Growing fresh vegetables and herbs year round for your salads or cooked in the steamer or the oven is a form of intensive cultivation as the best vegetables are sowing, cultivated and harvested in short time spans. Successive plantings mean that you produce young growing tissue and this is always found in the crunchiest, tastiest vegetables. This is how I harvest quality vegetables and herbs year round.
Step 1 – Grouping
Vegetables can be grown in pretty much the same soil. The best vegetable soil is loose, crumby and able to hold water and nutrients. It needs to be fertilized and aerated but the same soil will grow a variety of vegetables. Vegetables are generally grouped into 3 main types-seed vegetables, leaf and stem vegetables and root and bulb vegetables. Group these together because each of these vegetable types require different types and amounts of fertilizer.
Step 2 – Seasonal Planting
Determine whether your vegetables are cool or warm season plants and plant them in season. Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and beans grow well during cooler months while capsicum, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and corn all enjoy warmer growing conditions. Vegetables like cabbage, lettuce and carrots grow in temperatures between warm and cool plantings. Plants these at the correct time of the year as they will ‘go to seed’ if sown when it is too warm or too cool.
Step 3 – Correct Sunlight
For quick growing vegetables select a garden area that is exposed to at least 4-5 hours of sunlight each day. Have part of this garden face the south for the best exposure to sunlight, especially in winter. Avoid shade from other plants or buildings.
Step 4 – Garden Layout
This will depend on your time and interest in gardening vegetables and herbs. Start small and extend after success and follow this. A popular size vegetable garden is about 10 square feet. Plant the vegetables you enjoy but remember that climbing beans and cucumbers grow on a trellis and need little space. Tomatoes and capsicum have high yield crops. Silver beet and broccoli and lettuce are good for continuous harvesting.
Step 5 – Fertilizing
Use a pre-planting fertilizer containing phosphorous before each crop to assist with healthy seedlings and roots. Then root and bulb vegetables require no further fertilizing but leaf vegetables need more nitrogen and seed vegetables need additional mixed fertilizing. Most vegetables and herbs need a lightly acidic soil so fertilize with lime after summer crops and before cool season crops.
Step 6 – Watering
Water well across each season to produce quick-growing vegetables. Vegetables can lose large amounts of water during dry hot seasons. Good soakings in hot weather assist keep them in an exclusive herb garden or use them as borders in your vegetable or flower garden. They also grow well in pots but these will need a liquid fertilizer. Harvest when you need them fresh or if you wish to dry them instead, hang upside down in a shady spot.
Step 7 – What About the Herbs?
A wonderful addition to many vegetable and meat dishes, herbs generally need well drained soil and vary in the amount of sunlight they require. Easy to grow, often from seedlings, they can be grown in an exclusive herb garden or be used as borders in your vegetable or flower garden. They also grow well in pots but these will need a liquid fertilizer. Harvest when you need them fresh or if you wish to dry them instead, hang upside down in a shady spot.
Remember also the benefit of crop rotation to reduce the impact of disease in each vegetable family.
Simple Tips to Grow Flowers and Vegetables Organically
Do gardening using greenhouse techniques and grow vegetables and flowers in an environment-friendly way.
Have you ever enjoyed your annuals in the summer time, but then were sad when the freezing temperatures of October and November killed those plants? Perhaps you had a beautiful large coleus one year and left it outside during the winter and could never find that variety again.
Others may like to have fresh summer vegetables in the winter time. Whatever the reason, many of you would like to have a greenhouse to grow a garden in the winter.
What do you need to build a greenhouse?
To build a greenhouse, you need:
1. Greenhouse kits are great for the beginner. There are many greenhouse kits available which you can get from some of the bigger garden centers or off of the internet. These centers offer a whole array of greenhouse kits and materials to build your own greenhouse from scratch.
Depending on how many plants you want to grow, you need to choose a greenhouse kit. If you are only beginning, you should probably consider buying a smaller greenhouse that will consume less energy and warm up faster.
2. A heater is required for people further north and in cold climates. This is especially the case if you want to propagate annuals or grow tomatoes during the winter time. Annuals and tomatoes cannot handle freezing temperatures, so if you want to successfully propagate annuals such as impatients and coleus, you should have the temperature in your greenhouse set at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Most greenhouse heaters of good quality come with thermostatic control.
3. Growth lamps might be necessary in the more northern regions of the world to successfully grow and propagate some annuals which are of tropical or subtropical origin. They are required because during winter time, the days are much shorter than closer to the equator.
Furthermore, in many northern regions, the majority of days are overcast, severely limiting the sun’s light from feeding your plants. This is where the growth lamps can come in handy. Growth lamps should be suspended from the ceiling.
4. Solar heat trapping glass or plastic is a must for building a greenhouse from scratch. Greenhouses keep a good percentage of their heat by the sun. The greenhouse materials let the sun’s heat come in but do not let it out.
The northern side of the greenhouse
You need to remember that the northern side of your greenhouse is the coldest area and exposed to the coldest temperatures. In many regions in the northern United States and Canada, the cold winter winds come from the North. How the north wall of your greenhouse is insulated is critical to be able to successfully raise your plants during the winter.
Have the glass or plastic walls of your greenhouse on the west, east, south walls. Furthermore, the entrance of your greenhouse should be best placed on the southern side of the greenhouse. The north wall should be solid and heavily insulated. Along the northern wall of the greenhouse is the best place to install the heater.
Setting the temperature of your greenhouse
Depending on the time of year, the temperature of your greenhouse should be regulated accordingly by the three seasons excluding summer.
1. Fall is a time of year where some days towards the beginning of the season can be rather warm and summer like whereas other days can be cold. Fall is usually the time of year when the first frost and freezing temperatures arrive in the northern climates.
Unless you get into late fall such as the end of October into November when winter begins to set in, you should not turn on the heater. In the fall up to mid October, the sun is still rather strong. Furthermore, bugs and other garden pests have a natural instinct to go where it is warmer in the fall.
For example, Chinese beetles, which are orange lady bugs congregate around your windows and screen doors when it is warm in late September or early October. They do this because they know that in your home the heat will be running and it will be decidedly warmer than the freezing temperatures of the coming winter.
Though Chinese beetles are not a problem for your plants, but other bugs, such as aphids and other beetles can be devastating in your greenhouse if they come in and survive the winter. During the early fall and during Indian summers, have netting on all the open windows to keep the bugs from coming in and have the windows open to keep the temperature in the greenhouse the same as outside.
Only when it is cold outside and freezes during the night time, have the windows closed and allow the sun’s heat to warm the greenhouse. Even though it may freeze in October, the frosts are usually during the night and fade away as the morning sun comes up.
Though the fall sees hard freezes, if your greenhouse is closed up at night and the windows are open on warm days, it will not be freezing cold inside the greenhouse. This is because the glass or plastic panels of your greenhouse are designed to let the sun’s heat come in, but not let it go out.
2. Winter is the season that is the toughest on your plants. As winter weather sets in mid to late November, the heater in your greenhouse should be turned on. Never let your greenhouse get any hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures can be damaging to tomatoes and peppers.
Furthermore, in the cold dark days of winter, from late November to March, you should have the growth lamps on. In this time of year, try to simulate the same kind of conditions during the summer months. Your plants will be much healthier and more beautiful by spring.
3. Spring is the time of year where the days get much longer and the temperature slowly gets warmer. This is a time of year that sees some freezing temperatures and warmer days. The sun also becomes stronger in spring and this is a time to slowly acclimate the plants to be outside for the summer.
Do not put your annuals out early. Do not plant any of your newly propagated annuals until after Memorial Day, unless you live in USDA zone 6a or warmer. Zone 6a covers Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, northern Texas, etc. In those areas, it gets warmer and the likelihood of late hard frosts is lesser than in the more northern states or Canada.
Sprinkler systems for your greenhouse
Every greenhouse should have its own sprinkler system. Like when outside, the plants in the greenhouse also need water. Technically, in most professional greenhouses, the sprinkler system works by a hose that is suspended from the ceiling and has shower heads that rain of the plants, like a light summer rain. You should have the same type of watering system. Furthermore, your watering system should be set on a timer to rain on your plants every two or three days.
Potting and drainage
Plants should be potted in pots that have drain holes and the water should be drained away from the plant. Make sure that the soil drains well and the plants only get the water they need, otherwise the roots can drown…
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So you’re wondering how to plant a vegetable garden? Knowing how to plant a vegetable garden the right way can be personally fulfilling…and, financially rewarding. No, it’s not because you would sell off your produce, although that would be a possibility, too. It’s just that when you know how to plant a garden productively, you get a good return on investment (ROI).
Some people essentially double their money in terms of how much food they harvest as contrasted with how much money they invested in the seeds, the top-soil, the garden tools, and so forth. So the bottom line is that they save a lot of money on food. And, gardening is well-known to be some of the most potent therapy that there is. This means that the time and effort expended don’t seem like work.
Let’s look at some of the basics of how to plant a vegetable garden so that you, too, can get a high ROI.
- Planning in advance means everything. Before you lay out your initial money and start in on your vegetable garden adventure, you have to know a few things. You need to know how much you want to grow, how much space you realistically have (perhaps you need to do container gardening, in fact), and what vegetables you should, and desire to, grow. Don’t be like a ship’s captain who sets sail without a compass. Know what your goals are and how you’ll be getting to them.
- If you’re just learning how to plant a vegetable garden, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start small. Have a small garden for your first year or two years. After you have gained experience you can expand the size in future years.
- Find out which vegetables are going to give you better yields. You’ll have to do a little research and ask local experienced vegetable gardeners about this. Don’t spend $10 and many hours planting and tending a plant that only yields $10 worth of produce. That’s truly not worth your investment.
- Don’t be cheap on the garden tools and implements. Buy the best quality that you can possibly afford.
- Never stop reading and researching. Read gardening tip books, read up about different varieties of veggies and so forth. There’s always more to learn.
Looking to learn how to plant vegetables the right way? Planting a vegetable garden does not require as much work as you may think. The most important component in growing and sustaining a healthy vegetable garden is thorough planning and set up. Let’s look at how to plant vegetables that will produce food everyday for you and your family.
How To Plant Vegetables – Tips
1. Location Of Your Plot
Look for an area that will receive plenty of morning sun but also has a bit of protection from the elements such as wind. Try and stay away from trees, the reason is that their roots can take away nutrients from your vegetables and effect the health of your vegetable garden. Learning how to plant vegetables that will provide food year round is not hard with the right planning.
Make sure your plot is clear of any weeds and other pests. Dig your soil over and dig to a depth of about a foot. Turn your soil over and clear any waste you find.
Having the right soil structure is very important, if your soils pH levels are screwy your vegetables will not be provided enough nutrients. If your levels are off you can purchase some garden lime and aim to hit a pH of 6.5 (ideal).
Wait 4-5 weeks before you considering planting any vegetables.
3. What Vegetables To Plant
Your aim here should be planting vegetables that are suitable for your climate. With seasonal changes you should have an idea of what you can plant to ensure that your vegetables that you can rotate easily. You should aim to rotate vegetables that will allow you to have food that you can harvest every single day of the year.
4. Maintenance & How to Plant Vegetables
Most vegetables that you are thinking of planting can be purchased as seedling. You should look to plant your vegetables to run north/sun. The reason for this that it will allow your vegetables to receive more sunlight while limiting the amount of shade.
A healthy vegetable garden requires plenty of water but allow for sufficient drainage for run off and to avoid your garden getting waterlogged.
Look to purchase some organic fertilizers that will provide many chemical free nutrients for your vegetable garden. Garden compost, manure and blood and bones are a prefect choice. Learning how to plant vegetables can provide so many joys, it’s a wonderful past time.
If you want to learn
One of the first things you need to know when looking to learn
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Assess The Amount Of Space You Have For Flowers And Vegetables
Of course, any garden, big or small, will take up space. Thus, the first thing you should do is pick out the space and assess the dimensions your new garden will take up. If you want to plant flowers in your front yard, make sure there’s enough room between the walls of your house and the sidewalk or road. If you’re planting a vegetable garden in the backyard, make sure you have enough clear room in the sunlight to make it happen.
Test Your Soil And Get Fertilizer As Necessary
Not every garden will automatically grow just because you’ve planted them. In this case, the quality of your soil is very important. There is equipment you can rent in order to actually test your soil itself, but most people do it the old fashioned way: they run a test garden. Plant a couple of seeds of what you intend to grow and see how they do. If they flourish, then your soil is good. If they struggle, then your soil needs help from fertilizer. Contact a local topsoil distributor, many turf companies also supply, to ensure your garden thrives.
Research What Grows Best In Your Area And What Doesn’t
Just because you really love roses and want roses in your yard means that they will actually grow. Any responsible gardener will research what grows best in their area and what doesn’t. The same goes for both flowers and vegetables. If you live in a temperate climate, you may do well with perennials; if you live in a place with solid seasons, you should get spring and summer blooming plants and let your garden remain dormant through winter.
Get The Soil Ready And Plant Seeds Even Width Apart
Whether you are planting vegetables or flowers, you should make sure your seeds are an even distance apart. A good rule of thumb is at least half a foot. This gives your plants plenty of room to take root without tangling together with another plant, and to give them the chance to get the water and nutrients they need. Crowding plants together will only make it harder for them to grow big and healthy. Also make sure you plant in a place that gets good daily sunlight and access to rain, otherwise you will have to water them yourself.
Keep Up Maintenance On Your Garden By Pruning, Weeding, And Watering
Once you have your garden planted and it is growing, you need to keep up on its maintenance. This includes weeding it when weeds appear, pruning bushes so flowers can access sunlight, and watering the roots on dry days or in areas that don’t get much rain.
If you follow these steps, your garden should start growing soon enough. Enjoy your new hobby and fun new lifestyle!
Raised beds are the ideal way to create an easy to manage bed system for growing your own veg. Raised beds are free-draining, easily accessed, early warming and particularly useful to help you get better results on poor soils. A raised bed can even be used as garden beds for your flowers, either to display or to use for cuttings.
For the purposes of this project, I am using a raised bed made from recycled UPVC boards. I chose this system because the unique Link-a-bord system consists of rigid double skinned, recycled UPVC boards and it comes with easy to use linking sections and fastening dowels. This allows me to make my beds up into a variety of sizes and heights that will suit my needs.
In addition to this, the boards won’t fade or rot, and can be easily dismantled and moved if necessary.The double skin construction provides good insulation to help maintain a stable soil temperature, which of course is vital to seed germination.
Assembling Your Raised Beds
Now you have your raised bed, it’s time to put it together. This is a very simple task, takes just 10 minutes and requires just one person. I know, I have just done mine and believe me, self assembly is not one of my strengths!
When you unpack this raised bed, you will find 4 corner pieces (your own model may well vary but a corner joint will be present). Just slide these into one of the link boards and then follow this around until all four are connected.
It really can be that simple.
Filling Your Raised Garden Beds
Once you have assembled your raised garden bed, you need to fill it and depending on your location, you may wish to line it. If you have gone onto hard ground (concrete, slabs etc) I would strongly suggest lining with a good quality weed surpresser.
I have placed my bed in a fantastic sun trap but alas it is on concrete slabs so a liner was a must. If you are on poor draining soil then I would NOT use a liner unless weeds are a major problem. This raised garden will aid your soils recovery so let it flow my fellow growers, let it flow…
As for the compost, there are so many to go for so I will leave that up to you, but the quantity you will need will vary as shown below. I have mixed my in a 2 to 1 ratio with topsoil as I find shop bought compost a bit ‘fluffy’.
As a guide, for raised beds of 1 board depth (in height) = approx 125 litres to fill to within 1 inch of the top
Raised garden beds
Part 1 summary
In conclusion, remember, the choice of bed material is up to you. I have selected this solution as it is recycled, long lasting, flexible and very portable. Your placement should be considered.
Aspect is vital, you need at least 6 full hours of sunlight per day so get the kettle on, pull up a garden chair and watch the suns movement. To follow my project exactly with the materials I have selected, you will need A raised bed. The size and depth is up to you and some lining material to control weeds (depending on your placement) and finally compost, and lots of it!
In my next part, I shall be going through the selection process of what to grow and how to prepare so do check back again soon. That is all for part 1, so I shall leave you to get organised and I shall return later this week with part two.