How to start a vegetable garden?
“This cabbage, these carrots, these potatoes, these onions … will soon become me. Such a tasty fact!” – Mike Garofalo
The National Gardening Association’s 2014 statistics show that 35% of all households in America are now growing food at home or in a community garden. This figure has increased by 17% in five years. Additionally, the number of people growing their vegetables in community gardens has risen by more than 200% between 2008 and 2014.
Furthermore, the importance of growing your vegetables is highlighted by the rising costs of purchased vegetables as well as the added health benefits of eating fresh vegetables straight from the garden instead of buying vegetables from the shop. Commercially-grown vegetables are often treated with chemicals to enhance their shelf-life as well as to prevent insects from attacking the crops of vegetables. On the other hand, you can grow your own organic food if you have a vegetable garden.
Therefore, the question that begs is, how do you start a vegetable garden?
Guide to growing your own vegetables
For the uninitiated, including myself, here is a simple step-by-step guide to starting a vegetable garden.
It’s important for the vegetable garden to be in a sunny location as vegetables need at least six hours of sunlight per day to grow properly. Essentially, the more sun the plants receive, the better the plants grow, the greater the harvest, and the better the taste.
Part of your search for the right location is to ensure that there is adequate drainage. The plants roots will rot if water collects in the garden and does not drain away. Moreover, it’s important that the water does not drain away too quickly; otherwise the plants will dry out.
Preparing the ground
Soil preparation is a vital part of growing your vegetables. Healthy soil equates to healthy vegetables. If the area where you want to create a vegetable garden is grassed over, the first thing to do is to cut the grass very short with a lawn mower such as our robotic lawn mower. As an aside, the advantage of a robot mower is that all you need to do is to instruct it where to mow and the job will get done without manual labour on your part.
Mark off the size of the garden. It’s not a good idea to have a garden that is too big. It is not easy to manage a plot that is too big. However, if your garden is too small, you won’t be able to grow enough to feed your family.
The next step is to dig out the grass and add organic compost to the soil to create a nice loamy soil. This will help with the drainage as well as provide nutrients for the vegetable plants to grow. The only exception to the addition of compost is if you are growing root vegetables such as carrots. Too much fertiliser causes the carrots to grow too many small side roots.
Once the ground has been prepared correctly, the final step is to plant different vegetable crops according to the seasons that they grow in.