Food gardening is a growing trend in homes due to rising grocery store prices. Growing your vegetables is a great idea to ensure that you consume food that is as healthy and wholesome as possible, and at the same time easy on your pocket. However, starting a vegetable garden requires some guidance to ensure that your harvests are bountiful. Below are some top tips worth knowing for creating one.
Cover your beds to prolong your season
It’s no secret that adding some weeks to each growing season’s end can give you enough time to grow a succession crop like kale, leaf lettuce, or turnips. However, getting those extra production weeks requires keeping the air around your plants warm, even if the weather is cold. As such, consider mulches, row covers, cold frames, and cloches. A greenhouse is also an excellent idea to ensure that your plants receive enough warmth to grow. Therefore, invest in copolymer plastic, polyethylene, and other greenhouse plastic to cover your greenhouse’s roof and sides, giving your plants the right environment to flourish.
Since fertilizer is a known crop germination booster, it might be tempting to apply too much at a go. However, many gardening experts advise against using too much fertilizer since it may produce the exact opposite results. Excessive fertilizer like nitrogen may promote lush green growth over vegetable production, leading to a smaller harvest. It also harms your plants and the surrounding soil, stifling growth. Consequently, use as much organic compost as possible when nourishing your plants. Organic compost should constitute about 20% of your soil’s total makeup, so invest in giving your plants nutrients that will help them thrive naturally.
Be careful with pest control
Pests are a pesky problem you’ll likely encounter at some point in creating a vegetable garden. However, it would be best if you primarily relied on nature to take its course since very few of your garden’s insects are harmful pests. If you must use insecticides or pesticides, apply them responsibly to avoid ruining your entire vegetable garden. Responsible application here means using these pesticides later in the day or at night and only using them when necessary. It’s essential to apply these pesticides only in the evenings because pollinators and other beneficial insects are active in the morning, so you could kill them with these chemicals.
As an amateur vegetable gardener, you might be lost entirely regarding when and how frequently you should water your plants. If your beds are newly-seeded, they’ll
require frequent watering, so keep this in mind. On the other hand, many established crops need about one to two inches of water weekly. Therefore, irrigate your crops using soaker hoses and drip lines because they deliver water slowly, giving roots enough time for moisture absorption. You can also try mulching to reduce the frequency of irrigation and conserve water. Mulching also suppresses weed growth, so this way you’re getting more done in less time when creating your vegetable garden.