Starting A Vegetable Garden
Most veggies need full sun (6 to 8 hours per day) though there are a few that will tolerate some shade.
Keep pests out of the garden with a fence and by practicing crop rotation.
Water a vegetable garden frequently, especially after seeds germinate or seedlings are transplanted. Make sure the garden is located near a water source to minimize hauling heavy hoses around the yard.
Recent reports indicate that there is a concerning high amount of pesticides in vegetable sold in markets around the city centre. This concern alone makes the choice to grow one’s vegetables, herbs and spices even more urgent.
In addition to having safe produce, for novice gardeners, vegetable gardening is the easiest way to save some money while enjoying the benefits of getting close to nature. When it comes to costs, the price of home grown vegetables and herbs and even better their flavour could be way better than what you may find in the market.
Growing a vegetable garden is not such a difficult undertaking. However, it can be confusing especially for those that are not gifted with a green thumb. Here are some tips on how you can get your first vegetable garden on a strong start.
The little steps always count. It is easy to be committed to a smaller space than to be overwhelmed by an ambitiously huge garden from the start. Since this project is likely to consume time and money, you may need to a get heads up by searching the web and Googling a few gardening basics.
To start with, allocating a little vegetable corner in your yard will help you focus best on what you plan to plant there. Annah Nagooli, a novice gardener, realised her apartment space was not favourable for planting sukuma wiki seedlings so she opted to use sacks.
She shares, “I got around 20 sacks which I mixed with organic manure and left the soil to compost for about a week.”
According to Peter Oundi, a gardening expert, it is better to start with a small space and a few different types of plants. He explains, “A vegetable beginner garden would better occupy about 6X6 feet and also select a few of each type to have a variety of produce and less time for garden chores.”
Oundi adds that selectivity in gardening should be informed by the family needs and seasons.
He says, “Be sure to pick out crops that are mostly enjoyed by most of the family members and can survive the weather patterns or complement each other.”
For instance, planting green beans and peas can be planted together as they mature at different times. Following guidelines on the seed packet before purchase can guide your choices of seedlings as some of the care needed might be beyond your capabilities. Also in some situations, some seedlings might yield large leafed plants which might not work for your spaces.
Get that spot right
Nagooli knew that her balcony would do the magic for the vegetable choice. She says, “While picking sacks, I knew that sukuma wiki requires enough space to grow since it is large leafed.”
She adds that the vegetable also requires enough sunshine and water which is best accessed at her balcony.
The sunshine here is moderate enough not to cause the plant to wilt or cause rotting in its rooting due to excess water in soil textures.
During the hot weather, she sprinkles the plant twice early and later in the day.
Stella Anyango, a vegetable lover got it right by choosing a fertile spot for planting. She shares, “I knew which part of my space was with the most fertile soil and I chose it to spread my seedling which germinated conveniently.”
Oundi tips that for a successful vegetable gardening experience, the two basic requirements are the right nutrients and light.
According to growagoodlife.com, an online gardening portal, soil is the foundation to a healthy vegetable garden. A successful garden depends on good, loamy soil that is filled with organic matter and nutrients.
The soil feeds the plants, not the fertilizer, so the more nutrients the soil contains the healthier and more productive the vegetable plants will be. You feed the soil by adding organic matter to it, like compost or well-rotted animal manure.
After selecting the right location for your vegetable garden and preparing your garden beds, add two inches of finished compost on top of the soil and work it in. Work it down to four to six inches deep so the nutrients will be readily available to the plant roots.
Add compost to the garden every time you plant a new crop. Over time, the organic matter will improve the soil structure for better plant growth, prevent soil compaction, and attract earthworms that will increase soil fertility.