Useful Tips On Growing Your Own Vegetables – Part 1

Spring is here and this is the perfect time to plan for the coming growing season. Despite the lingering winter weathering conditions and temperatures, it is possible to get an early start on growing your own vegetables, especially of you made up your mind that this is the year you will start growing your own vegetables.

Home grown food tastes better, and growing food gives one a satisfying connection to the soil and the seasons particularly for those of us who live in cities. By growing your own food, you are certain that everything you eat is chemical free. You will notice how good food can taste when there is only a few minutes between picking and cooking.

Soil preparation
Preparing your soil is important as a gardening veteran would say – “Look after your soil and the plants will look after themselves”. Nourish the soil with organic matter including garden compost and manure. Ensure that the manure is not fresh as fresh manure contains weed seeds, can harbor disease, and may burn plants due to its very high nitrogen content.

Edible crops take a lot of nutrients out of the ground, so they really need fertile soil to grow well. If your soil is fertile, weed free and holds moisture well without becoming waterlogged, your plants will not need feeding and watering as often. They will be less competition among the plants for space, water, and food, and they will be less susceptible to pests and diseases.

Over time, your soil structure will improve, and the drainage will improve ensuring a healthier environment for roots.

Where to grow your crops
Generally, fruit and vegetable plants require sun to grow well, so the ideal location for your vegetable patch containers is a sunny sheltered spot, away from trees or hedges. Look at your garden and observe which part of your garden gets the most sun. The sun is higher in the sky in the summer than it is in the winter, so that areas that may be in the shade in the winter may be in the full sun in the summer.

In the Northern hemisphere south facing gardens get the most sun and north facing get the least. East facing gardens get morning light and west facing get afternoon and evening light.

Avoid windy areas if you can, and beware of shade caused by fences, buildings and trees. In these areas, cool season crops such as cabbage, spinach and radishes can be grown.

It makes sense to position your garden where you can see it, that way you will not forget about it, and you can see what it needs doing. Try and position it close to a source of water so the watering can become quick and easy.

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