Steps on How to Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden
The first thing that you need to determine is where you are going to put it. A garden will need an area that is exposed to a lot of sun and not near any large trees. The reason for this is that your plants will have competition for the nutrients in the soil. A good idea on garden size is to make it just twice as wide as the span of your arms. This ensures you can reach anything on your garden. Once you have determined where your garden will be, dig and turn the soil using a fork. After turning the soil over would be the best time to add compost and other organic matter. Do not add fresh manure if you are going to plant any time soon since fresh manure can burn seedlings. Also, you can add soil conditioner and fertilizer.
Now that the soil has been prepared, you can start planting your vegetables. Different seeds are planted differently so follow the directions printed at the back of the seedling packet. A special note, water the seeds right after planting. It’s best to water seeds/seedlings every day for the first few weeks or up until the time that they are established. From then on, you can give them a good soak a couple of times a week instead of a little water on a daily basis.
If you want your plants to grow to its best potential, you will have to actively do some weed control. Pulling out the weeds yourself will work but it is best to just prevent growth of weeds altogether by using mulch. Mulch will also help the soil hold more water.
No Dig Vegetable Garden
Not everyone has a lot of spare time in their hands. So, for those who do not have enough time but want to enjoy the pleasures of having their own vegetable garden, a no dig garden would be the perfect choice. Again, choose a site where you want to plant. If you are planting over your lawn, mow the grass very low. If planting on hard surface you will need to prepare it with some cushioning which could be in the form of soil or straw.
To start your no dig garden, you should lay down a few layers of newspapers up to a thickness of ½ a cm. When you have done this, start putting a border of 20 to 25cms in height to protect from weeds. Some good materials for making a border are bricks, rocks, or wood
After putting up your border, gather and put a layer of hay up to 10cm of thickness. Add 2cm of fertilizer or manure on top of the hay followed by a 15cm of loose straw, another 2cm of fertilizer/manure, and finally a 10cm layer of compost.
To finish your no dig garden, water it. Keep in mind not to overwater. When all this is done, you can start planting on your no dig garden.
Just keep in mind never to walk on your no dig garden so as not to make it compact. Also, do not put heavy materials over it.
Choosing the Right Vegetables to Plant
There are heaps of vegetables to choose from but choosing which vegetable to plant depends mostly on your preferences and the time of year. It would be best to check with your local nursery or gardening book to find out the most appropriate vegetables to plant during the season that you want to plant.
Benefits of Companion Planting
Companion planting means planting other helpful plants alongside your basic vegetables. It is practiced mainly to control pests and to ensure healthier plants. Planting herbs can help get rid of pests all the while providing you with access to herbs that you can use for your own cooking.
For example, basil is good with tomatoes and has pest-repellant properties. Horseradish is especially helpful when you have potatoes as it repels common pests that plague potatoes. Thyme can help in the control of cabbageworms and whitefly. It also helps attract pollinating insects. Chives help control mildew, green flies and aphids.