Starting a garden is an exciting project that can provide a source of entertainment as well as some tasty fare on your table. It can just as easily be a source of frustration and failed attempts. However, you can avoid the latter if you follow some very simple, basic gardening tips….
Take stock of the area that you will be using for your garden. Make sure that it is in full to mostly full sun all day long. Vegetables need lots of warmth and sunshine to grow big, healthy and delicious. Also make sure that you aren’t starting your garden in a place that is overly wet in the spring or during your wet season. You want to be able to get into your garden as early as possible. Planning your garden in your yard’s wet spot will prevent this. Your plants will also suffer if they stand in water or wet soil for an extended period of time.
Another thing to consider is the soil in your garden spot. Chances are it is going to have to be amended with a few things to make it just right for vegetables. You can buy soil testing kits at any garden center. Just follow the guidelines on your kit or talk to a knowledgeable garden center employee to know what to add to your soil. You may need to add lime, sand, manure, peat or any of a host of other things. This may seem time consuming but the effort is worth it and necessary for success.
Probably the most challenging thing you will do is choosing your plants and seeds. Do not get discouraged by the vast amount of choices. Think carefully about what you will use and what you enjoy eating. Pick out varieties that are suitable for what you intend to use them for. You don’t want to buy pickling cucumbers when you are going to use them for slicing.
Also, take into consideration how much space you have in your garden. Buying bush and compact varieties will allow you to have more in your garden. Lastly, pick varieties that are compatible with your geographic area. If you live in an area with a short growing season, pick varieties that mature quickly.
Once you have your garden planted and your plants are growing, you will need to think about watering, feeding, weeding and sometimes you might need to worry about controlling insects or keeping out rodents. All of these tasks are important for the success of your garden. Watering daily during dry periods is necessary. Water in the morning hours before the sun gets hot to avoid burning the vegetation.
Keeping the weeds down will probably be your most arduous task. You can decrease the amount of time spent weeding by placing a layer of newspaper topped with grass clippings between rows and around plants.
There are many ways to deal with insects in a garden without using harsh chemicals. Having bees around can be helpful in this area too. Unless you suddenly find yourself with vegetables half eaten by insects, it’s often not a huge problem. Just keep an eye on how things are growing and worry about insect problems when they arise.
By following these basic steps, you will find yourself overrun with zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers before you know it.