Planning the bed
Your reason for creating a vegetable garden can be varied. It might be the extra spending on herbs you had to make during the year gone by, a need for homegrown tomatoes, or the absence of preferred vegetables at the grocer's. Regardless of reasons you need to follow the same strategy to grow anything you desire in your kitchen garden.
The first thing you need to do is prepare a plan otherwise you may just be digging up a lot of ground uselessly and end up growing much more that you can really look after or actually be preparing extra ground for weeds to thrive. The location for your vegetable garden site is also very important. A good spot that remains in full sunlight near the house is usually the best and most convenient location. However, you need to consider other factors like shade from buildings or trees, soil quality, drainage, etc before you make a final decision. If these factors were not favorable it would mean that you might have to ignore convenience and select some other spot farther from the house. A vegetable garden needs at least six hours of sunlight everyday for food crops to mature properly and provide good produce. Fertilizer, water and caring are equally important but in no case can substitute the need for adequate amount of sunlight.
Air movement is also very important, however, windy areas need to be avoided, as excessive winds tend to dry out plants and also cause plant breakage. It is best if you can find a suitable place for your garden near a water source, which will prevent using long hose lengths for watering. The garden area should also not be very far from the house. This will let you monitor the health of your plants conveniently, check pest problems and provide other plant care as needed.
The types of vegetables you would like to plant would largely depend on the likes and dislikes of your family. If there is a particular type of vegetable preferred by your family, you will love to grow larger quantities of it. In such a case it is advisable to start an indoor garden with plants grown from seeds. There are plants that resent transplanting. These need to be sown directly at the place they are expected to grow.
As your garden grows you need to keep constant vigil over your plants to ensure proper maintenance at all times. Watering is a prime issue especially during dry periods when some extra watering may be required. In such situations mostly an inch or more of water every week is beneficial for the plants especially during fruiting.
Protection from weeds is also necessary. Mulching between the rows provides effective weed control. It is also good for conserving moisture and provides a pathway for access to the plants as well. You can use straw, grass clippings, wood chips or garden debris as mulch. Be watchful against insects, pests and take timely action as the plants grow. After a plant has fruited avoid using pesticide unless absolutely necessary.
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