Thursday, 25 April 2013

Spring is a great season to start your vegetable garden

Do you regard gardening as a hobby or a duty you can’t seem to get out of? Ever wondered what your garden looks like from an outsider’s point of view? Does it have beautiful flowering plants, trees, a lush green lawn and other landscaping features? Whatever you may have in your garden, you will always have some questions unanswered when it comes to taking care of it month after month in every different season.

Fortunately, you have answers right here like choosing the right plants to fertilizing, watering, maintaining the landscape and protecting it from pests. Having a beautiful looking garden does not come easily without time and effort. Some homeowners find it difficult to devote some of their leisure time to their gardens, which in turn will consequently suffer from lack of care and maintenance. However, with a little time and effort the resulting look of your outdoor space can achieve great results. 

Here are five important tips listed below to help you maintain your garden yourself without too much time, effort and money.

Choose the right plants and trees

Springtime is one of the best seasons to plan activities in your home’s outdoor area and what can be better than your own garden. There is always a sense of joy and satisfaction when you cook meals with your very own home grown veggies. If you want to get in on the delight of turning your garden into a mini food supply area then you will know the benefits of edible landscaping. Before starting on your spring vegetable garden, keep in mind that there should be a balance between the planting of ornamental and edible plants so that the natural process is instigated for the entire garden. Create a plan that allows you to plant seasonal vegetables, fruits and plants within the confines of your own property. A kaleidoscope of colors can be achieved with a different variety of trees, perennial plants, edible plants, herbs and shrubs. Never be afraid to experiment with your garden as there are many combinations to choose from like the colors and textures of edibles in your garden. To know more information on when to plant what, take a look at some of the tips mentioned below in your quest for achieving a beautiful yet tasty edible landscape.
  • Seed Order - The first thing to do when you witness the last few days or weeks of frost free dates in your region, is to take time and sort out the seeds of what should be grown in cool climatic conditions and what can be grown in hot climatic conditions.
  • Check to see if the soil is workable – As soon as the ground can be worked in your garden, you can start planting onions, spinach and peas. If you are planning to grown your own seedlings, you can start on them indoors, approximately eight weeks before transplanting them outdoors.
  • What to plant during early spring – When it is just two weeks prior to the last frost free date, you can get started on carrots, radishes, beets, cilantro, broccoli, lettuce, dill, kale, potatoes and celery. Transplanting is not required for these herbs and vegetables and you can directly sow the seeds in the garden soil. Some things to keep in mind are that celery and lettuce seeds need light to germinate and it is important to lightly cover these seeds with soil during the planting process.
  • What to plant after the last frost – When the last few days of frost are over, it can be safe to plant melons, cucumbers, corn, beans, tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplant, pumpkin and basil. Always remember to check the temperature in your area before planting outside. You can directly sow corn and bean seeds in your garden soil. Pole beans need a support like a fence or trellis as the plant is a climbing vine. Corn seeds should not be planted in a row but you can do so in four short rows to ensure and encourage good and proper pollination. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplant seeds should not be directly sowed onto soil but start on them indoors just about eight weeks before transplanting them to your outdoor garden. Any buds that appear on the pepper seedlings should be removed before transplanting them outdoors to make sure that the roots have grown large enough to support the plant. You can start planting squash and tomato seeds approximately six to seven weeks before moving them into the outdoor garden. Before four to six weeks of the last frost date, plant eggplant seeds in four-inch pots and do not start them on flat ground as they are sensitive and prone to transplant shock. To produce an early harvest of squash, start on them in advance in your indoor area. You can plant winter squashes three weeks prior to transplanting them outdoors as they need at least three months of proper nurturing to produce a good harvest. Older squash seeds do not transport well. You can start on melons and cucumbers indoors during cooler regions for a better harvest. But make sure that you transplant them gently because their roots are sensitive and do not like to be disturbed. Another fact is that melons are heat loving plants so if you live in a cooler region, you may need to use row covers or plastic mulch to provide enough warmth for them to thrive and grow. Most vegetables require seven to eight hours of good sunlight every day. Vegetables that grow in cooler seasons can get on with six hours while some can be grown in partial shade or indoors. The correct soil recipe that can be used for your garden requires 50% garden soil, 25% aged manure, 25% quality compost or humus.
By following these simple guidelines and tips, you can have a successful vegetable garden starting from the spring season and throughout the course of the year. It’s important to keep track of the progress of your plants to help you learn and become a better gardener year after year.

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