Why plant a vegetable garden? The best reason to plant a vegetable garden is that it will supply you with fresh vegetables at little expense. Through canning and quick freezing methods, you will be able to enjoy your produce all year long and through the cold months of winter.
Size of Your Vegetable Garden
The size of your garden will depend on the space you have available, the time you will have to main-tain your garden and the amount of produce that you would like to harvest throughout the season. Do you want a supply of vegetables for the entire year or just enough to enjoy during the summer and fall growing season?
In small gardens, tomatoes are always a necessity. They have so very many uses. With limited space carrots, green beans, onions and peppers are good choices. Where larger areas are available you can include sweet corn, cucumbers and cabbage. If you have only a few favorite vegetables, dedicate your space to them and you will be able to can or freeze them for your enjoyment during long winter months.
Location and Preparation of the Vegetable Garden
A sunny well-drained area is the ideal place to plant a back yard vegetable garden. When you have selected the spot, remove all debris, stones, weeds, and undesirable growth. Make sure the area is free of tree roots, which will interfere with the growth of your garden.
To prepare the soil, start by digging to a depth of 8 to 12 inches, breaking up large clumps. Then thoroughly mix in a bag of prepared fertilizer containing nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potash.
Planting and Caring For the Vegetable Garden
Several days after adding the fertilizer to the soil, you are ready to start planting your seeds. Choose good hy-brid seeds and carefully read and follow the directions on the package. Make sure to plant seeds in straight even rows. Use a line to mark each row and a measuring stick to place the distance between each row. Use the handle of evenly and cover with soil. Then tap down lightly.
Cultivation around plants controls weeds and should be done as soon as they break through the soil. Shallow cultivation is more effective at first to protect the delicate root systems. Watering your vegetable garden to a depth of 5 to 6 inches each week is the correct course when rain fall is not excessive. Mulching the garden with dead leaves, grass clippings or straw controls weeds and moisture.
Keep close watch on your vegetable garden for any insects attacking the plants and for any diseases or fungi appearing on the leaves. It is probably wise for new gardeners to visit a garden center and ask for advice to handle these problems.
With a little perseverance and effort, you can have a steady supply of tasty vegetables grown in your own garden.