Steps For Creating Your Own Vegetable Garden

Steps For Creating Your Own Vegetable Garden

Steps For Creating Your Own Vegetable Garden

This article we will talk about the steps of creating your own vegetable garden

Where to have the vegetable patch

First and foremost when growing vegetables you want your vegetables to be happy. If they are happy they will grow and produce excellent tasting vegetables. In order for your vegetables to be happy the vegetable plot has to be positioned just right, Ideally you want your vegetable plot to be positioned where it can receive full sun for most of the year. Early March to late November is a time period where this full sun is of particular importance.

Many vegetables are hungry eaters and will require a constant supply of water. So you need to avoid placing your vegetable plot next to large trees or hedges. This is because the trees and hedges will take the water and nutrients from the soil denying your vegetables their sustenance.

Tomatoes growing on the branches

Tomatoes growing on the branches

In the summer months you will need to water your vegetable plot frequently. You will do this by hand or with a hosepipe. So select a plot where access to a water supply is nearby.
Wind can cause havoc to a vegetable plot so consider protection against this with a windbreak of some sort. A low hedge can be ideal for this. A high hedge though can prevent the sun hitting the plot and also take valuable water and nutrients away.

Checking The Soil

Once you have selected the ideal position for your vegetable plot, the next step is to check out the soil. Vegetables grow better in a slightly acidic soil. With a PH test you want the soil to come up at about 6.5 for optimum growing. You can test the soil using a soil test kit which can be bought from any decent garden store. They do not cost much and are well worth the expense.
Once you have tested your soil you will know if it is acidic or alkaline and you can adjust it accordingly before planting any vegetables. If your soil is too acidic you will need to add garden lime to it. Testing the vegetable patch for drainage capabilities is also very important. You want a vegetable patch that is well drained. So fill the growing area with water and check it the next day. If the water is still there then you have a site that is poor in drainage and not good for growing vegetables. You can add sand to high clay soil to improve the drainage issue.

Preparing The Vegetable Plot

Before you can begin planting any vegetables you need to prepare the vegetable plot fully. There may be existing weeds in the plot you have selected and these have to be removed as they can cause all sorts of problems further down the road. To clear the weeds you can use a weed killer of some sort. Though this does work it can have an adverse effect on the soil. What we recommend is that you go over the plot with a rotavator. This will turn over the soil and pull out any weeds that are present. Once you have removed the weeds it is a good idea to burn them and not place them on your compost heap. As well as removing the weeds take away any rubbish or large stones.

Rotovating garden

Rotovating garden

The plot needs to be turned over to break up the soil and aerate it. This can be done using a spade and garden fork.In order to obtain the greatest yield from your vegetable plot you need to consider having raised beds. These are easier to tend to and the soil with them will dry out quicker and warm up quicker. By having a raised bed you also have an increased growing depth which is extremely advantageous with root vegetables.

Depending upon the quality of your soil, manure and other nutrients can be added when you go over the plot. A good tip here is to add a bucket worth of organic matter to every square metre of vegetable plot that you have.

Growing Vegetables

When it comes to growing vegetables in your vegetable plot you are faced with a choice. You can either plant your vegetables from seed or plant plants which have already been grown at your local nursery or garden centre. By planting existing plants you are eliminating many risks and have a less laborious growing experience. However growing from seed can be more satisfying and a lot more rewarding. The choice is yours.

When it comes to planting there are 3 basic options for you.

Wide row planting can be beneficial as you will not need to water, weed or cultivate as much. This is because your plants will grow up and shade the soil and hence crowd out any weeds and preserve moisture. Other advantages of growing with wide row planting include the ability to grow up to 3 times more quantity than you can with regular single row planting. You can grow more in less space and the plants will actually create their own mulch.

Gardening

Gardening

Raised beds are good for heat loving vegetables.. These raised beds stay warmer and drier and also drain much better. If you have a heavy soil in your vegetable patch the raised bed is the way to go. A raised bed will stay about 10 degrees warmer than the soil at ground level. Also raised beds allow more oxygen to reach the roots.
Single row planting is the conventional way of planting vegetables. It is the way to go if you are short of space and many vine crops can be grown vertically.

Maintaining The Vegetable Plot

Vegetables do not really require a lot of looking after but they will suffer if you neglect them. Regular watering is essential for good vegetable growth. Your vegetable patch will require about 2 inches of water every week for it to flourish. Unfortunately you can not rely upon nature to do the watering for you. You can water using a sprinkler system or even install your own drip irrigation system.

Vegetables do not like to compete with weeds for food and water. So keep your vegetable plot properly maintained by removing any weeds as and when they appear.
A very beneficial action to carry out for any vegetable patch is mulching. Mulching will suppress weeds, cool plants and conserve water. Straw is ideal for this.
Vegetables will need to be fed on a regular basis. Some sort of organic matter must be added to the plot once or twice during the growing season.

Any vegetable plants that are tall and growing will need to be staked for support. You should really do this at the time of planting rather than waiting until the plant has grown significantly.

Maintaining The Vegetable Plot

Maintaining The Vegetable Plot

Thinning out is necessary. When you plant seeds you will inevitably end up with too many seedlings. They will compete with each other for food and water and hence end up stunted in growth. Thin out seedlings when they are small.

In order to obtain the greatest yield from your vegetable plot you need to consider having raised beds. These are easier to tend to and the soil with them will dry out quicker and warm up quicker. By having a raised bed you also have an increased growing depth which is extremely advantageous with root vegetables.
Depending upon the quality of your soil, manure and other nutrients can be added when you go over the plot. A good tip here is to add a bucket worth of organic matter to every square metre of vegetable plot that you have.

Winter care should be carried out on your vegetable plot. In winter cover the plot with a green manure to protect it. Come spring time you can turn this manure over in to your soil to add extra nutrients to the soil. This will result in a better soil structure and provide better growing conditions for your vegetables.