Developing a vegetable garden for the first time is rather simple if you follow some basic steps. The information below will lead you through a few of the simple procedures of vegetable gardening so that you can have a successful experience.
It might be surprising to many, but there are several benefits of having a home vegetable garden.
BENEFITS OF GARDENING
- Physical Exercise
- Save On Your Food Bill
- Better Nutrition
- Tension Reliever
- Personal Recognition
VEGETABLE GARDEN DEVELOPMENT - STEP BY STEP
- Your garden site should offer at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
- Avoid placing your garden in a low spot in your landscape.
- Locate your garden away from buildings and trees.
- Your garden soil should have lots of organic matter content.
- Avoid areas of heavy clay content if possible.
- Amend your garden soil with organic matter each year.
- Have your garden site tested every two years.
- Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office for test kit
- Add lime as indicated with the soil test.
- Best time to lime is November/December if possible.
- Add garden fertilizer in April with the amount indicated by the soil test.
SEEDING AND TRANSPLANTS
- You can grow quality transplants indoors with proper temperature and light.
- Keep the temperature 70-75 degrees
- Use a commercial grow light or make your own from a shop light.
- Use new seed unless you have heirloom varieties
- Soil should be moist but not wet at seeding time.
- Create a furrow or hole to drop seed in.
- Cover seed and firm the soil.
- Vegetable gardens should receive at least 1 inch of water per week.
- Don't water over top of the plants.
- Avoid watering in the evening.
- Use of soaker hoses or trickle irrigation is highly recommended.
- Mulch to control weeds, retain soil moisture and make harvesting easier.
- Best material to mulch with is clean straw or even newspapers.
- Use of plastic mulch is questionable due to environmental concerns.
- Fertilize according to soil test recommendations
- 15 pounds per 10000 square feet is a general recommendation.
- Additional side dressing is necessary for several fruits and vegetables.
- The use of chemical weed controls is NOT recommended.
- Use clean mulch or hand weed to prevent weeds.
- Don't let weeds go to seed.
- Harvest when fruits and vegetables are ripe.
- Avoid over ripe fruits and vegetables like beans, corn, cauliflower, cucumbers and squash.