How to Make a Small Vegetable Garden at Home
Be Sure To Start Early
Well it's me again, Bubba Jasper bringing you a bit of info on how I build a small vegetable garden at home. If you have limited space as we do you'll want to use the area as efficiently as possible. The garden shown above is at my Mom's house and is about 16 feet by 20 feet and we have tomatoes, corn, okra, onions, habanero and jalapeno peppers growing in it. We made hills and rows in the garden to plant in. We started this garden from seeds (corn and onion) and with small plants (tomatoes, habaneros and jalapenos) and planted them on April 6, 2011. We actually planted the okra seeds on April 12, 2011. The okra seem to be coming in slowly for some reason. I don't think we've had enough really warm nights yet.
I do recommend starting early in the season to begin preparing your garden for planting. I actually had to work on our tiller by removing, cleaning and rebuilding the carburetor. Started on the first pull after cleaning it so I went immediately out to the garden area and tilled up the soil. Technically I like to add in some fertilizer to the soil at this point while tilling. We usually use Triple 12 which improves the nutrients in the soil and allows the plants to adjust to the shock of transplanting more easily. It also feeds the plants with additional nutrients which help them grow healthier and faster. It is some good stuff! That being said, we didn't use any this year and went ahead with planting our garden anyway which is perfectly fine to do. We have since added liquid plant food during watering a couple of times already which really helps the plants along.
I recommend planting the vegetables mentioned actually a little earlier than April, say probably the first week of March or earlier if you have warm weather by then. Please check with a gardening schedule for which plants to plant and when to plant them in your area. We got a little late start due to me being a little lazy working on our tiller but we will adapt and overcome!
Our garden is indeed growing and looking healthy. I might mention my Mom is the official overseer of this garden as it is at her house. She loves growing a garden and I am proud and happy to be helping her do this. Not to mention the delicious tomatoes and other veggies it will hopefully produce!
How WeTransplant Plants into the Garden
As I mentioned we made hills in our garden to transplant our plants in. These hills are approximately 4" to 6" 's high and are about 2 to 3 feet apart. The spacing allows room for each plant to grow. To plant the tomato plants for instance we dug into the center of each hill of soil about 4" 's down. Added a little water to the hole and dropped in the plant including the roots and soil from the small planter they were in. Seat the plant gently and fill in the hole with soil until your hill is back to its original size and move on to the next one. We laid out our plants individually alongside each hill and planted them one by one until we were finished. We laid them out in order to see how the garden would look before actually planting them. We also made 2 rows on the far side to plant the okra seeds in. The corn is at the foot of the garden in 2 rows as well. To plant the corn and okra we made a trench about an inch deep on top of each row with our fingers, dropped in the seeds and covered them with soil. Pretty simple really!
Additionally we wanted some potatoes and multiplying green onions but didn't have room in our garden so being country people we adapted and overcame. We planted them in large buckets and placed them on our patio. They are doing fine there and look great. Yes you too can grow any type of vegetables in buckets on your patio.
Watering and Caring for Your Garden
We water once a day, everyday! We water our garden every evening after the sun has gone down. This is very important as the sun heats the plants and surrounding soil throughout the day and watering while they are hot can kill your plants! Always water early morning or late evening to give your plants a better chance of survival. You've worked too hard up to this point to kill them by watering while they're hot.
No need to flood your garden, just water until the soil is fairly wet. Your garden will thank you by growing and producing some delicious vegetables for you! Be sure to periodically remove any weeds from your garden. Keep the soil loose surrounding the plants by hoeing and/or raking the dirt between each plant. This keeps air in the soil and allows for easier watering and plant growth.
If you decide to plant a vegetable garden at your home please stick with it. Don't be discouraged if your plants aren't growing as fast or healthy as you expected. You could have a great garden one year and a terrible garden the next. That's just how it goes sometimes.
You can check on the internet, your local nurseries, libraries, etc... for info on how, when and what vegetables to grow in your area so don't give up. I promise the rewards are worth every back breaking minute you will put in it!
So as not to disappoint my readers I will include a recipe for fried corn the way my Mom taught me to make it.
- 10 or more ears of fresh corn on the cob
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin by cutting and scraping the kernels of corn from each cob into a large bowl. Pour oil into a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in corn and stir. Add salt and pepper. Cook covered over medium to medium high heat, stirring occassionally until done to your liking. You can add a little water to the skillet while cooking to keep it from drying out.
I like to add a little real butter to the skillet when done. We serve this with fresh green onions and sliced fresh tomatoes. Great with lemon iced tea! Man I want some right now!
Food is good! Long live the farmer! Long live the chef! Long live the stove!