More garden and profit with less work and cost
What is the difference between great and amazing? In today’s world, it’s the ability to make money or at least save money. With a little bit of work, some strategic planning and a bit of imagination, you get an amazing garden that produces enough for you to eat and some extra produce to sell. So let’s get started.
First of all, you will want to mark off the area where your garden will be. Be exact. Plan where you will place what produce and how much you will plant.
There are seven important fundamentals to getting your amazing garden. These fundamentals are:
1. Upgrade your soil.
Make sure that your soil is in its best condition. Have it analyzed so you know what it needs to produce the best yield possible. Plan to add fertilizers or organic substance. The best source of organic substance will be barnyard manure. You can use goat manure, cow, horse or chicken manure . Check with local farmers who would be willing to supply you with the manure you need to upgrade and fortify your soil. As it goes, barnyard manure provides extra necessary moisture within the soil and promotes the development of the roots of your plants and seeds. In the summer time when you are planting your garden, you can mix in the manure with the soil, bedding or even straw or mulch before you plant or as you are planting. Be careful not to all the manure to come in direct contact with your plants as it will burn them. Making your own compost pile, a place where you discard your food garbage, leaves and straw, is also an excellent way to replenish the soil. This material, once it has decomposed, should be mixed into the soil, not too deep, and it will redeposit the nutrients necessary to make your soil richer.
The soil test mentioned at the beginning of the article will probably indicate to you exactly which of the three basic fertilizers you need to replenish. These three elements, nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash have a specific relationship with the soils ability to produce good food. Your commercial fertilizers can also be worked in to the organic materials and then mixed into the soil to maintain a balance from the start. Don’t forget that commercial fertilizer is a supplement only to the organic materials and should not be used alone in this instance.
Plants that are placed in richly fertilized gardens are known to grow faster and are much more superior to their counterparts grown only in commercially fertilized gardens.
2. Buy only plants and varieties of seeds that are suitable for the region in which you live
The best way to do this is to get seed catalogues and actually plan exactly what you want to plan. Start off by getting some seeds that can be planed early, like in February or March. These can often be planted inside and later transferred to your garden as actual plants instead of seeds. Most of the vegetable plants like warm weather to grow so don’t rush too much and plant outside too early. Once the seed has started to grow, if it is damaged by cold it will never be able to grow at a normal rate. So be careful.
When you are marking your garden rows, use a string to insure that the rows are straight. Make a shallow trench like line. This is best done with a how. Scatter your seeds as evenly as possible down the trench like row and then cover them with soil, you can use your foot or the back of the hoe to press down ever so gently. The soil should be firm but not packed on top of the seeds.
When your plants have reached the height of three inches or so, thin out any places where there are too many seeds grouped together so that the plants are not too crowded and unable to grow freely. You can even move them to areas where there are less then desired plants if you need too. Particularly with beets, carrots and even some greens, the plants grow large enough that the plants that are pulled in the thinning process can already be eaten so be mindful of wasting them.
3. Maintain your good work
Cultivating at least once a week is vital to your garden. You should at least once a week, using a hoe pass down the rows you have planted and remove weeds and debri, and loosen up the soil. Removing the weeds and debri allow sunlight, fresh air and rain to reach the plants and allows them to continue their growth with minimum interruption. Be careful not to disturb the roots of the plants as you are working around them. Once the plants have matured enough, you will be able to lay down a layer of mulch or bedding of straw between the rows and that will save time and energy weeding and cultivating your growing crops.
4. Garden insects
You will need to inspect your garden and its progress often by walking through the rows and checking the plants. You need to keep your eye out for various insects that may be eating or damaging either the plants or the produce its self. Read carefully what types of insects are common in your area and be prepared to either spray or dust in your garden to keep the pesky critters out of your food. Be careful when using chemicals by reading carefully how, when and how much to use in your garden. There are four basic types of critters that can affect your garden. They are:
a. Sucking insects which are aphids or lice that live on the plants. This is Type 1. These insects suck out the sap which is the “blood” of the plant. Contact insecticides are necessary for Type 1 insects as it basically suffocates them. A complete spraying of the plants, upper and lower leaves is important to kill them all.
b. Insects that eat the leaf of your plants. These are Type 2. This are usually beetles, slugs caterpillars or works that eat actual holes in the leaves and can actually kill your plant if left untreated. Type 2 is most effectively killed by using a spray or dusk that lays on the leaves and when eaten by the insects, mixes with their digestive juices and kills them. A through dusting or spraying of the leaves here is necessary as well.c. Blight and fungus make up Type 3. These are spots that appear on the leaves, a rust or mildew or a anthracnose fungus. These spores are present in the air and are best treated with a copper or sulphur fungicide. Even if you see that the fungas has gained a start, applying the fungicide will in most cases retard it or eliminate it completely.
d. Migratory insects as Type 4. These are grasshoppers, cutworks, sow bugs and aints or snails. They don't live directly on the plants but come in mostly at night and destroy your plants. They crawl and creep through rapidly, leaving little behind. Migratory insects are best dealt with by using poison baits or syrups that will act kind of like fly paper.
It has been noted that watering your garden probably harms the garden more then it helps in most cases. While water and moisture are absolutely necessary for the garden to grow and produce, overwatering can be fatal. A good rain every two weeks for the most part, in most areas of the country is sufficient to keep the garden moist. Sprinkling the garden with water is not good either, unless its been longer then 8 to 15 days since it rained. Try to allow nature to provide the water unless its absolutely necessary for you to help out with the garden hose.
Harvesting from your garden is important. You need to inspect your garden daily and pick only the vegetables and produce that are tender and ripe. You will also note that the size of your product will be slightly different from what you are accustomed to purchasing in the store. Smaller from the garden most of the time is better. The quality of what you pick will be tastier and fresh no matter the size if you watch it and pick it as it ripens. Always wait until you are ready to use the products you are going to pick. Picking it fresh makes the difference in how it cooks, feels and tastes. Fresh is always better.
7. Soil preparation
As soon as you have harvested the last of your gardens wares, plow or till up the soil again and plant rye. This will begin to grow before the winter sets in good and will grow again as spring comes around. When you are ready to plant your garden next season, plow or till up the rye by flipping it over, just under the surface. It will decompose and decay rapidly where it is left in the top soil and will provide natural, fresh plant food for the coming seasons garden.
Use your experiences this first time to plan out next years gardening season. Divide out your garden and plant something different this next time. Remember the things that did well and the things that did not do well. Try substitiuting things that didn't do so well for other things.
Most of all, enjoy gardening and eating the products that you have grown in your own garden!