Monday, June 1, 2009

Tips for your Vegetable Garden

If you love to plant a vegetable garden every year like me then you know the amount of work that can go into it. With all of that hard work there are some things you can do to lesson the “pain” of gardening and make it more enjoyable which is what it is supposed to be. Here are some tips and advice that you can start following today.

Timing is Everything
If timed perfectly you can take your growing plants from the indoors to the outdoors without much worry. Timed poorly and move them too soon and all of that growth and hard work will be wiped out in a matter of minutes. So what causes this? Bugs? Your Neighbor? No! One of the worse enemies of a gardener, frost! Frost occurs when temperatures go low enough to where overnight dew freezes. This condition will kill your new plants. To avoid this look up frost maps online at the United States Department of Agriculture to find when the first and last frosts occur in your area and then calculate your timing.

Compost is organic matter that has decomposed and when mixed with your soil provides many nutrients that your plants will absolutely love. You should be making compost throughout the year and mixing it in with the soil as new batches are completed. You could also buy compost, but where is the fun in that.

Plant Rotation
You should never plant the vegetables in the same location every year. Certain vegetables use more of some nutrients then others and by rotating them (combined with composting) you will never deplete an area of your soil from any one specific nutrient. So if you planted tomatoes in row 1 last year, move them to row 3 this year. Mix it up and your plants will love you for it.

Know your Limits
In my first garden I planted 6 grape tomato plants. Little did I know that they produced hundreds of tomatoes per each plant! I could not pick nor give them away fast enough. I learned the hard way to know my limits and not plant more than I can handle. Again gardening is supposed to be fun and enjoyable not a fulltime job. Plant only what you need and can pick in a reasonable amount of time and you will be sure not to overwork yourself.

Next to oxygen, water is the most important part of any living organism and plants are no different. Yet, even though it is important, most people never give plants the ample amount of water they truly need. You should give your plants a good one hour per week of watering, and I don’t mean nine minutes every day, I mean sixty minutes in a single session. When you water like this, deep pockets of water are created underneath the soil which forces the roots of the plants to reach for them. When they do that the roots become stronger creating a healthier vegetable plant.

So there you have it. Five tips for vegetable gardening where you won’t have to alter your lifestyle in order to use. Simply follow these suggestions and gardening can be relaxing, fun, enjoyable and rewarding.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person. It is a practical easy to follow book that teaches gardeners everything from composting techniques, aeration and frost conditions, to choosing the right tools and picking the right seeds.

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