Tips and Advice to Help You Succeed
Vegetable gardens can be a wonderful place to relax, enjoy some sun, and maybe get a little exercise. Do not be intimidated if you’ve never planted a vegetable garden before. Vegetables are easy to grow, especially if you follow these steps for first-timers.
First, choose a location in full sun for your garden, which means six or more hours of direct sun in the summer. Fruiting vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes need the sun’s energy to grow. If you don’t have this much sunlight, try to grow only leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach.
Your location also needs soil that is well-drained. If water sits in the soil for too long after rains, the roots will not be able to breath. If grass or most weeds grow well, the soil is probably well drained. If you’re not sure, you can dig a small hole, fill it with water, and measure with a ruler how far the water level drops. Slower than one inch per hour is too slow. If this is an issue, build raised beds or choose a different location.
A good tip is to start small. Too much garden may start to feel like work. A ten by ten-foot plot of land can raise plenty of vegetables. You can increase the size of your garden with your experience and enthusiasm.
Fencing your garden is usually a necessity. Besides keeping out rabbits and other hungry animals, a fence can define your garden visually. Poultry netting is effective and inexpensive. Bend the bottom foot of fencing to the outside of the garden to lay right on top of the ground to keep animals from burrowing under your fence. A two- or three-foot-high fence should be adequate unless deer are a threat, in which case you will need a fence that is five or more feet high.
Your garden doesn’t have to stand alone in the landscape. Pickets and arbors with climbing vegetables can add character and beauty to your garden. Also, you can soften the fence line with the planting of shrubs, even tying it into your landscape. Your garden can look great at the same time of serving its purpose.
There are also great ways to get more from your garden with limited space. Instead of planting in rows, plant in wide, three to four feet beds. Also, let vegetables grow up instead of on the ground. Peas, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes all can be trained to grow up poles, trellises, or fences. Anther tip is to use time to your advantage, by planting vegetables that start late after the ones that finish early.
The last tip you need to follow is the maintenance. Pay attention to watering and fertilizing. Fertilizers can be used, but the best tip is to use organic fertilizers, such as compost. This will give the vegetables nutrients and benefit the microbes in the soil – that chemical fertilizers can have a negative impact on. Also, weed regularly and frequently. Weeds compete with the nutrients that your vegetables need and are easier to kill when they are small and haven’t spread too many seeds.
For future success of your garden, clean up old plants when they are finished or at the end of the season. Also, move plants around the garden so that they only grow in the same place every three years.
There you go. These are some useful tips to follow if you are thinking about starting a vegetable garden. So, grab a shovel and enjoy a beautiful vegetable garden this summer!
Source: Los Angeles Wood and Composite Decks Construction – Danny Deck Inc., CA.