Home gardening is an emerging trend today because of its purported benefits to a person’s health and overall wellbeing. It’s believed that it poses a lot of advantages if you choose to cultivate vegetables, fruits, and flowering plants in your backyard, windowsill, or any available area in your living space. Continue reading below for 8 tips for growing your own vegetables at home.
Witnessing seedlings turn to green sprouts in a garden plot day by day is said to be an exciting and therapeutic experience for many. Additionally, it’s believed that harvest time usually brings about a sense of accomplishment to the garden owner as they stand to reap the fruits of their toiling.
You’ll not only enjoy fresh, tasty, and healthy greens in your meals, but you can also save money and gas from grocery trips. It might even give you much-needed physical exercise and help you destress.
At Home Vegetable Cultivating Know-How
Want to try your hand at vegetable home gardening? Here are a few handy tips that may help you before getting into this new and rewarding project.
- Start With Soil
Plants grow well on good soil. For starters, you’ll need the right kind of soil to use in your gardening plot. Experienced gardeners agree that plants grow well with the use of loam soil. It’s a type of soil that consists of a mixture of sand, silt, and clay that make it ideal for vegetation.
Additionally, choose soil that has organic matter since they’re packed with microorganisms that help your vegetables grow better. One way to determine it is by getting a handful of earth and feel if it binds together when squeezed but breaks down easily.
You can even add compost with worms or animal manure to fortify the soil with rich nutrients. Ensure to follow the proper ratio and resting time for your soil and compost to properly mesh together before planting new seeds. Following this will give the soil-compost mixture enough time to produce beneficial microorganisms and make your plot of land fertile.
2. Let There Be Lots of Light
Different plants require different amounts of sunlight in order for them to grow and develop. The crop’s placement and location too play a crucial role in determining how much daylight they’re going to receive throughout the day.
Fruit-bearing vegetables such as cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, and peppers need lots of sunlight. It’s advisable to pick a location that allows them to get six to eight hours of sunlight each day. If your place has partial shade, you can still plant leafy vegetables or root crops as they’re regarded to only require a few hours of direct sunlight exposure per day.
Select a garden spot in an area far from trees, shrubs, or fences that may obstruct plants from soaking up the sun’s rays.
3. Choose Your Crops
What’s great about growing your own vegetables is that you get to pick which ones to plant. For starters, choose four to five varieties of what you commonly use in your dishes. You may also plant some vegetables you want to try out. There are also beginner-friendly plants you can choose from.
Cultivating fast-growing plants can result in harvests in as little as three months. Lettuce, snow peas, beans, silverbeet, various root crops, cucumbers, and broccoli are some examples of vegetables that are said to grow quickly. After a harvest, you can then proceed with planting a different batch moving forward. Succession planting ensures your garden is busy all year round and guarantees fresh produce no matter the season is.
4. Make Way For Water
Water is an important element to sustain life. Thus, you should also consider water access in choosing your garden’s location to ensure your plants’ survival. Aside from the occasional rainfall, vegetables are said to require an inch of water weekly. To properly supplement their water needs, make sure to set a plant watering schedule.
The frequency and amount of water to be used depends on a variety of factors ranging from weather conditions, time of the day, and type of crop being cultivated. It’s recommended to water your plants during the early morning or the latter part of the day to avoid too much sun.
If you don’t have the time to do the watering yourself, soaker hoses are inexpensive and easy-to-install alternatives that you can use in small gardens and raised beds.
5. Consider Your Gardening Space
It’s best to start small when planting vegetables at home. Experts advise on a 4 by 8-foot plot for beginners to grow crops. Then, raised beds may soon be added so roots can reach for water and nutrients to produce better yields.
You can still plant vegetables even if you’re short on space. Even if you live in a condo or an apartment, you can try out potted planting or use other available areas in your home such as kitchen countertops, rooftops, or bedroom windowsills. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans are some of the plans known to thrive in containers provided they have enough sunlight and water.
6. Go More On Mulch
Aside from compost mixed with soil, mulch can be placed on top of the soil surrounding plants and irrigation lines. This can make your crop grow better, produce blossoms, and bear fruit by keeping the soil’s moisture and temperature in check. In addition, leaves, straw, and other organic materials keep plant beds cool in summer and insulate them during winter.
Aside from keeping garden soil moist, it also prevents weeds from growing and keeps pests away from your crops. Experts advise putting at least three inches of mulch on top of the soil for maximum benefit.
7. Add Flower Power
Don’t limit your garden to just growing veggies. Add in some blooms in the mix too. Flowering plants are said to attract bees, butterflies, and other insects. They’re deemed to be good for pollination and can also double as a natural pest control agent.
Suppose you want edible flowers, plant alyssum, viola, nasturtium, calendula, hollyhock, and the like. You can add them to salads or brew them as tea. Having flowers in your garden not only make it colorful and attractive, but they can also make your dishes tasty and interesting.
Aside from serving as palatable additions to your meals, you can also use floral plants as garden mulch.
8. Garden Away With Technology
Technology can be a helpful tool you can also use to aid you in your home gardening adventure. All you need is a smartphone or tablet to download a gardening app to help you design and maintain your plot. Whether you’re planting on a plot or in containers, apps can enhance your green thumb by providing much-needed gardening tips and know-how.
Aside from handy gardening hacks, some apps can also help you locate nearby nurseries to supply you with seeds and cuttings. Others also feature nutritional information on various vegetables and crops. Some even have a built-in recipe book you can use to enjoy home-grown produce in more ways than you’ve ever imagined.
Growing vegetables on your own can be easy when you follow the tips mentioned above. Then, with the right mix of natural elements and technology, you can grow your favorite veggies and harvest numerous benefits in no time.