Not a lot of people try vegetable garden planting these days, especially in the city. With the busy lifestyle, constrained spaces, and pollution, it seems inconceivable that a vegetable garden would survive. The fact is, you can actually grow vegetables even if you are smack dab in the middle of a busy city. It’s only important that you get the basics of vegetable garden planting right.
First things first. Soil preparation. This is the most basic ingredient that any new gardener will have to learn. Whether you plan on indoor vegetable gardening or start raised vegetable garden beds in your own backyard, soil preparation plays an important role in whether your vegetable garden will survive or not.
There are three types of soil that you need to be familiar with; sand, clay and silt. Sandy soil is loose and helps the roots of the plants to breathe because it lets the air pass through easily. Clay soil absorbs water faster and keeps it inside longer. A soil composition that has more clay particles in it would be ideal for places that are too hot and the soil dries up quickly. Silt is a fine mixture of sand and clay particles combined.
When preparing the soil for your vegetable garden, dig up the soil and break up the clumps. Take out the rocks, roots, and weeds while you’re at it. Check if you have just the right mixture of sand, silt, and clay before you begin vegetable garden planting. Ideally, silt and sand should both be 40%, and clay should just be 20%. This is to make sure that the water isn’t trapped inside too long that the roots end up choking. Also, if the water is trapped too long inside the soil, the roots will rot. One good way to test whether the composition of your soil is good is by scooping out a handful and forming a ball with it. The soil should hold the shape of a ball without too much difficulty. If the soil cannot hold the shape, you might have too much silt or sand in the mixture. If the soil holds the shape but does not crumble easily when you poke it, it might have too much clay in it which you will need to balance it out a bit by adding additional silt or sand.
Once you have finished cultivating the soil where you want to plant your vegetables, choose your vegetables. Keep in mind that some vegetables don’t grow well when you plant them too close to certain other types of vegetables. These are known as companion vegetables. Potatoes, for example, shouldn’t be planted too close to squash or tomatoes because it inhibits their growth. They can be planted in the same garden, just don’t plant them beside each other.
After you have decided on the type of vegetables you want and have planted them into the cultivated soil, you will need to learn how to water them properly. Vegetables need to be watered consistently. When planting vegetable gardens in larger spaces, you may want to consider using a soaker hose. A soaker hose has a lot of holes running along its body that waters your garden by letting the water seep through its holes.
Vegetable garden planting does require manual labor (yes, actual work), and a lot of patience. The rewards are very well worth it, though. Especially for people who are concerned about their health. Growing your own vegetables insures that there’s the least amount of poisonous (and in the long run, carcinogenic) particulates in it as possible.
Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!
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