Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden

Start a vegetable gardenThere is nothing like eating fresh vegetables in a salad, cooked on a grill, or baked in an oven. It adds a wonderful flavour to your most prized meal creations. Being self-sufficient and walking out to your garden for your vegetables when cooking a meal is convenient, safe from pesticides, and inexpensive.

As the living costs continue to increase and salaries remain the same or decrease through downsizing and pay cuts, growing your own food becomes an economical means of surviving in a struggling economy. Growing your own vegetables is not only cost-effective, but its health benefits strongly outweigh other options. Best of all, you don’t need a large space to create your own vegetable garden.

With a few simple vegetable garden tips, you can be well on your way to self-sufficiency.

Plan Before You Plant
Creating your own garden and growing your own vegetables takes some planning. It is not as easy as throwing some seeds onto the soil and expecting to have ravishing vegetables flood your dining table from your garden.
A healthy and flourishing vegetable garden requires some planning.

First, you need to decide on where you want to place your garden. Your garden should be placed in an area that will receive a lot of sunlight, as vegetables require a lot of sun to grow. The minimum sunlight that growing vegetables must receive is between six to eight hours each day.

Second, you need to decide what type of vegetables you want to grow in your garden. If your neighbours have vegetable gardens, you can inquire with them on what grows best in your climate and area, or you can visit your local gardening shop for expert advice.
Some vegetables that grow well in a variety of climates are tomatoes, corn, melons, and peppers.

When planting your vegetables, ensure that the larger size vegetables are planted near the exterior of the garden, as not to shade the smaller varieties. Tall vegetable plants, such as corn and beans should be planted near the back edges of the garden.
Spreading vegetable plants such as melons should be given enough room to grow and produce.

High Quality Soil
A healthy garden will also need high quality soil that is rich in nutrients. Drainage of water from the soil is also important, as well as superior organic material to safely nourish your growing vegetables.

Once you plant your vegetable seeds, you can easily check your soil to see if it is at the proper consistency. When placing your soil in your hands, if it crumbles quickly, then that means your soil needs to be watered more often, as it is probably sandy and not able to hold on to water for a long period of time. If your soil balls up in your hands and does not crumble, you probably have a clay type of soil. This type of soil has inadequate water drainage, which can lead to the rotting of your vegetables.
Peat moss and a little sand need to be added to this type of soil to increase its proper drainage. If your soil stays in a ball then crumbles in your hands, you have the perfect soil structure and will need little monitoring.

There is no need to be concerned if your garden soil is not perfect. It is a work in progress that with proper care can be very fertile for your vegetables. Mostly any type of soil can be brought to a high quality consistency.
Mixing compost or properly aged manure into your gardens soil is a great way to improve its nutrients and structure. Another great process is mixing organic material into your garden soil once every year to keep it healthy by restoring nutrients that were used up growing vegetables.

Water is Essential
Without water, nothing can grow and flourish. Watering your garden is an important process in maintaining a healthy vegetable garden. Two common ways to water your garden is with a soaker hose or flood irrigation system. Soaker hoses can be placed besides the base of your vegetable plants. This placement allows water to reach the roots of the growing vegetables. Another benefit of using a soaker hose is that it conserves water.

If you choose to use a flood irrigation system, you will need to ensure that you have furrows, which are approximately four to six inches in depth placed between each row of vegetables. You can then place a regular garden hose at the top of furrow, allowing the water to flow downward in the furrow. This system will allow root watering of your vegetables, which will prevent your vegetables from rotting. The one downside to this type of water system is that it causes more weed growth near the furrows; however, laying a weed barrier fabric along the sides of the furrow can control it. The weed barrier will still allow water to penetrate to the roots of the vegetables, while at the same time controlling weed growth.

Although there is some planning that needs to be done prior to starting your own vegetable garden, it doesn’t compare to the many benefits. Once you start seeing your vegetables grow and you enjoy preparing and eating your vegetables, you will soon feel a sense of accomplishment. As you continue the process, it won’t take long for you to become a proficient vegetable gardener!