Vegetable Gardening Tips
Tip 1. Planning – is very important to the success of your vegetable garden.
Your main consideration would be which way your garden faces. North facing for the southern hemisphere, South facing in the northern hemisphere is the best to get the most vegetables of your garden plot.
You also need to make sure you have water close by. There is nothing worse then carrying all your water to your garden. And if your garden is windy you might need some protection for certain plants until they are established. I do this for courgettes or zucchini’s.
Sow and plant vegetables that you know your family will eat. There is no point growing a vegetable that your family members don’t like because they will just go to waste.
Tip 2. Check the Soil pH – before you start planting your vegetables you need to check the soil pH – so that your vegetable plants have the best possible start.
You can buy a pH testing kit from your local garden centre, nursery or from an online retailer. The best pH range for most vegetable plants is between 6 and 7.5.
You can improve your soil by digging in lime if the soil is acid. Also improve your soil structure by adding well-rotted organic matter such as manure, horse or chicken manure is very popular with gardeners because of the nutrients it will add to the soil. You can also add compost to significantly help improve your garden soil.
Tip 3. Natural Fertilizers – as an organic gardener you want to look after the soil and you do this by adding compost, manure, grass clippings and natural organic matter such as leaves.
You can get horse manure from your local stables. Just make sure it’s well rotted manure and that it is at least 6 months old because if it isn’t it can burn the vegetable plants that you are going to be planting. Well rotted manure will fall apart unlike fresh manure that has lots of straw that hasn’t rotted down yet.
Also compost is an excellent way to improve your soil as its rich in humus – humus is very beneficial to your garden soil and can help solve a wide variety of potential garden problems. For example, sandy soil is made up of large particles, this means that the nutrients from the soil can be lost very quickly, but when you dig in a lot of humus this should help prevent nutrient getting washed out of the soil.
Humus also prevents your soil from drying out – so it’s very important to so it’s very important to add compost to your garden.
We also add grass clippings which also improves the structure of the soil. Grass clippings are literally that. We mow the lawn and use those clippings in the vegetable garden. We also ask the neighbours for any spare grass clippings they have. We use the grass clippings around plant or just dig them straight into the soil, before you have planted anything.
Tip 4. Watering – it’s very easy to over or under water your vegetable plot. Both are bad. If you over water the soil will become water logged and the vegetable roots will drown under water and the plants will shrivel and die.
It’s best to encourage your vegetable plants to develop deep roots – this means the roots will go deeper into the soil and so the plant becomes stronger. In dry weather it’s best to water every 2 or 3 days and water thoroughly then it is to give your plants a quick water every day.
Mulching can help stop the soil from drying out. You can use grass clippings, leaf mulch, compost, or cocoa hulls. You can also try straw or bark chunks. A mulch around your vegetable plants will stops weeds and keeps the soil moist.