These 5 Tips Will Make A Difference To Your Garden!
A decision on how to go about planting a vegetable garden needs not be a complex process. There are simple steps that can be easily followed to make the process works highly in your favor.
When we decide to do this the organic way then the process is even simpler not to mention much safer. For example if we decide to taste some of our lettuce in the our garden we don’t have to worry about how long ago it was sprayed, our kids can walk around with us worrying about them getting poisoned.
Doug Scott has shared some useful information in the article below which I hope you will enjoy.
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5 Secrets to Success for the Beginner Vegetable Gardener
More and more people these days are stepping into the wild world of growing food at home. There are all kinds of reasons why, from being more health-conscious to wanting to live a greener lifestyle. Personally, I want to have easier access to healthier, fresher veggies while helping our daughters gain a better understanding of where real food comes from and what real food looks like…
That way, once they start making their own food decisions they’ll be more likely to make better, healthier decisions- at least that’s our hope. Regardless of why you’re looking to have a veggie garden at home, here are a few basic tips to get you started.
Tip #1: It’s all about Location, Location, Location!
You really only need three things to have a fruitful harvest: good soil, plenty of water, and sun- and lots of it. If you have a spot that has all three, that’s where you should put your vegetable garden. Done! However, most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have all three, and if you don’t, you’ll really struggle trying to squeeze blood from the proverbial turnip- let alone grow said turnip. Believe me, I speak from experience… the bad kind!
Tip #2: Have Hope (Even Without the Perfect Spot)
The good news is this: you can very easily do some things that will get you where you need to be, even if you aren’t blessed with the idea gardening plot. You still have options.
If you don’t have good soil, use raised beds or simply till up what you have and amend it with some good organic matter and nutrients. Growing A Greener World has a great post about soil prep.
If you live in an arid part of the country or don’t have easy access to water, install irrigation, buy a longer hose, or find a watering pail. It’s really that simple.
The more sun you have, the more veggies you’ll grow. The biggest challenge is finding a spot with full sun, and essentially 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. If you don’t have that, try one of the following instead:
- Choose Shade-Friendly Vegetables: If you don’t have a spot that gets full sun, accept it and be okay with not growing cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers or squash. There are still a number of vegetables that grow well in some degree of shade (hint: think root vegetables and your leafy greens).
- Try Container Gardening: Although growing veggies in containers doesn’t paint the same bucolic picture as rows and rows of vegetables, you still get a successful and fulfilling gardening experience. Since containers are portable, you can seek out a small spot wherever the sun might be, like a patio, deck, or even driveway. Quite a few vegetables grow well in containers, such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs, and leafy greens. But since containers dry out more easily, make sure to keep them well-watered.
- Consider a Community Garden: A community garden isn’t as convenient as a home garden but if you don’t have much sun at home and you really want to grow your own food in the ground, consider going to a neighborhood plot instead. Not only will you be able to grow your own food, you’ll build rich community along the way. And while building community, you’ll likely learn some great gardening tips from those gardening around you. Bonus! The American Community Gardening Association has a great website on all things community gardening. It’s full of great resources and even has a community garden finder to help you locate a community garden near you.
Tip #3: Go For Easy Access
You’ll visit your veggie garden fairly often (checking on things, gathering your bountiful harvest, etc.) and you’ll want easy access to your home, tools, and supplies. Having gardening essentials at your fingertips will make your personal farm-to-table experience much more enjoyable, and therefore more sustainable. Otherwise, not only will all the back-and-forth make your efforts unnecessarily tiresome, but will make it much more likely that you won’t do what you need to do, when you need to do it.
Tip #4: Combine Form & Function
With the right design, your veggie garden can both be functional- providing you a healthy food source for your family- and add great architectural interest and beauty to your outdoor spaces. Ours is one of the most enjoyable places to hang out in our backyard, and that’s because we were very intentional about its design, flow with the rest of our backyard, and the surrounding plant material.
If you are worried that your veggie garden will look too out-of-control when in-season, or like a barren wasteland when out-of-season, resist the urge to hide it out of sight. Not only will it go against my point about easy access (Tip #3 above), but there are easy ways to make it more attractive:
- Put a small picket fence around your garden… with a flowering or edible vine cascading over it.
- Accent or line your veggie garden with evergreen shrubs, like small boxwoods.
- Plant flowers among your veggies. Not only will they provide great pops of color, they’ll attract the much-needed pollinators to your garden and provide great cut flowers to bring inside. We typically have a mix of marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers, and black-eyed Susans in our veggie garden.
- Add a rustic bench or small seating area as an interesting focal point.
- Add a fun scarecrow……
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