Growing Veggies At Home
Staying connected with nature is always a stress buster. If you are interested in gardening, you can begin with growing some veggies at your home. Working with plants and soil is the best activity to reduce stress and anxiety. Vegetable gardening is an excellent option to choose because it has a lot of benefits. You can consume chemical-free organic and inexpensive vegetables, grown by yourself. It will be a little bit of work at the start, but it is a rewarding hobby to practice.
To get started, there are some points you should know. Let us review some of the basic requirements for home gardening:
CHOOSE THE CORRECT SPOT
It’s a good idea to start small. Many people make mistakes by choosing too large of an area to make a garden. Start small and think of how much you can eat. Selecting the right site for your garden is essential. Here are a few tips for choosing a suitable site:
- A sunny location. Most vegetables require at least six to seven hours of direct sunlight every day. There are a few vegetables that can tolerate some shade.
- Moist, well-drained soil: plant veggies in a raised bed in case you have poorly drained soil. Remove the rocks before planting in rocky soil.
- A stable environment: You must avoid places that receive strong winds. Winds might damage your plants. Locations with less foot traffic and a stable environment must be selected.
BASIC GARDEN TOOLS
To work with your garden you will require some tools. Here are some tools you may need:
- For digging: A round-tipped shovel.
- For turning and loosening soil: a fork.
- For cleaning and leveling: A steel bow rake.
- For weeding: A hoe or cultivator.
- For transplanting and weeding: A hand trowel or hand shovel.
- For watering: A hose and nozzle or watering can.
DIGGING THE SPOT
A square-end spade can be of use to make equal parts in a framework pattern. With the help of a fork, lift the sod from each section and shake out the soil. You can Discard the sod or use it to build up any low areas in your yard. To stop unwanted grasses and weeds from rising, you can introduce plastic or metal edging around the site, the deeper it goes, the better it works. Using a fork or a pointed shovel, you can dig deep and turn the soil.
Remove roots, rocks, and other debris, breaking up the ground as you go. Once you have finished the area with turning, cleaning, and aerating, it is now time to spread organic material such as well-rotted manure or compost over the top and start work into the soil. Continue your preparations and rake and level the surface till it gets even with a delicate texture.
Now your garden is ready to get planted. But before planting, you must know what to plant.
WHAT TO PLANT
Let us see some productive vegetables that are easy to grow. It is essential to know which plants are more natural to grow in your area, best to conduct a little research on that.
- Zucchini squash
- Bush beans
You can also go for some Marigolds that will help you discourage pests and add some color to your garden!
WHEN AND WHERE TO PLANT?
If you are growing three to four tomato plants, then this process is simple. But if you want to build a full garden, consider some of the points discussed here. Let us see how to arrange your vegetables:
Different vegetables grow in different climates or seasons.
There are “cool-season” veggies like lettuce, root veggies, spinach, etc. that grow in spring. While “warm-season” veggies like peppers, tomatoes, etc. to plant when the soil warms up. The same can be of use to plant both types of plants according to the season. Pole beans or sweet corn are tall vegetables. You have to plant them on the north side of the vegetable garden, so they don’t shade shorter plants. If there is shade in a part of the garden, you can save that area for small cool-season veggies. Cool-season vegetables can be best grown in shady areas.
Most vegetables are annuals, which means you plant them each year. For “perennial” crops like asparagus, some herbs, and rhubarb, you must provide permanent locations or beds to plant them.
It would be best if you considered those crops which have a short harvest period and that mature quickly like bush beans and radishes. Tomatoes have a longer time. You can find “days to maturity” on the seed packet. Vegetables such as spinach, beans, beets, radishes, cabbage, carrots, kohlrabi, lettuce, rutabagas, and turnips yield more than one crop every season.
You can try Stagger plantings. You will not want all the lettuce to harvest around the same time, so don’t plant all the lettuce seeds at the same time. Every area has a different planting time based mainly on its weather, and every vegetable has its temperature preferences.
SETTING A COMPANION
Companion planting, a practice of using companion plants to attract pollinators to the garden, improve flavor, and provide natural pest control. Marigolds are best in pest protection and can be planted liberally throughout the garden. If you plant near tomatoes, it will improve their flavor. While planting lettuce close to onions and radishes gives it protective benefits.
Thyme, oregano, sage, and rosemary are flowering herbs that act like bee magnets and repel many pests. Attracting bees is very important for fruits or vegetables such as beans, peas, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, peppers, etc. for pollination to produce fruit.
It is best to plant the seedlings in the mornings while still fresh or on cloudy days. Sprinkle a pinch of seedlings and gently gather the soil around it. Firm the ground, but don’t pack it, then settle your seedlings with a soft shower of water. Before sowing seeds, read the instructions on the seed packet, and follow accordingly—set stakes for the veggies that require staking. For repeat sowins of said greens, lettuce, melons, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes, you will have to leave space. Now you are done with sowing; it is essential to look after it carefully. So let us see what you have to do for maintenance.
Young seedlings are tender and require a soft touch when watering. So prefer using the “shower” setting on a hose nozzle to water the plants. Water the soil surrounding the plants and avoid the immature stalks and leaves while watering young plants. The time to water your garden is in the morning, as watering in the morning will provide plants with the required moisture on a hot day, and makes it easier for them to absorb the nutrients needed. Avoid Watering in the hot afternoon sun as it can produce shock in young plants, and cause tender leaves to scorch.
Avoid watering plants in the evening as it can cause plant diseases, such as damping-off and powdery mildew, due to excess moisture left on the leaves in cold overnight temperatures. You can also go for a soaker hose that will do watering for you. It will save you time and is all inexpensive. In short, they are worth investing in.
The next important thing, along with watering, is fertilizing and wedding. Once your plant is 5 to 6 weeks old, you can start adding fertilizers. Choose the mixture of appropriate fertilizers or compost. And add them from time to time to your crop. Once you start growing veggies at home, you will love this experience. The taste and pleasure of enjoying fresh tomatoes grown at home is a worthwhile experience. Happy gardening and we hope you enjoy the results of your hard work.