With the organic movement catching fire, everyone with a green thumb or not is trying to grow vegetables in their garden. Here are some of the basics you have to understand before planning the vegetable garden.
Determine your reasons
So you have made up your mind that you want to grow a vegetable garden. But before you get cracking with the planning, you also need to determine your reasons for doing so. It could be that you like exotic vegetables and the prices are forbidding. You could also be doing it so you can eat fresh and organic food. Whatever be your reason, it will help deciding what to plant.
Testing the soil
Before you start planning your garden, you need to check the drainage property of your soil. To do this you need to dig a foot wide and one foot deep hole and fill it with water. The amount of time it takes for the water to completely drain away will help calculate the drainage of the soil. If your soil is “sharply drained” chances are that it will get dry faster too and will require suitable compost. It will also mean that those plants that grow in such soil will be suitable for you too.
Selecting the plants
The plants that you select to plant in your garden will depend largely on the weather and soil conditions of your region. However, there are some things that you may like to keep in mind while making the selection. Plants like tomatoes and squash can be harvested throughout the season and so planting a few will suffice for your family. But plants like carrots, corn or radishes yield only once so you may have to plant more of them.
Determining the size
It is very important that you figure out how much area you are ready to give for vegetable cultivation. The cure and treatment of this soil will be very different than the rest of the garden. Also, the bigger the garden the more work it will require to maintain. If you have determined the size you are allocating, then the next question should be easy.
Different plants have different space requirements based on their growth pattern and the quantity you will be planting. There are some plants that can grow well in pots and containers while there are others that need to have their roots planted in soil for them to grow strong. It is better to start small than to take on more than you can handle.
Right place for everything
Each plant has a different requirement for water and sunlight. There are some that may flourish in direct sunlight while others that may perish. You need to find the right place for everything while planning the garden.
There are some plants that have seeds which can be used for growing the same plants next year round too. These are called open pollinated seeds. Those that are of hybrid variety cannot be grown similarly. Every time you need to purchase the seeds to grow them.
Selecting the layout
You can choose to grow the plants in any of the two layouts – row cropping or intensive cropping. If you have a large garden then planning the crops in rows will make using machines easier. However, for a smaller garden you can plan to plant intensively. It allows you to design your garden in a beautification way as well. You may have to pull out weeds manually.
Understanding the seasons
All the vegetables can definitely not be grown all year round. They follow the seasonal trends and as such have differing sewing and reaping patterns as well. Plan the cycles for your choice of vegetables so that your garden is in full bloom the whole year.
Not only is it important to know when to plant the seeds, but also when to harvest them. If you leave the picking too long it may become overripe and fall. If you pick it off too early it may not have matured fully. But if it looks good enough to eat you know that chances are it is. Now that you know how to plan your garden, think of the fresh produce at your behest twenty-four/seven and get started!