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Growing pumpkins

How To Grow Pumpkins

Pumpkins are one of my personal favourite vegetables, they are great for making thick creamy soups and equally delicious when roasted and I sometimes even add them to mash potatoes to give it more of a unique flavour. Not only are they delicious they are also nutritious; Pumpkins Contain 9 Essential nutrients– Vitamin’s C and E,zinc, magnesium,iron, potassium,alpha and beta carotenoids. Oh it also contains lutein (antioxidant). Pumpkin seeds are also very nutritious and it doesn’t stop there, you can also use your pumpkins during  halloween… When they are easy to grow and with all the information presented above there really is no reason not to grow pumpkins, scroll down to find out how….A shot of pumpkins on the farm

When to plant and soil preparation 

Pumpkins are sensitive to frost and  most  varieties take on average  between 85 – 125 days to mature, it is ideal to plant them in a spot where they will receive at least 6 hours of sun a day. They don’t like to be transplanted so mid to late spring would be a good time to plant, depending on where you live, the main thing to keep in mind is that your avoiding the frost. In regards to soil conditions pumpkins prefer soil that is drained well, is fertile, a  loamy soil, with a neutral pH, so you may need to add lime  to raise ph or sulphur to lower it depending on what your soil is like. Using a good time release organic fertilizer is recommended. Pumpkins are not overly fussy and can grow in a heavy clay soil as long as it is not continually wet. You should aim for NPK ratio of 5:10:5.

Some helpful tips

Plant your seeds directly in the ground about 1-2 inches deep, don’t fret about which way is up the seedlings know which way to grow. Germination usually takes about 7-10 days depending on your conditions. They are a deep rooted plant so they require a deep watering. Pumpkins are a plant that has both male and female flowers and rely on bees to pollinate them or you could do it yourself  with a light brush but that is a bit tedious so you can save time and effort by growing plants with blue flowers near by to attract bees. Allow plenty of space for each individual pumpkin plant.

Pests and diseases to watch out for

Thwarting squash vine borer- This nasty little critter attacks the plant right at the base by boring a hole about two inches up from the ground into the stem then lays eggs, once they hatch they larvae chew into the stem which basically stops all the moisture and nutrients from reaching the rest of the plant! Your plan of attack against these annoying little critters is covering your plants with row covers but this makes pollination hard or you could introduce nematodes to your garden. If neither of these two options suit you you could cover the stem using tin foil glued on by a homemade glue comprised of  crushed garlic, cayenne pepper and boiled molasses.

Cucumber mosaic virus- This disease is identified by  the deformed leaves and fruits , also by the light green or yellow discolouring surrounding  the leaf veins. Unfortunately if your plants are already affected you must pull them out and burn them. The disease are carried in by aphids and aphids generally hitch a ride in of ants so your best bet is the prevention of both via yellow sticky traps or growing peppermint nearby or possibly by spraying the plants with a diluted peppermint mixture or pyrethrum. But you have to be careful not to kill the bees as you need them for pollination.

Their is not many pests and disease that can harm your pumpkins but when they do get attacked the effects can be  quite devastating to you and your pumpkins. They are most vulnerable when they are seedlings so that is the time when you really need to keep an eye on them. As always prevention is better then a cure so you should always rotate your crops and keep the leaves dry.

Growing Celery

How To Grow Celery

 

Growing celery can be a truly rewarding experience for the home gardener, it is a very nutritious vegetable; a good source of potassium, vitamin C, folate and mineral salts and is an alternative treatment for anxiety, insomnia, arthritis and gout. In fact it wasn’t until the late 16th century that celery was considered food rather then medicine.

Time of year to plant

Celery loves the cooler weather and doesn’t mind the frost, (but not too much frost) in fact some say the flavour intensifies when exposed to frost. So depending on what part of the world you are living in, late summer will be best, it is one of those plants that is best to be grown indoors from seedlings first, for best success rates.

Type of soil

Celery grows best in moisture retaining  soil with a ph that is slightly alkaline. It also favours a position in an open, sunny bed and needs regular watering to prevent the stems from becoming tough and stringy. The ideal soil is rich with a  pH of 5.8-6.7 and an NPK ratio of 5-10-10. Manure makes a good fertilizer for celery.

Special treatment of seeds for maximum potential

 For best results with celery seeds you should use seeds that are 2-3 years old, the reason being any blight and natural germination inhibiters are no longer there to give you any troubles. The celery plant will be ready to harvest in 5 months. Another helpful hint is toImage courtesy of digidreamgrafix at free digital photos dot net stratify the seeds, how do I stratify them?. To stratify your celery seeds, place seeds  in a jar or bag in the fridge for the duration of winter or for several weeks at least. Then you will need to soak the seeds for 12 hours or briefly pour boiling water over them, to break them out of their dormant stage. Tip; you can regrow celery from a base (stalk) by leaving it to soak in water for a few days until growth appears then plant it back in your garden!

Pests that will make your life difficult;

When growing celery there is a few pests and diseases you will need to watch out for;

Celery leaf spot, look out for brown spots on the outer small leaves they are the first warning signs to look out for, it can be avoided by regularly checking your plants and not keeping the leaves dry as you can. An organic fungal spray can help clear it up if you were unable to prevent it

Wire worms, the symptoms to watch out for with these insects is the plants going brown from the bottom upwards, which will cause the growth to become stunted. They are the larvae of click beetles and the best  prevention is by flooding the the soil before you plant your celery.

Aphids, Im sure everyone has heard of an aphid, they normally hitch a ride in of an ant and make a nuisance of themselves, get rid of them by wiping leaves with soapy water or anything you can do to repel ants will be beneficial…

 Slugs and snails, they like you vegetables more then you do, if you are into organic gardening you will want avoid  slug pellets and use beer baited traps to drown them in instead. Or if you are keen you can remove them at night using a torch, and then kill them. Don’t just toss them aside as they will just crawl right back.

These are just a few of the many pests that you may encounter, one of the best methods for controlling any type of pest is to rotate your crops or another option is companion planting…

Growing Broccoli

How To Grow Broccoli

Those who are interested in Growing broccoli are in luck. It is not difficult to grow in a home garden for those who follow some broccoliguidelines. It is a member of the Brassica family which means it is related to cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.When researching how to start a vegetable garden, broccoli is usually not one of the first choices people look into, but since it likes the cool weather, it may be a good choice for an early start. It is a hearty vegetable that is more tolerant of the cold and it is possible to get a crop in the early spring and another in the late fall. It needs at least six full hours of full sun a day and needs about twelve weeks until harvest.

The plant does not do well when it is transplanted, so direct seeding is best. To insure a good crop it is helpful to plant two seeds together in each hill, which should be about a foot apart. The simplest strategy is to just keep the strongest seedling in each hill and not thinning them out. To get the best start it may be a good idea to lay down a layer of organic compost and dressing it with lime before planting. This will be especially helpful for those practicing organic gardening.

Preferred Soil For Broccoli

One of the things to remember about how to grow broccoli, is that it needs soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Check the soil as it may need to be treated with lime before planting time.Making sure the plants get enough nitrogen is essential and the organic compost is one of the keys to giving it a good start. A garden rich with earth worms will also help supplement the nitrogen levels. Well drained soil is preferred but keeping it moist is also essential, spreading mulch on top will help lock in the moisture. Make sure the soil is well drained and your fertilizer has been dug into the soil several weeks before planting. Add a bit of manure on top of soil 2 weeks prior to harvesting for best results.

Common Pests To Keep Under Control

 There are some pests that are particular to organic gardens and those that avoid chemical pesticides. However there are some strategies that can help. Aphids may be attracted to the young plants, but planting nasturtiums at the head of each row will keep them away. The growing heads of broccoli may attract moths who will lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves. Planting some rosemary, sage, or mint, may help to keep the moths away.

If you don’t want to do that there some other methods to control the moth  there are  a couple  ways to deal with these creatures which will require a bit more effort on your behalf but it is much better then spraying your food with carcinogens!

1# Light weight floating row covers will keep the moth from ever getting near, make them loose to allow for growth of the heads. This is one of the easiest methods. You can use those white mesh curtains (sheer curtains) for this, buy them second hand to keep costs down..

2# Picking them off by hand, its the most labour intensive but if you only have a few plants then it is not too much of a hassle the eggs look like tiny yellow grains of rice standing on end.

You want to keep an eye out for  caterpillars, sprinkling cayenne pepper on the leaves will keep them at bay.

In warm wet weather you may have problems with bacterial or fungal infections, prevention is the best treatment, try and keep the leaves dry and if you spot an infected plant remove it before it spreads to other plants..

It is always a good idea to wash the heads thoroughly in a salt water bath and even giving the head a good shake in case any worms have snuck inside. This is especially important even thought the broccoli was treated with organic pesticides. This is an out of the ordinary crop, but one that can be especially delightful. Anyone who is interested should give it a try. There is a handy tip in this video…

Growing Carrots

How To Grow Carrots

 

Learning how to start a vegetable garden can be a fun and rewarding experience, and learning how to grow carrots is a great way for beginning gardeners to get their hands dirty. Although they do require specific growing conditions to develop into mature, healthy vegetables, carrots aren’t difficult to cultivate if you learn what this popular vegetable needs to thrive. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Growing carrots in order to make them a success in your garden this season.

When To Plant

Carrots are hardy and love cooler temperatures, so you should sow your seeds directly into the soil as soon as it can be easily worked. Usually, this occurs about 2 months before the last frost date in your climate zone. Another way to tell if your soil is ready for planting is to take its temperature; ideally, the soil should be around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Carrots can be grown from seedlings or sown directly into the ground since they are a hardy vegetable I would recommend sowing directly into the soil to save yourself a bit of work..

Ideal Soil Conditions

Like all root vegetables, carrots grow best in soil with a pH balance of 6.0 to 6.5. But when it comes to soil type, carrots can be a bit particular. It’s very important that your soil is deep, sandy and nutrient-rich to ensure the roots can reach into the ground easily and develop properly. Dig at least a foot into the ground before planting, and remove any sticks, stones and hard clumps of dirt. If your soil is clay-based, you may need to add some sand to the dirt to improve growing conditions. To add essential nutrients to your soil, work in some compost as you’re preparing the garden bed.

Care and Watering

carrot

After you’ve sown your seeds, it’s important to keep them moist so they germinate properly. Water them evenly for the first week but don’t water excessively or the tiny seeds may be flooded out. Putting a piece of cloth or burlap over the carrot bed can be a smart move if you’re worried about losing too much moisture to evaporation. The seedlings should emerge in a few weeks, and you should thin them to 2″ apart when the seedlings are around 2″ tall. You should also add some more compost to the soil at this point to feed the growing carrots.

Common Carrot Pests

There are a few carrot-hungry pests you should watch out for, and it’s best to use natural pest-removal remedies and organic pesticides when fighting these insects. Carrot aphids are common and they can often be controlled by spraying the afflicted plants with a mixture of soapy water and white oil. Root nematodes love the sandy soil that carrots grow in, and they can be naturally repelled using organic gardening methods as well. Planting marigolds near your carrot bed often does the trick, and adding nutrient-rich compost to your soil will further dissuade the nematodes. If you have a specific pest you are trying to indentify then check the list below;

Aster Yellows Disease

Aster yellows disease is brought on through an unusual kind of organism known as a phytoplasma. It’s also carried by the aster leafhopper insect, similar to the way malaria is carried by mosquitos. The aster yellows disease causes leaf yellowing, stunting of the root, and top growth that gets short and bushy, called sometimes a “witches broom”. It ruins the carrot’s flavor, to the point of not being edible. The only way to control it organically is to stop the aster leafhopper from landing on the carrots, which means growing carrots under row covers.

Leaf Blight

The most typical carrot leaf blight is caused by Alternaria fungus, which also attacks tomatoes where it causes “Late Blight”. Alternaria leaf blight causes yellowish/brownish spots, which can get so bad they unify, eventually making the carrot tops appear burned.

Carrot Rust

Carrot rust is brought on by carrot rust flies that lay their eggs in the earth round the top of carrot plants. These eggs hatch into larva that burrow down into the soil, and into the carrot’s roots. The larva continue to munch rust-coloured tunnels within the carrot,generally within the lower two thirds of the root.

Carrot Weevils

Carrot weevils appear more like a beetle when compared to a fly, and also lay eggs in the soil around carrots. Like carrot rust larva, the larva burrow into carrots, but carrot weevil larva generally tunnel into the top third of the carrot.

Parsleyworms

Parsleyworms are quite amazing green caterpillars with alternating orange / black bands and white bands. They simply chomp away at growth in accurate, ravenous caterpillar manner.

Nematodes

Both needle and root knot nematodes are microscopic soil roundworms that can create malformed roots, galls and root branching in carrots. They just grow if the earth is above about 55 degrees, so early plantings are seldom affected.

Bacterial Soft Rot

Bacterial soft rot is, As its name implies an earth – borne bacteria that just sort of eats chunks of the carrot root into a mush.

Carrots are delicious, nutrient-rich and versatile in the kitchen, and they make a welcome addition to any garden. If you follow the tips above, you can look forward to an abundant harvest of these popular root vegetables.

Growing Onions

How To Grow Onions

Red onions

Not only do onions possess a wide range of health benefits they are also a must have for many dishes, weather eaten raw or cooked onions have a specific flavor that you just can’t do with out and the good news is that they are relatively easy to grow so without further adieu lets get right into it;

Onions are from the Allium family which includes Spring Onions, Shallots,Leeks , Chives and Garlic. You can plant the directly into the ground but you will have a better success rate if you grow them in a punnet then transplant them. They are an excellent companion plant because of their ability to ward of all sorts of pests. They require at least 6 hours of sun a day, salad onions prefer a bit less sun.Onions are biennial plants (which means that they can survive winter and grow for 2 years) but they can be harvested annually. They should be planted 150mm apart (6 inches) and it is best to plant them away from Peas and Beans (legumes). When the tops go brown and fall over and the bulb just starts to pop out it is time to harvest.

Best Time Of Year To Plant

Onions like the cold weather so planting late winter early spring is your best bet. The tops require colder weather and the bulbs will need slightly warmer weather to mature. Although they are a biennial plant they do not like the frost and  make sure you water well through summer. There are two main types of onions long day and short day onions short day require 11-13 hour days while long day will require 14-16 hour days. When to plant onions will depend a lot on the climate you are living in but onions are hardy plants and getting your timing wrong will only reduce your yield. Also bear in mind some people like to harvest them early.

Bulbs Or Seeds

Seeds are the cheapest and will give you more variety but bulb sets or seedlings are much easier to grow.

Growing onions from seeds;

Seeds should be planted 0.25 to 0.5 inch deep and when they are 3 inches high you need to thin them out to  4 to 6 inches apart to allow maximum room for bulbs to develop. (You can replant the seedlings you pulled out)

Growing from seedlings or bulb sets;

For seedlings just plant them 4-6 inches apart, if you have root sets plant the roots 1-2 inches deep with the same spacing as the seedlings. For planting bulbs (red onions are best for this method) Bury the bulb root down obviously so that the top of the bulb is just covered water well and make sure there are no weeds to compete with onions

What type of soil?

Onions are not too fussy with what type of soil they will grow in  what you need to watch out for is that it drains well and is well tilled (aerated) so that the bulbs are able to expand easily. Having plenty of decomposed organic matter will help your onions thrive. The ideal soil pH is between 5.5 and 6.5, a little on the acidic. They’ll grow outside this range, but not nearly as well. If you are serios about your onions you can invest in a soil ph kit so that you can alter your soil to optimal growing conditions.

Pests

Onion Fly

These onion pests lay their eggs normally between the leaves and small bulbs or roots this will eventually cause the onion leaves to go pale, wilt then die off, the bulb, or at least the inside of it to become rotten and stinky.

Treatment; Put the following ingredients into a blender let stand for 24 hours then drench the soil with it

3 hot green peppers (fresh or canned)
3 medium cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 tablespoon (15 ml) dish washing soap
3 cups (720 ml) water

Following that you will want to get some parasitic nematodes or to prevent this from happening crop rotation usually works well or use sticky traps.

Lesser bulb fly

Similar to  Onion fly they can be detoured by spreading a fine layer of sand or wood ash around the onion plants. Any plants that have been affected need to be destroyed.

These are just a few of the pests you will encounter, for a more detailed explanation visit this site

Here is a useful video on growing onions

Growing Tomatoes

How To Grow Tomatoes

 

Growing tomatoesIf you are interested in growing tomatoes keep in mind they are a summer fruit that enjoys the heat. You don’t have to be too fussy on the type of soil you use just ensure that it drains well but does not get too dry. The seedlings are very fragile so you will not be able plant them directly into the ground, each plant needs its own space (about 30 cm apart) and you will have to tie it to a steak to keep leaves and fruit of the ground.

Tomatoes are a popular addition to home gardens because as we all know fresher is better and it doesn’t get any fresher then being harvested form your own garden the same day you plan  on eating it. There are around 7500 variety’s available the most popular are ‘slicing’ or ‘globe’ tomatoes, others variety’s include;

    • Beefsteak tomatoes are large tomatoes mainly used for sandwiches and similar applications. They have a  kidney-bean shape, thinner skin, and a short shelf life so they are not practical for  commercial use.
    • Oxheart tomatoes are sometimes as big as beefsteak  and have a shape similar to large strawberries.
    • Plum tomatoes, also called paste tomatoes (including pear tomatoes), have a higher solids content mainly used for tomato sauce and paste, and are normally oblong.
    • Pear tomatoes are  pear-shaped like the name suggests, and are used for a richer gourmet paste.
    • Cherry Tomatoes are small and round, often sweet tomatoes generally eaten whole in salads. Just to name a few..

Do not plant directly In The Ground

Tomatoes are very fragile when they are seedlings so what you want to do is  sow them in high quality (preferably organic) seedling mix in a punnet. Sprinkle the seeds on top then  you will cover the seeds in sifted seedling mix approximately twice the depth of the size of the seed, tomato seeds are tiny so roughly 5  millimetres of soil will be sufficient. Keep them in warm conditions and don’t let them get too dry. Once they are roughly an inch to a inch and a half high you want to thin them out by replanting them in other tubs so each plant has its own room to grow. Then when they are 10 cm high (about 4-5 inches) they are ready to be planted outside, be careful not to damage the roots when transplanting them.

 

What Time Of Year To Grow Tomatoes?

The most important thing to know when growing any type of vegetable is when to grow, tomatoes are a summer fruit and will be killed by frost so planting them early to mid spring should ensure they bare fruit by summer. If you plan on having an early harvest you could construct a cold frame to protect your tomatoes from frost. A cold frame consists of a clear plastic cover held up by a wooden frame that covers your tomatoes and protects them from frost. You can buy it ready made or you could construct it yourself…

 

What Type Of Soil Do Tomato Plants Like?

 

When you are vegetable planting you must know your soil Loam soil is the ideal soil for growing tomatoes but it is not necessary to do so as tomatoes will grow in almost any soil except for heavy clay soils, make sure the soil is loose and well drained but not over dry. Avoid soil that is water logged you will need to find a healthy balance. If your soil as too  much clay you can add saw dust or sand to improve the texture to help your tomatoes to thrive.

 

What Nutrients Should You Use?

First of all you want the ph of your soil to almost be neutral; if it is too acidic add some lime or if it is too alkaline you need to add sulphur to the soil. ! cup per square yard should do the trick depending on how much you need to change the ph. You should avoid fertilizers with high levels of nitrogen as this will cause the plants to become bushy and produce very little fruit. You want a healthy balance of animal manure, blood and bone meal (not too much as it is high in nitrogen), fish emulsion- can be bought or made from fish parts decomposed with sawdust. Fermenting grass clippings are a good source of nutrients and if you live near a beach use some seaweed for a good supply of trace elements. Or for the ‘secret sauce’ of fertilizers watch the video below;

Some Pests To Watch Out For

 

Not all insects will harm your tomato plants. In fact, many of them are of benefit or neutral.Still, there are a few key pests that you will want to watch out for;

Aphids are a thorn in the side for many gardeners. In small numbers, they won’t do much damage, but in large numbers they can kill plants. They travel via ants so growing peppermint near your plants or using a spray made form peppermint can deter these pests

Tomato Hornworms are large, green caterpillars with white stripes. They sometimes grow longer than 7 cm in length, but  camouflage very well so you may not notice them. If there are only a few, you can just pluck them off.

Some species of parasitic wasps are a good example of a beneficial insect-they lay their eggs on tomato hornworms, killing them. If you see a hornworm with eggs on it, you don’t need to do anything as it is already dying.

Cutworms are a nasty nocturnal pest. They are particularly harmful to young plants, which they can destroy in a single night. If your plants fall victim to these pests you will need to place 10 cm wide collars of cardboard or aluminium foil around them, sunken two cm into the ground.

Flea beetles at the larvae and adult stage will eat your plants. The adults attck the leaves whilst the larvae go for the roots. Diatomaceous earth is helpful in controlling the adults. Mixing beneficial species of nematodes into the soil controls the larvae.

There are root-knot nematodes that are harmful to tomato plants.  They live in the soil and feed on the roots, lowering their ability to absorb much needed nutrients. They are more common in warm climates. Because it takes them several seasons to really establish in the soil, you will realise you have a problem when it is too late.

Crop rotation is a good method for controlling them. Another option is to add earthworms, beneficial nematodes, and friendly bacteria to the soil, mixing well, to bring the soil back into balance.

Whiteflies present a double threat. They feed directly on the juices of tomato plants, and the sticky substance they leave behind can attract sooty mould spores.

Whiteflies are a hardy insect and resistant to most conventional pesticides.

Sticky traps can be used to capture some types of insects, such as whiteflies and flea beetles . Introducing natural predators, like ladybird beetles and lacewings, is a good way to control harmful pests.

Using chemical pesticides is can have a reverse effect. They will kill good and neutral insects as well as pests. Disrupting the natural balance of your garden may cause more problems then it solves.

Some More Helpful Tips

# Bury the plant slightly deeper then what it was when it was in the pot, this will allow more roots to grow giving it an overall stronger root system

#Put plastic on the ground, this stops weeds and heats up the soil

#Remove the bottom leaves, about 1 inch up- these are the leaves that get little sunlight and are most like likely to get fungus problems

#Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. Don’t get too carried away pruning though

#Water them regularly, should be done with any plant…

#An ideal  N.P.K (nitrogen phosphorous and potassium) ratio for tomato plants is between 6:6:6 and 10:10:10

#Older plants, especially once they have started to flower, benefit from more phosphorus, such as 5:10:5.

#Growing Basil near the tomato plants will give them a more pungent flavour, there are many other useful companion plants as well..

Planting a Garden is a Great Way to Stay Healthy

Vegetable garden

There are a lot of benefits to having your own garden. Some people may think that growing a garden is really hard, but it is simpler then you think and the benefits are well worth it. If you want to learn about gardening and you need to find out when and what to plant, then you can easily read seed packets or look online. The most important thing to do though is to get started. Today we hear more and more about organic eating and how much healthier we would all be if we just ate plants without pesticides, well the best way to eat healthier fruits and vegetables is to grow them on your own.

The first thing to learn about how to start a vegetable garden is to learn how to prepare the soil. In order to have a successful garden, it is important to pick a spot on your property that gets lots of sunlight, but that is also safe from the wind. If you live where there are a lot of animals, then you may want to put a small fence around your garden spot. Animals love newly planted vegetables, so it is important to keep them out. Once the spot is laid out then you need to turn the dirt over and add fertilizer. Cow manure works just as good as anything, but be careful not to add too much because it could burn the seeds.

Before you start your vegetable planting it is important to build rows and mounds for the seeds. Different vegetables need mounds of dirt to grow properly, while others can pretty much be planted any which way. No matter how you plan your garden design, make sure that the water can get to all the plants. Organic vegetable gardens are extremely healthy. The work that it takes to get the garden is just one benefit, and the vegetables have a lot more nutrients in them and they taste much better. Most people that eat vegetables that are organic and locally grown find that they feel better and they are healthier.

Everyone knows that pesticides aren’t good for our bodies. Most people have seen on TV that there a lot of the nutrients that are lost in vegetables that are sprayed with pesticides. When the chemicals leak in to the ground they kill the beneficial organisms that maintain the mineral balance in the soil, so not only does it lower the nutritional content it also poisons the produce with chemicals! Organic gardening is rewarding. It is neat to plant something and then reap the benefits of your work. Once you learn how to start a vegetable garden, then you can do anything. Why put chemicals into your body that could harm you? Organic vegetables are much better for you and when you grow them yourself,you don’t have to buy harmful pesticides so you are saving money and becoming healthier. Not only do organic fruit and vegetables taste a lot better, the plants themselves are also a lot hardier and it is better for the environment! Sounds like a win, win ,win situation to me….

How To Start A Vegetable Garden That Produces Great Food

Creating your own garden can be one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Once a garden is established, it serves as a source of fresh, healthy, and affordable food. At the same time, gardening has been shown to be good for our health and a wonderful way to become more connected to what we eat. The thing that stops people from actually taking the step of creating one, though, is lingering uncertainty about how to get a vegetable garden started and finding the time to do it.Starting a vegetable garden is actually a lot less daunting then what most people think and the rewards are very much worth it!

The first step that you need to take is to decide where it is going to be. If you have very little space, you may want to focus on small garden ideas and perhaps even start with a container garden. If you have a yard with some areas that receive a good amount of sunlight, you may find it easier and more productive to plant in the ground. The exact tools and materials that you will need in a particular setting can vary, so it is often best to just explain what you want to do to the workers at a gardeners supply store and see what they recommend.

Before you begin vegetable planting, you should think about what kinds of plants you will really use and how much. People sometimes become extremely enthusiastic and proceed to grow a lot of things they have no interest in actually eating. At least at the beginning, it is better to keep your efforts focused mainly on things you particularly like because it is easier to remain motivated to take care of the Fresh harvestgarden when you know you will love the food you get as a reward.

You may also want to add a few plants that are well known for being good companions to the plants you choose. If you intend to grow tomatoes, for example, it can be a good idea to place some basil nearby. This herb is wonderful cooked into many of the same foods as tomatoes, and also can protect those plants to some degree from the types of pests that tend to attack them.

While choosing both your layout and your plants, you need to be realistic about the amount of effort you are going to be able to devote to the project. You do not want to overwhelm yourself from the start with too many plants, or those that require more time and energy than you have available. Where necessary, you may be able to use additional tools to save yourself work. For example, automated systems can do some of the watering and mulch can reduce the number of weeds that creep in to your space.

Creating a garden and doing the vegetable planting is something that can require a lot of work at the start, but the rewards can be tremendous. Experiment a little and learn about which varieties that you like and what you enjoy growing. As you gain experience and skill, you will get progressively better results and continue to reap greater rewards over time.

Image courtesy of Stoonn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net