Vegetable gardening can be a very rewarding project! Even more so when you are able to provide your household with fresh produce directly from your garden as and when needed. Getting started may, however, seem a little intimidating but with a few tips on Vegetable Gardening and the reward it brings, is so worth the effort. Here are Vegetable Gardening Tips for Beginners:
CHOOSING THE BEST SPOT
The location of your vegetable garden is one of the most important tasks to consider before the preparation begins. The site plays a very significant role in the quality of the veggies you will harvest. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the right spot:
- Plot size. As a smaller area makes gardening more manageable and less daunting for the beginner, raising the planting beds is similarly recommended.
- Sunshine or Shade. Most vegetables require up to 8 hours of sunlight per day, with some vegetables (particularly leafy ones) tolerating some shade.
- Soil drainage. Poorly drained or waterlogged soil may cause roots to remain wet, which in turn causes rot. Raised beds are once again suggested to avoid this occurring in areas where drainage is poor.
- Wind and foot traffic. The area should be an invariable environment. Avoid areas that experience high wind or heavy foot traffic which will damage your seedlings.
Ensure a good water source nearby for convenient watering. In fact, making use of a drip irrigation system is the easiest way to water your vegetable garden.
CHOOSING YOUR VEGETABLES
Some vegetables are easier to grow than others. The easy-growing veggies are:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Bell Peppers
- Green beans
When choosing your vegetables, it is best to choose those that you eat regularly. Many aspiring beginners often make the mistake of planting vegetables that are inevitably going to waste. Be realistic in your decision-making and especially when deciding how many plants to plant. Consider the number of vegetables to be consumed by your household before you start planting!
COMPOSTING AND MULCH
Composting is one of the best ways to reduce household waste while keeping your garden lush and healthy. When compost is mixed in or placed on top of existing soil, nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen are introduced into the soil. In turn, plants and vegetables will absorb these nutrients and grow abundantly well.
Click here to find out more about Composting for Beginners.
Like composting, mulching can be highly beneficial to your garden. Mulching assists in weed control and will help the soil retain water thereby decreasing the need for continual watering during hotter months.
WHEN TO START PLANTING?
Before considering any sort of gardening, it is best to anticipate your environment and climate. Planting seasons vary between regions and you will therefore need to thoroughly research which vegetables to plant when. Fortunately for South African gardeners, ‘Seeds for Africa’ have produced a planting guide for each of the 9 provinces.
Vegetable gardening is a steadfast commitment but certainly a rewarding one at that and it should be one that is enjoyed. Develop your own routine and method that works best for you, and in so doing, you will enjoy the time spent in your vegetable garden.