Vegetable gardening has many great values.It really is good excercise and great fun. It gets you out into the fresh air and sunshine which we all need and require and besides it provides you with healthy and tasty food. There is one drawback to all of this wonderfulness it does require hard work to achieve the final result.
It should be noted first that planning your vegetable gardening is the number one objective. It would be a rare happening to toss a few seeds into a garden patch and have a ready crop in a few months. You really should layout the size requirement of your plot,depending what you may plant,be sure to pick the proper location including sun and shade necessary for your vegetables. The soil should be prepared along with proper compost to insure a healthy happy home vegetable garden.
Fertilizing is required prior to the planting of any seeds in your vegetable gardening chores. It is also necessary during the growing of your crops. The type of fertilizer and how much to apply depends solely on the types of plants,the soil factor see You can get more information about the proper soil for your gardening
A word of caution should be interjected here about fertilizing. There are so many varieties available today that the directions should be closely followed in each and every case. One of the worst things you can do is over fertilize leading,using the wrong type,to killing the plant more often than if you had never applied any.
You may want to decide if organic methods should be used in your vegetable gardening or maybe you will want to rely on more modern procedures. Today it seems that the two ideologies have led to the inability to differentiate since tried and true organic methods have learned from modern science and modern science has seen the usefulness of combining natural ideas and procedures into producing the safest result.
The investigation of what to plant or sow is just as important as any scientific ideas to make it happen. Like your personal tastes in vegetables,or ease of growth and length of time to produce your end result. However a lot of this special interest is going to be dictated by your climate and soil rather than your personal preference for onions.
Vegetable gardening will bring rewarding results whether your plot is large or small. It is mostly the effort that you desire to provide that will have the final impact. This is simply an introduction into this home gardening and now I am going more specific on the techniques of pulling this off. and see home vegetable gardening for specific information on many vegetables
Vegetable Gardening Its Time For Preparation For Planting
Now maybe you have made the decision as to vegetables you are going to plant. There are still necessary ingredients to make your vegetable gardening successful. One of the most important is the soil you have chosen to plant your vegetable crop. It could well be that previous plantings have depleted the soil of necessary nutrients. The soil could also be compacted and will not absorb water in a particular good fashion. These are items that can be easily fixed with a few easy steps on your part.Specific vegetables are discussed at home vegetable gardening as to planting,growing and harvesting so just click here
I would immediately pay a visit to my local garden supplier and procure an inexpensive soil testing kit. These kits will give you a good indication on the nutrient levels,ph and other good information. You can also pay a visit to your local Extension Office to acquire more accurate results.
Your ph levels can be corrected with small amounts of sulfur or lime. Plants vary in their desire to have the soil either alkaline or slightly acidic. You will have to check the directions that arrived with your plant or seeds to determine this factor. Your local garden shop can also assist you if no indications are present with the plants or seeds. I do not recommend planting a garden beneath or near a pine tree, for example, because the falling needles add a small amount of acid to the earth. A medium level is best for your vegetable gardening such as a ph between 6.0-6.5.
As previously mentioned the compactness of your soil has everything to do with both water absorbtion and the ease of your plants to put down roots. You have to determine if you are working with clay,sandy, or sandy loam or a mixture of these which will determine how much tilling is required to loosen the soil. You can either rent a tiller or purchase one for this purpose.
This is all necessary for your vegetable gardening because the soil needs to be aerated just like your lawn to provide the proper amount of oxygen and the freedom required for your plants to spread their roots. This can not be emphasized enough that compact soil will make it difficult if not impossible for nutrients and water to flow and drain. The result of this is shallow roots and weak plants subject to disease and the ultimate failure of your beautiful garden.
Weed control right from the start is an important factor. See the discussion of what can be used for immediate control of weeds You might also want to consider a weed control fabric that makes it more difficult for weeds to appear in your garden. I might add here that neither method is full proof. You must follow the directions of the weed preventor and PULL all previously exisitng weeds it only PREVENTS weeds it does not kill existing weeds. THe fabric requires you to make holes in order to plant your vegetables and sometimes these holes produce weeds along with plants or weed seeds become imbedded in the fabric and start to grow. You will have to check,in either case, periodically for this occurrence.
It is the perfect time to attack bacteria and other evil things that could eat and destroy your plants. This would be a good spot to check out and see what insects could attack your brand new home garden You might also want to check and see what you can be done to prevent plant diseases or recognize symptoms for later observation in your garden The application of pesticides that are appropriate for your garden is very effective and should entail a wide enough range to assist in the prevention of potential pests. The same thing will apply for plant diseases once you have shoots large enough to treat and prevent plant diseases. A word of caution here should be noted as early application of some preventive plant disease formula could be harmful to your tender plants.
Vegetable Gardening And The Importance Of Water
Water is definitely the vital ingredient in the health of your vegetable gardening. Its use plays a vital role in the distribution of nutrients to your plants. It provides the necessary firmness and stiffness to the cell structure in your vegetable plants. This requires about an inch of water per week for most gardens. In a larger context,this can be calculated to be about 65 gallons per 100 square feet of garden over the course of a garden season. If the natural moisture does not provide this amount from April through September then you will need to provide the diffference.
The watering of vegetable plants is fortunately not as difficult as flowering plants. In moderate temperatures you can apply watering directly to the top without fear of wilting. There are,however, rules that do apply to both types of plants. It would be good to water early in the day this allows the leaves and the top layer of soil to become dry before the night time temperatures settle into your garden. You still have the problems with fungus and this method of watering will help prevent the fungus from gaining the upper hand.
You can accomplish the same thing with the use of drip irrigation. This method is employed especially in the dryer portions of our world and where water is expensive or maybe both conditions exist. Drip irrigation allows the water to be applied in a consistent manner. It also provides the advantage of slow application at the plant location and results in all the water being applied to the root area.
You can encounter problems with this method. The drip holes in your tubing are susceptible to clogging from small particles or salts present in your water. This is a good justification for providing a filtering system for your vegetable gardening. This can be done with relative inexpensive cartridge filters. Even with the use of this system you must think through and plan the use of this application. Nitrogen and organic fertilizers that are soluble can be adminstered through drip lines. There are still many phosphate fertilizers and organic fertilizers that require special application devices,which are available on the market to adminster this type of nitrogen to your drip lines.
The tried and true methods are still the best. This would be to fertilize the soil prior to even planting your vegetable plants. I can tell you that the definitely best fertilizer for vegetable crops is poultry manure. It completely meets the needs of nutritional requirements but must be applied in prudent amounts and the soil tilled about three weeks before planting. If you have acccess to a local farmer or even inquire at your local garden shop to obtain a supply of this vegetable fertilizer.
In summary of this important step don't plant more then you can irrigate efficiently with your exisiting water supply. Many people become so enthusiastic about their vegetable gardening that more is planted then can be attended to or eaten for that matter. A word also about the drip irrigation should be noted. The system must be operated in a frequent fashion in order to both maintain moisture and to stop the clogging of the small transmission holes. The rule to follow and one that I adhere to is to turn on the system for approximately an hour every two to three days. Of course during extreme dry spells more frequent use maybe required.
You can search the web for more information on irrigation equipment:
Vegetable Gardening With Raised Bed Gardens
I guess a real good reason for vegetable gardening via the raised bed method would be the reduction in soil compaction. Your plant roots always need air and with your ordinary gardening procedures it requires you stepping into the garden and compacting the soil wherever you step.A well designed raised bed garden allows all the work to be accomplished from the garden path ,stone or lawn.
You can easily space your plants a little closer to each other because you need not allow for places to step. There are exceptions to this rule. Tomato plants require room to spread even though you may have them contained by cages. I have found in 4x6 raised bed 6 tomato plants is sufficent allowing enough room for spreading branches and room to plant smaller plants among them.
The raised garden bed allows for excess moisture to drain away and enables the plant roots with the ability to breath. This is especially helpful in areas that have moisture laden soils like Florida and other southern areas. It maybe the sole method of growing some types of vegetable plants at all.
The soil conditions are kept well under control in this type of environment and the soil types can be modified from raised garden bed to raised garden bed depending on the requirements of the vegetable plants. Your water,fertilizer,mulch can be an easier chore to apply because they only need to be applied to the raised bed gardens and not the entire garden.
It has been noted by various reports that a raised garden bed results in 1.4 to 2 times as much product per square foot as your common gardening area. It makes your job easy to manage with less work and definitely with less diseases as those in the ordinary garden. It also results in more product than the ordinary garden.
LET'S TALK ABOUT CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR RAISED BED
The BEST raised garden is built within the walls of wooden sides and this is especially desirable if your soil content is heavy. I first prepared an area in a grassy section of my lawn by using cloth fabric to smother the grass after the sides of my raised garden bed was assembled with cedar or redwood. It is not adviseable to use treated wood because of the chemicals present in the wood. The dimensions should be kept to four foot wide and six foot long using a board that is at least 8 inches high to 10 inches. Why you might ask why so high? You know those critters like rabbits and squirrels are prevented from getting into the garden as long as you have the raised bed away from trees or hanging branches.
I would assemble the raised bed garden using lag screws which I will explain later. After the application of the cloth fabric, I added a medium fine stone over the fabric to a depth of about two to three inches allowing for excellent drainage into the earth beneath. I purchased forty pound bags of top soil from the local garden shop to the tune of about thirty to thirty five bags. You will actually have to be the judge of your depth. I know I made two trips because I did not have enough on the first attempt.
You also need to purchase some compost or other organic material to mix with your top soil. I would try to maintain one-third mixed with your top soil. However if a loam top soil is available you will require less organic matter. The soil must be dry when you mix it with the organic matter and if clumps in either the compost or soil exist they must be seperated and mixed evenly with the soil before putting them into the bed.
I mentioned previously the use of lag screws to assemble your raised bed garden. I personally see no reason for this procedure to be followed but some gardeners may want to disassemble their raised beds. The only reason I could think of for doing this maybe a redesign or a rearrange of your garden.
Now if you framed your raised bed with something other than what I discussed before like railroad ties,timbers,or landscape blocks you have an extreme amount of work to perform.
If you assembled it like I suggested then its a simple matter of detaching the lag screws and moving the sides to another location without damaging the wood by use of other methods of attachment.
You will have the problem of transporting all that top soil and stone to the next location. This could be a real tough job and back breaking. My advice is to look REAL HARD at where your original placement is going to be with the thought in mind of NEVER moving the raised beds.
It would be a good idea to have some kind of time watering system or even a dedicated hose in the area of your raised garden bed. I have a sprinkler that looks like a duck with a six foot pole attached and it spins projecting the water over several water beds postioned to catch the water. THe timer is set for 7am and shuts down at 9am providing two hours of a good soaking. You can also use a hose but you never know if you have really applied enough water to your beds. I do shut down the timer if there is rain predicted or wet and cloudy conditions exist for several days.
We have covered in another area of this site container gardening. The details are at container gardening and review another procedure for a small space vegetable garden
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