult to handle, you can always go for a garden Hoe, specially for tall people.
For loose earth
If the land is not so tough to break, all you will need is a spading fork to do the digging and drilling.
Handheld tools for gardening
Also a handheld trowel would come in handy for small diggings and planting small vegetable plants. And for the reaping of the harvest you will need a trimmer or a scissor would serve just as fine. It just needs to be sharp to make a clean cut and not damage the plant.
You may or may not need a shovel based on the type of cultivation you are doing. But if you are using planter boxes, you will only need a trowel to dig some soil and fill in the boxes and for putting fertilizer to the pots.
Gardening tools to make the job much easier...
Having the right tools is essential to get the job done easily. Otherwise you will be tired, exhausted and frustrated easily and will give up on gardening altogether. Anyway if you have these tools, there is absolutely no need to buy them again.
Testing your soil for nutrients for the plants to grow better is important. There are several nutrients that the land should have in order for the plant to grow healthy, specially nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. You need to check the availability of these, or even if they are not present, we can add them manually as manure and fertilizer.
Watch this video to learn how to test your soil using the Soil Testing card...
Buy this Rapitest pH Soil Tester...
Weeds and Insects...
Weeds is something you must focus on when preparing land and also after plantation. The worst thing about weeds is that they absorb all the nutrients in the soil and will make the land barren. Also they spread like fire and could overgrow you vegetable plants. So weed controlling is critical.
Small grass plants can be uprooted by hand or using the hand trowel. The essential thing is to dig out the plants with it's roots. Roots usually go deep in small weed plants and should be uprooted from the roots (not the stem) to prevent them growing back.
One efficient tool for this is the garden weeder that makes the weeding task much easier and gets the job done perfectly.
Controlling insects is the next critical aspect of home gardening. Insects can damage your plant sucking out the nutrients from the stems, leaves, roots and eating out the flowers and harvest. Once insects set in, it is very hard to control them without pesticides .
Different plants can bear different amounts of pesticides or the plant will wither and die. So it is advised to consult a professional on what types of pesticides can be used on different types of plants and in what quantities.
I highly recommend you use natural pesticides as much as possible to maintain the healthiness of your home grown vegetables. There will be not much difference between supermarket vegetables and yours, if you have to use a lot of pesticides on your vegetables.
Read this article on using natural ways to eliminate pests on your vegetable garden.
Tips on preparing the land...
- First of all you must determine an appropriate land area for the cultivation.
- Then you must get rid of all small and big weeds, removing them from their roots itself.
- You can burn the weeds you plucked out over the land area itself, it will add nutrients to the soil and also will kill any pests.
- Dig the soil and break the soil and make it soft so the new plants can grow roots easily.
- Rake the land and remove any stones, rocks and other unwanted things, small and large.
- If the land lacks nutrients, use compost fertilizer. Mix compost fertilizer with the soil and leave it for a couple of days before you begin planting the seeds.
If you don't have access to compost at home...
Preparing the land properly is probably one of the most critical steps to a successful vegetable garden. A barren land or a land with too much stones and non decomposing items may make it very difficult to grow plants and even if they grow, they may not bear a harvest. So put some effort into preparing the land area properly. This is why it is important for you to choose a plot of land that is manageable for you. A fertile and soft land will ease the plant growth and increase the harvest and will reduce the need to use fertilizer or pesticides on plants and make them even more healthier.
So that is pretty much about it for preparing the land for vegetable gardening at home. If you have any questions or any tips to help others please feel free to leave a comment below.