Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden
by Amy Lignor
Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that perfect garden grow.
That list to “create the perfect vegetable garden” begins by digging up the perfect plot. After enriching the site with organic material and fertilizer, and marking your rows with stakes, you are then ready to plant. So…what comes first?
Depending on what you wish to grow, you want to make sure that when it comes to your garden layout that the rows are running from east to west – tall plants being on the north and east sides of the setup so that the early crops, such as lettuce, as well as hot-weather vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, all get the right amount of sunshine.
Sowing the seeds is the most prominent skill you need to know. For small seeds, create furrows that measure barely one centimeter deep in the soil, and scatter the seeds evenly and close together for the best growth. For larger seeds that should be planted about three centimeters apart, dig the furrows at least two centimeters into the soil. Cover with a thin layer of potting mix or compost, then pack down the seeds and water gently.
When it comes to watering, seeds must be imbedded in soil that stays continuously moist until they sprout; therefore, check every day to make sure the soil is never too dry. Overwatering is also a mistake, because larger seeds can rot in a soggy bed. Plants need between three and four centimeters of water each week, and it is very important for young plants with shallow roots. As plants grow the roots go deeper into the soil, where moisture remains even though the surface soil can become dry.
A garden hose is still a necessary implement, but by using a rotary sprinkler or a soaker hose, you receive even more efficiency when it comes to watering. But whichever you happen to choose, make sure your watering is scheduled for the mornings or early afternoons.
Even though many do not like thinning the garden, this step is a ‘must-do.’ Ask the experts; they understand that although destroying seedlings can seem like a bad thing, it must be done in order to grow that perfect plot. If the rows are too busy, carrots can twist and lettuce can barely form. So when the seedlings reach 3-5 centimeters in height, make sure to do that much-needed thinning by pulling plants out carefully to avoid disturbing the roots of those that remain.
And the third basic step that must be learned and done on a continuous basis comes in the form of weeding the garden. Weeds will always compete for room, pushing vegetables aside and taking whatever nutrients the soil can offer. Weeds will grow rampant in a well-taken-care-of plot, and if they’re left alone too long it is a strong possibility that the roots of the vegetables you’ve tried to grow will be broken or twisted from those annoying weeds. Keep in mind that pulling weeds is far easier after a rainstorm or the day after a good watering has been done to the garden. The weeds will come up far easier and leave those much-wanted vegetables alone.
If you’re worried about insects affecting your vegetable garden, keep in mind that these little terrors cannot stand certain plants, such as onions, garlic, and even chrysanthemums. Therefore, planting these particular things will help repel any insects that want to call your garden “home.” In addition, make sure to keep those milk jugs and soda bottles around the house, because these all come in handy as covers to place over your thriving vegetables when frost is in the forecast.
Follow these tips and, with a little work, you will watch that perfect garden grow right before your very eyes!
Source: GIG News