Nothing tastes better than home grown vegetables. Nothing is more satisfying than planting, caring for, and harvesting those same vegetables.
The vegetable garden is a source of pride for most gardeners; it is also the object of a lot of hard work. These tips will help you have a more productive garden.
- Soil is the garden; it should be loose and contain organic matter. The organic matter releases nitrogen, and other nutrients for healthy plant growth.
- Sunlight is the next additive. Your garden should receive at least eight full hours of sunlight a day. A south-facing slope is a good location, in an area where the wind conditions are not extreme.
- Plants should be suitable for your climate, and ones that you are familiar with.
- Don't walk on wet or freshly tilled ground, this compacts the particles and squeezes the oxygen out
- Till or spade fresh organic matter into the soil annually, remove all weeds and unwanted vegetation before planting each spring. Rototill the soil both directions until it is loose. Organic matter is the best way to keep soil loose.
- Compost or organic matter should apply four to six inches thick and worked into the ground until it is 10 to12 inches deep.
- Maintaining the desired texture requires the continual addition of organic matter.
- Avoid repeated tilling when the desired texture is reached, this breaks down the healthy soil clumps and speeds decay of the organic matter.
- If your soil is rocky, hard or to wet for normal growth of the plants, the construction of raised beds is an option. Mound the dirt to six to eight inches high and two to three feet wide, to create a platform of loose soil for the plants. A frame can also be constructed of rocks, logs, bricks, or timbers, and the dirt and organic matter added to it.
Your soil is the heart and soul of your garden; don't take it for granted. It needs your help to be as productive as possible. If you take care of it, it will perform to your expectations.