Growing organic vegetables can take some hard work but it is a lot of fun and is very rewarding. When that plant finally yields its produce and you are able to go out and pick your cucumber and tomatoes and lettuce and make your own salad it is very satisfying indeed. And in today’s climate of having little to no money for groceries, especially the more expensive fresh rather than canned foods, growing a organic vegetable garden is cost effective too. You do not have to be an expert gardener to grow vegetables but there are some useful tips on growing a organic vegetable garden that can help get you going.
Outdoor or containers
You have two ways of growing your vegetables either outdoors or in containers. Whichever you opt for both need to be located where there is lots of sun. Therefore of outdoors you have a lot of trees putting your garden into shade then you need to do some trimming. If you choose containers then if they are not too big you can choose to move them around to where the sun is during the day.
Tips on Growing a Organic Vegetable Garden in Containers
Container gardening suits people if they do not have much garden space. Most vegetables can be grown in containers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, squash and so on but they will need containers that are at least one gallon in size – some need a lot more. Simply fill them with a compost and then plant the seeds of your choice. Have them in a warm place and then you can transplant them when it is time or buy starter plants. Make sure you put holes in the bottom of the containers and have them sitting on bricks or something similar for draining.
Tips on Growing a Organic Vegetable Garden Outdoors
When choosing where to put your outdoors vegetable garden remember the key thing is somewhere that gets the sun. Work out how much square footage you are giving up to it so that you know how much fertilizer to buy and how many plants you can have. Once you have properly prepared the soil by weeding, tilling, fertilizing and watering you can plant either seeds or starter plants. Allow the vegetables room to grow so avoid overcrowding. From seeds germination varies based on what vegetable it is but can be a week up to six weeks. Keep the soil moist but do not over water so that it looks like a puddle.
Remember nature has its own watering system called rain – if it rains you do not need to water. This is true whether they are in a container outside or in the garden. Use a gentle spray when you do have to water them and if there is no sprinkler ban set it in the garden to water for a couple of hours. You will also need to weed when necessary and consider having a fence around your garden if you do not already to keep out critters that will eat or ruin your hard work!
Organic Vegetable Garden Planning Tips
Although the idea of having fresh home grown vegetables is extremely appealing to most people not everyone follows through and makes their own vegetable garden, because it does involve hard work and dedication. But if you are one of those who have decided to plan your own vegetable garden this article has some vegetable garden planning tips that will help you get started. You will find you need to think about the type of soil you have, what vegetables you can grow, where should it be positioned and planting.
Organic Vegetable Garden Planning Tips – Location and the Soil
You should choose somewhere that gets a lot of direct sunlight and has good drainage. Ideally when growing vegetables you want soil that is fertile with texture and moistness. You can improve what you have already by adding organic humus. Create a compost in your garden that you can use to mix with your soil by digging a hole and then filling it with food leftovers, cuts and peels of vegetables not used, any rotting fruit and so on. All the degradable waste you and your family create can go on it and add some soil over it then leave for a few days. This can then by shoveled onto your vegetable garden. There are also various products that are organic that can be purchased.
Organic Vegetable Garden Planning Tips – Planting
Once the soil is ready you can decide how you are going to organize the planting – in rows or on raised beds. Try to involve the whole family and remember you need small paths in between the different types you plant, to weed and harvest. Don’t overcrowd an area, plants do better when they have room to grow. Also think about companion planting. Some plants do better when planted together, and some do worse. Here is a guide to a few of the common vegetables people like to grow and what they grow well with.
Tomato – Very popular among vegetable gardeners, great for salads, sauces, soups and much more. If you are planting tomatoes consider planting them with carrots, broccoli, asparagus, parsley, celery, brussel sprouts, chives or kale. Do not grow them with cabbage, kohlrabi or potatoes.
Lettuce – Great for salads or sandwiches or wraps and grows well with most vegetables though does its best with radish, carrots, onion, strawberries and cucumbers.
Peas – Are great with any meal, and fresh peas taste far better than canned or frozen. Grow them with turnips, beans, carrots, corn or cucumbers but not with potatoes, onions, garlic or chives.
Brassicas (Cabbage Family) – The cabbage family includes the vegetables broccoli, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi and cauliflower. Plant with lettuce, celery, onions, beets, cucumber, tomato, rosemary, sage but avoid planting with strawberries or pole beans.
Celery – Versatile for salads, stews, soups, sauces and more the celery grows with most other plants well, but in particular with the tomato, bush beans, onion, or cabbage family.
Onion and Garlic – Essential cooking ingredients in many households these should be planted with carrots, beets, parsley or lettuce but not with peas or beans.
Bush Beans – These beans needs to be planted with corn, cucumber, strawberries, celery or potatoes and not with onions.
Corn – Amazing how much better corn tastes fresh compared to can or frozen. If you want to grow this think about growing it with cucumber, potatoes, peas, beans, or pumpkin but keep away from the tomato plants.
Asparagus – One of the more easy going plants that gets along with everyone! Yields its best though with parsley, tomato or basil.
Potatoes – Could be the most eaten vegetable, chipped, roasted, mashed, fried, we love the potato! To get the best harvest grow them with cabbage, corn, beans, eggplant and not with pumpkin ( or any other squash for that matter) tomato or cucumber.
Cucumber – Great in your salads, sandwiches, dips and so on, cucumbers do better with radish, beans, peas and corn but should not be grown with any aromatic herb or potatoes.
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Gardening can seem complicated at first, if you do not know what you are doing. If you plan on gardening the natural way, you might have to understand certain complexities like the soil’s PH balance and bug fighting concoctions. If you are inexperienced with gardening, making the switch to organic methods may be a challenge for you. You can do it well by taking advantage of the advice that offered below.
Sod should be laid correctly. Your soil should be prepared before you lay the sod. Pull out any weeds and break up the soil. Flatten your soil and make it slightly compact. Make sure the soil is thoroughly moist. Avoid laying your sod in straight rows with all of the seams lining up. Instead, stagger the rows for a more pleasing visual effect. Even out the surface of the sod by firming it down flat, filling any available gaps with a handful of dirt. According to your climate, you will likely need to water the new sod daily over a period of a couple of weeks. This will insure proper root formation and establishment.
For the best results, select the right kind of soil. Dependent on the type of plants you are choosing for the garden, the soil may not be right for them. It is also possible to make an artificial area using only one type of soil.
When partaking in gardening activities, particularly in the autumn months, keep an eye on those stink bugs. They thrive on fruits, citrus, peppers and various beans. If not managed well, they can wreak havoc on your garden.
You should start pea seedlings indoors instead of planting them outside right at the start. If you were to plant them inside first, the seeds should germinate better. This method also results in hardier seedlings that can better resist insects and disease. Once they are strong enough, you can transplant them outside.
Purchase a wheelbarrow, and a kneeling stool to use in your garden. Using a large portion of your time near or on the ground working on your garden puts a huge strain on your knees; therefore, having a portable, lightweight garden stool will greatly assist you in making gardening easier on them. A wheelbarrow will come in handy to easily move dirt, rocks and other heavy objects.
Learn the best harvesting time for each kind of vegetable you plant. Most vegetables have a relatively small harvesting window when they will taste best. For example, zucchini and baby peas are best picked young. On the contrary, tomatoes shouldn’t be picked from the vine until they are ripe as can be. So, be aware of the best harvest time to pick your veggies.
Now, you shouldn’t get your hopes up and believe that a few tips are going to turn you into an instant professional gardener. However, these tips are a great starting point if you do plan to grow organically. As you implement these tips and hone your skills, you’ll be a professional green-thumb-holder in no time.