Living a self-sustaining life is a bit complicated but we all have to start somewhere. These days, many homeowners are growing plants and vegetables in their backyards. As daunting a task as this may seem, planting and harvesting your vegetables is simpler than what you’d normally expect.
Even those without a green thumb can expect a good harvest with these beginner gardening tips.
Picking The Perfect Location
The most important step in planting vegetables is the very first one. Picking the right location for your vegetable seeds is important as there are factors that will affect their growth.
For maximised growing potential, your vegetables should at least get at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage and spinach need less time under the sun. The location matters because you’d want to make sure that your vegetables get enough sunlight.
Too much sunlight is also bad as the heat can dry out some plants. A good way to control the amount of sunlight they get is by setting up a retractable shade nearby so that you can cover them once they get their daily dose of sunlight.
Another reason to pick the location well is that the soil must be good enough for the vegetables. A good pH level for plants is around 6.5. A soil test kit is a good tool to have and is available at Mazzega’s Landscaping Supplies.
Conditioning Your Soil
As we’ve said, your soil’s acidity level or pH level heavily matters. There are a lot of ways you can balance it out such as by using certain stones around the area.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always use loam soil for planting as it is both soft and water-absorbent. Even before you plant your vegetables, you can begin putting fertiliser on them in preparation. If possible, go for organic fertilisers that are made with chemicals that can throw off the soil’s acidity.
Last but not least – don’t forget to aerate your soil. Like humans, plants need air too. Aeration is the process of making several holes around your plant so that oxygen can get to the roots.
There are garden tools that help make aeration easier. However, you can do it manually using any pole around your house. Aeration holes need to be 25mm to 150mm deep for them to become fully effective.
If your soil is not in as good a condition as you’d want it to be, you can top them up with soil mixes from Mazzega’s Landscaping Supplies.
Since you aim to get a bounty of veggies, you should consider their organic veggie and flower mix. Aside from having the right consistency, this mix is also packed with nutrients for your future veggies. As a bonus, these are also good for flowers such as roses and azaleas.
Alternatively, you can also try their organic veggie and mushroom mix.
Picking the Perfect Timing
Timing matters when it comes to vegetable planting as well.
The answer to when the perfect time is the time when your soil is prime for planting. It is a lot more crucial to condition your soil’s acidity and fertility rather than the season. If it becomes too hot, you can always water your plants more.
Preparing The Basic Tools
Working on any type of garden with your bare hands is a bad idea. You’ll need to be equipped with the appropriate tools first. Here is the basic set of tools every gardener should have:
● Hoe – Used for weeding, covering seeds, and organizing the soil.
● Shovel – Used to dig around the location. Can also be used to add organic matter or any fertiliser to the soil.
● Watering can/hose – Used to evenly distribute water for your crops.
● Rake – Used for preparing the seedbed and for breaking up clumps of soil.
● Trowel – Makes transplanting easier but can also be used to break up the soil around plants.
● Labels – Helps you stay organized if you are planting various types of crops at a time.
Which Vegetables To Grow First
It can be quite tempting to plant your favourite vegetables but keep in mind that some are harder to care for. If you are a beginner when it comes to vegetable growing, you might want to go for the ones that require less maintenance.
Some easy vegetables to grow include peas, radishes, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and kale just to name a few. As you become more experienced, you should then expand with other more complex vegetables.
Starting your vegetable garden seems like a complex task at first. Once you get through the initial hurdles of being a vegetable farmer, it will feel like second nature to you. Nothing beats having fresh vegetables taken straight from your farm so it’s worth giving this venture a shot.