Growing Vegetables in a Small Garden
Many vegetables are ideally grown from seed. Vegetables like okra, peas, beans and carrots send out tap roots and should be planted into the soil while others can be started indoors and transplanted in the garden later.
In fact, if you start warm weather veggies such as peppers, tomatoes and squash indoors, you’re likely to enjoy a higher yield.
Growing Vegetables from Seed
Seeds are cheaper and more plentiful than transplants grown in containers.. Sow about double the amount of seeds you think you may need to, since some seeds don’t make it. Store the rest in the sealed packet and place it inside a dark, cool cupboard. To increase the chances of seed productivity in future seasons, you can store the packet of seeds inside a fresh food bag.
You can avoid many diseases and pests from ruining your garden by using seeds rather than bought plants which can come with a host of problems such as slugs, weeds, root rot and oxalis. Besides, you’ll have less unsterilized soil and plant material in your garden and will find it easier to go organic and sustain your garden.
You can get seeds to germinate in any sort of container including take away food containers, trays,bins and even egg containers. Use a good soil germinating mix and keep it moist, not wet as too much water leads to illnesses and rot. Once you put in the seeds, cover the container with some sort of lid, wax paper or plastic sheet to retain moisture. Keep the containers in a warm place like on top of the fridge.
Once the seedlings show up, remove the cover and place the containers in a warm, sunlit place. The soil should be moist, not wet and you should avoid making the leaves wet as this encourages rot. To prevent plants from growing crooked as they lean towards the light, keep rotating the container every couple of days.
When the seedlings have two sets of leaves each, transfer them into separate pots and use a half-strength water-soluble manure. Keep them in a bright place until it’s warm enough outside to transplant them into your garden.
Place them according to instructions on the seed packet. Just make sure that you
Placing and Spacing Plants
Gardeners have different ideas about placing. Some like to cram the plants together, but plants need their space and being packed together encourages fungus and weak growth. Plant vegetables in rows and leave enough space in between them for you to walk and tend them.
Growing Nursery Plants
If you’re planting plants bought from a nursery, chose spots at the north side of the garden for the taller plants. This way, they won’t cut the light required by the shorter plants.
Choose a cloudy, drizzly day for planting to give your plants a head start.
It’s important to remove all the fruits and flowers from these plants since they need to adapt to their new location and fruits and flowers will only take up the energy they need for that.
Before planting, get the pit ready and make sure the soil is loose. Soak the root ball in a bucket of water and if there are any circling roots, remove these gently so that the roots get enough air and nutrient circulation. Plant at the same depth as before.
Watering Your Vegetable Plants
Water thoroughly. Soak the soil after you plant. Unless it’s raining or drizzling, you may have to water every day for a week in dry, hot weather.
In cool weather, you may not need to water every day at all. Check the soil for moistness or hardness.
Or you may want to call it interplanting. You can plant corn, beans and squash together as their root systems are compatible and they grow well together. Plants shouldn’t have to fight each other for resources.
Another method that ensures a good harvest is succession – after one crop has yielded, plant another, instead of the same one.
For example, once you begin to harvest the onions which are sowed in late spring, you can sow okra seeds in the holes left by the pulled out onions. Make sure that the remaining onions don’t shadow the okra. By the time you have harvested all the onions, the okra plants are established.
When the okra begins to bear flowers and fruit in late summer, you can sow mustard greens and lettuce beneath the plants. You’ll have fresh greens throughout the winter. In this way you can grow a variety of crops in your garden every year.
Enjoy Fresh Veggies Through the Year From Your Garden
To ensure veggies throughout the year, avoid sowing a whole packet of seeds at one go, especially when they are veggies that can give you more than you need such as bush beans, tomatoes, zucchini and cauliflower. Instead, sow them three weeks apart.
Dwarf Varieties in Containers
You can grow dwarf cucumbers, bush beans and tomatoes in containers on the rooftop or the balcony since these smaller varieties need less space in which to grow.