I had always envied the vegetable gardens created by my friends and relatives in their backyards till I did not know how to plant a vegetable garden. Recently, I have been romancing with nature, along with growing some nutritious vegetables for my family. I am sure; even you are looking out for such fun and useful activity. Trust me! Once you know some basics about vegetable garden plantation, it is very easy to create your own. Let’s get started.
Benefits Of Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden
- You can provide your family with organic, fresh and nutritious vegetables.
- The vegetables grown at home will cost you less than the ones you buy.
- You are helping to preserve the environment by reducing the transporting and warehousing aspects.
- Not only you, but your family too will be engaged in learning about nature.
- Your meals will be personalised and you will become more innovative.
- Your children will have a priceless memory for their whole life-time.
Which Vegetables To Plant In The Garden
In the beginning, you might get carried away by the idea of vegetable plantation at home and might end up doing things in excess. Well, let us be reasonable and start on a small scale. This will prevent us from wasting the food. Before planting, we should take into consideration how much quantity of vegetables our family consumes. Once you have known this, you can think over growing following vegetables:
Slicing tomatoes can be grown easily and are used in various food preparations like burgers, sandwiches, sauces etc. ‘Brandywine’, ‘Celebrity’ and ‘Better Boy’ are some popular varieties, which you can get from local nurseries or online.
Bell peppers are very popular among the sweet peppers grown at home. They can turn red, yellow, purple etc. on ripening. Hot and long growing season is the most preferable one for these peppers. Some of the most popular varieties are ‘Sweet Banana’, ‘Purple Beauty’ and ‘California Wonder’.
Hot peppers are very important taste imparters. One tree can yield a great number of peppers during a single growing season. You can grow any variety of your choice like cayenne, jalapenos, anchos, anaheims and habanero peppers.
Cucumbers can be easily grown. They can bear too much of heat. Cucumbers grow as vines and also on the bushes. They grow in a sufficient quantity to feed a family of four and still be shared with some friends. Cucumbers are widely used in salads. Cucumber seeds that are planted in late spring or after the last frost, give very good quality cucumbers.
Green peas are a must to enhance the color and texture of your platter. They require cold and moist weather to grow. ‘Dwarf Gray Sugar’ is a popular variety amongst the home-grown peas.
While talking about easily growing and nutritious vegetables, we cannot forget spinach. Spinach is a late summer crop and can be harvested in fall. ‘Olympia’ is a widely grown variety of spinach.
Basil is a herb and is very easy to grow. It complements tomato like no other herb does. It has a spicy and tangy taste and many medicinal properties. You can add basil to sauces, soups, salads etc. ‘Genoveses’, lime basil and Thai basil are some of the popular varieties grown.
Beans can be grown very easily. They are a perfect choice for the beginners. They germinate quickly and in large numbers. They are high on the nutrition quotient too. ‘Provider’ is a good variety to try.
Carrots of different colors can be grown. They are tolerant to frost and are resistant to many pests. ‘Bolero’, ‘Thumberline’ and ‘Nantesa Superior’ are some popular varieties of carrots.
You may find difficulty growing cabbage. Cabbage requires cold temperatures and is more prone to pest attacks. So, proper care is advisable. ‘Stone Head’, ‘Primo’ and ‘Golden Acre’ are some quick yielding varieties.
After knowing about some easy growing varieties, you’ll be curious to know how to have proper soil for your vegetables.
Soil Building And Important Tips:
- Soil is the most important factor in plantation, whether it is vegetables, flowers or any other plant species. So pay special attention on the quality of the soil. Soil should be rich in nutrients and deep.
- Raised beds can help in gaining more nutrients, as they provide deep layers of fertile soil. Raised beds reduce the weeding problems. They also help in faster growth of vegetables.
- Keep your raised beds rounded from top, rather than flat. This technique is very space-efficient.
- Arrangement of plants also plays a key role in the amount of yield. Instead of planting your vegetables in square or row patterns, plant them in triangle patterns. This will help you to utilize the space more efficiently. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you have to plant your vegetables very closely. This can negatively affect your plantations.
- Plant varieties like tomatoes, peas, melons, squash etc. which can grow vertical. Their maintenance and harvest is easy. They are not easily attacked by fungus.
- Compatible plantation is also a good technique. The vegetables support the growth of other vegetables in some way or the other. Some of the widely used combinations are corn, beans and squash; tomato, basil and onions; carrots, onions and radishes; lettuce and peas etc.
- You can grow more crops in your garden through succession planting. This technique lets you grow many types of vegetables in a single growing season like lettuce can be followed by corn, which can be followed by garlic or more green vegetables. Remember, every time you re-plant, you should replenish the soil with some compost.
- You can alter the temperature for your plantations by using blankets, mulches, cold-frames, cloches, row covers, black plastic etc. This will render you some extra weeks of production for your plantations.
Stop Diseases And Pests
- Water should be poured in the soil and not over the leaves. This will prevent fungal attack. If still your plant gets infested with fungus, throw it away to save other plants.
- You can remove large insects and caterpillars manually, by picking with hands. For protection from tiny insects, use row-covers.
- Use fences to protect your plants from rabbit, deer and other animals.
- Control insects and bugs using insecticidal sprays. Make sure they are not harmful, in terms of consumption.
These were some basic tips for the beginners. I hope you will find these useful and be successful in your new adventure. After all, nothing tastes better than the vegetables grown and nurtured by one’s own efforts. Best wishes for planting your own vegetable garden. Please write to us about your experiences and useful tips. Together we shall create a green and healthy society.