It’s a good idea to choose your favorite vegetables to grow and plan beds for early, middle of the season and late varieties.
Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, some need 8. Some quick growers like lettuce and radish can be grown between the rows of plants that take longer to mature, like beet or corn, thus making full use of the area available.
Vegetable Gardens Need Extra Watering
Throughout dry periods, vegetable gardens need extra watering. Most vegetables benefit from an inch or more of water each week, especially when they are fruiting.
During the growing season watch for insect pests. If you discover a bug problem early it will be much easier, but be careful to not use pesticides once the vegetable are close to being picked unless it becomes an absolute necessity. Organic gardening is one healthy and environment-friendly option. Once you have reaped your crop, put the vegetable waste into your compost pile so that it can be recycled for next spring.
It is important to protect your vegetable garden from wild animals looking for a tasty treat. Make sure your garden is surrounded by a fence that will keep out dogs, rabbits, and other animals. The harm done by wandering animals during one season can equal the cost of a fence. A fence also can serve as a frame for peas, beans, tomatoes, and other crops that need support.
Protection is needed in order for your vegetable garden to yield a bountiful harvest. Hard work will pay dividends if necessary precautions have been made.
Gardening is one of the oldest pastimes in the world. The healing nature of growing plants was recognized in ancient times. From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the cultivated plots among date palms in the parched desert, ancient people have been enjoying the literal fruits of their labors in gardens for thousands of years.
Today, gardening provides beauty and the opportunity to both profit from from fruits and vegetables and the prospect of enjoying the calm surroundings that are part of modern gardens. The joy of caring for growing plants is one of the simple pleasures of modern life.
Backyard Garden A Simple Pleasures
For those who wish to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables the size of the area that is available for cultivation should be no barrier to putting food on the table. Even a window ledge can provide enough sunlight to grow herbs that will increase the enjoyment of any meal.
Aside from saving money and growing your own vegetables for the table, you can also use he vegetables you grow to provide the basis for nutritious and delicious energy drinks. Simply blend a mixture of root vegetables such as carrots and mix with other organically grown produce such as melon or even cucumber and you have the basic ingredients for a healthy and refreshing vegetable based power drink.
If you have access to a back or front yard with some space you can also plant fast growing fruit trees such as apple, which provide not only delicious juices, but also the raw ingredients for fruit salads or even a snack straight off the branch.
If you make the decision to start cultivating your own fruit and vegetables a bit of research can prevent a lot of heartache. Visit your local garden center and obtain the advice of an expert on which fruit or vegetable types are best suited for the climate in your area. You may have to change over to hardier varieties if your winters are particularly harsh or your summers blazing hot.
The advice that you receive will also help you cope with the almost inevitable insect infestations that can plague the gardens of even the most careful gardener. These experts will let you in on some secrets about the natural insect repellents that you can use to keep your fruit free from chemicals and preserve their natural flavors.
For those gardeners who want to simply enjoy the beauty of flowering plants or shrubs there is an almost limitless choice. However, make sure that the ornamental plants that you will be cultivating are suitable for your lifestyle. If you have young children or pets that spend time in the garden make sure that the plants you are growing are not toxic or harmful in other ways. Plants such as thorny bushes or cacti should also be avoided.
Planting and caring for your garden, no matter the size is one of the most rewarding hobbies for those who love nature. A bonus is that the pastime can be enjoyed by the whole family. Good wholesome fun in the open air, away from the distractions of video games or the stresses of modern life.
There are just so many benefits to growing your own fresh organic vegetables, first of all it’s great fun, second of all it can save you money and third of all your vegetables will taste fresh and delicious just like they did in the good old days.
More and more people are coming around to the idea of growing their own vegetables but don’t know where to start so here’s where you can start – by reading this guide to vegetable backyard gardening for beginners. Growing vegetables just might be easier than you thought; after all, it’s really not rocket science.
Vegetable Gardening – What to Grow
Don’t get over excited and plant lots of different vegetables, start off small and learn as you go along. If you grow too many vegetables (or too many of the same type of vegetables) the chances are that a lot of them will go to waste which would be a crying shame. Think about your family and what they will actually eat – alternatively it doesn’t harm to hand over a few tomatoes to the neighbor every now and then, it can give you a real sense of pride.
Remember that vegetables like tomatoes and peppers will keep on supplying you with food for the whole season so you don’t need too many plants. On the other hand carrots, corn and radishes are a “one supply only” so you may need to plant more of them.
Vegetable Gardening – What about Space
You don’t actually need masses of space to grow your own vegetables, you can even grow many vegetables quite successfully in containers. A well tended garden will provide you with plenty of vegetables – a 10 foot square well tended plot will provide tons more delicious veggies than a 20 foot square plot which has veggies fighting against the weeds.
The Basic Needs of a Vegetable Gardening
Whatever size of vegetable plot you decide upon you must remember that all veggie gardens have three basic requirements.
” Full sun – the majority of veggies are sun loving and will need around six or eight hours of sunlight every day for best results – if they don’t get plenty of sunlight not only will you not get as good a crop but they are also likely to suffer from diseases and insect attacks. Leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce don’t need to be grown in full sunlight and things like peas prefer a little shade if you live in a particularly hot summer climate.
” Water – water, water and more water. Vegetables need plenty of water in order to grow so when you plan the location of your vegetable plot remember that it will be much easier for you if it is close to a water source – or if you have a very long hose!
” Soil – just like any other plants vegetables do best if they have good soil. The majority of vegetables will do better in well drained, moist soil which has plenty of peat moss or compost in it.
Follow those few basic guidelines and you will be able to look forward to eating delicious home grown vegetables for the whole summer.
Growing plants require a nearly endless supply of the best nutrients to maintain quality plant health. This is true whether the gardener is attempting to grow ornamental flowers, fruits or vegetables. Fertilizer is often added to the dirt as a way to replenish the depleting nutrients that are sucked up by the plant life during growing season.
Organic and chemical fertilizers provide essential nutrients including potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Plant life requires these essential ingredients along with other valuable trace nutrients. Applying the right amount of fertilizer, and the correct percentages is based on a variety of factors, but are all highly dependent on each particular plant’s needs.
Testing the Soil
By taking a test on the soil, the gardener can easily determine its acidity, or pH factor. This will provide all the necessary information to determine which nutrients are deficient in the soil. The soil test can be used to help the gardener adjust the types of fertilization used to replenish the nutrients. Even the best testing provides only minimal results when determining how much nitrogen needs to be added to the soil.
Garden centers at the local home improvement store or hardware store will offer sample test kits. These types of tests can give the gardener significantly more information on the soil by analyzing its content. It is possible to achieve high quality soil without using a soil test, but requires significantly more guesswork in selecting the best fertilizer.
An organic amendment is often used in conjunction with strong chemical fertilizers. An organic amendment can be nothing more than compost. The organic matter will continuously decompose and leach out many of the essential nutrients it contains to provide vital ingredients for the soil.
Some gardeners choose to add bone meal as a natural organic substitute for blending in phosphorus with the necessary chemical fertilizers. Additionally, blood meal and manure can provide the necessary nitrogen, and pot ash can generate potassium. All organic amendment should be blended into the soils before planting begins.
When It Is Time to Fertilize
Each different type of fertilizer has its own unique time for application for blending into the soil. It is often listed on its bag. Traditionally, all types of fruit and vegetable plants will benefit greatly by having higher levels of phosphorus during the early part of the growing season. It is phosphorus that encourages the production of healthy stems and roots.
During mid-season, adding more nitrogen to the soil can help in the fruit and foliage production. However, too much added nitrogen will often create too many leaves and only a minimal amount of flowering buds.
For the consummate gardener, over fertilizing the soil can cause just as much damage to the plants as not applying enough fertilizer. When the gardener is in doubt, as to whether or not they should feed the garden plants more fertilizer, it is always advisable to wait until the plant life begins producing less. Only then can the gardener be assured that the proper addition of fertilizer is required.
What benefits are in organic gardening besides having a more beautiful garden or eating healthier veggies and fruits? Actually there are more special benefits than most people and organic backyard gardeners ever think about. This article will tell you about the additional benefits and give you some thought provoking ideas that may surprise you.
Did you know you can feed children around the world with your organic garden? “How in the world can you do that?” you ask. It’s really quite simple and only takes a little more planning and work on your part.
Share Your Backyard Garden
When you began to plan your own personal natural garden you should layout a larger and grander garden. It doesn’t make any difference if it’s for flowers, veggies, fruits or bushes to beautify your yard. That’s right! Make it bigger. When it’s harvest time you will have more flowers, plants and veggies than you can possibly use.
Instead of plowing under the excess crops from your organic gardening or inundating your friends and relatives with it take it to the local Farmers Market or the Flea Market and sell it. Chances are you won’t have a problem selling it and you may end up with a pocket full of cash. Take the cash from the sell and donate it to your favorite “Feed The Children” charity. When you do this a starving child will benefit from your garden, long after you harvested your crops.
Another great benefit from raising your own organic fruits and veggies is it’s a great school project for your child’s school. Help your child and their classmates set up their own organic garden. The immediate lessons they learn will be about how to help the environment, healthy eating, teamwork and it makes learning fun for them. Again, set it up, so the children can take the crops to the local Farmers Market or Flea Market to sell. The proceeds from the sell can be used to buy something which will benefit all of the children of the school.
This next benefit is one that is seldom thought about by your children or possibly by you. This is the benefit of the physical exercise you and the kids will receive by working in the garden. You know that the kids today don’t play outside the way you did when you were a kid. An hour a day of working in your garden will help in weight loss (burning calories), lowering blood pressure, strengthen the heart and lungs, build muscle, sharpen the mind. Relieve stress and sleep better. The end result being you and kids will be much happier and healthy to boot.
One last benefit you will realize by you when working with the earth and growing things organically is the restoration of your spirit and soul. You will receive such a sense of well being when you have a fruitful harvest, you just can’t beat it. You will know you have done your part to help “Mother Nature” return to her natural state and touched all the other human beings by doing so.
As you have just read the benefits to organic gardening can benefit not only yourself and your family, but you can actually reach out and make a difference in the world.
The summer is a busy time for gardeners – some plants will grow like wildfire and others will be liable to perish under the hot summer sun. With a little TLC and plenty of water there is no reason why every plant shouldn’t flourish and bloom in the summer months – extra water and fertilizer is really the key to having a beautiful backyard summer garden.
Here are a few more backyard garden tips to help you get the most from your garden this summer.
” It can be a little tempting to over water lawns during the summer months, I know, you wouldn’t think it possible but a lawn only really needs two – three inches of water per week.
” Watering your lawn (and the rest of your garden) early in the morning will reduce the amount of water which is lost because of evaporation.
” You need to treat your lawn every 4 or 6 weeks with some lawn food – the slow release food is the best choice.
” Don’t forget to mow your lawn quite regularly. You should mow the grass every time it has grown around a half an inch to an inch for the best results.
” Flower beds need to have plenty of organic mulch to help them retain as much moisture as possible.
” Give your flower beds plenty of water – the soil should be always moist but never soggy.
” Your flower beds will also need to be fertilized quite regularly through the summer – at least every three or four weeks.
” Dead head flowers to promote more bloom and new growth – pinch back any stems which are becoming leggy.
” You may need to water newly planted flowers more than once per day until they become established and settled in the flower bed.
” Trees also need lots of fertilizer to encourage rapid growth during the summer, especially citrus fruit trees, deciduous fruit trees and desert trees.
” When you water these trees make sure that they have plenty of water to around 3 inches of depth.
” If you want to plant any citrus, fruit or desert trees now is a good time to do it.
Summer Gardening Pests
The plants may be glad to see the summer but it is also the time when you have to be most vigilant against diseases and insects.
” Keep an eye on your trees and shrubs for foliage which suddenly begins to wilt
” Branches which begin to die at the end (around 6 – 8 inches at the end) may be victims of the female cicada – she may have selected to lay her eggs. If you can see slash marks measuring around ¼” that’s probably the culprit – you can’t do anything to control it but the damage is usually pretty limited.
” Prickly pear cactus is extremely susceptible to cochineal scale – white fluffy globs – blasting them off with water jets is usually sufficient to sort them out.
Summer is the time when most people can really enjoy their garden and following a few of these summer gardening tips will ensure that you have a beautiful garden to enjoy.