Do you want to start Vegetable gardening?
No matter what is your answer, but I will strongly recommend you to start it immediately to taste fresh, organic vegetables with real original taste. As this will be grown and cultivated by you or under your supervision, you will have the chance of getting vegetables free from any harmful chemical residues.
In case you are buying vegetables from your nearby groceries or local markets than chances are there that you are eating vegetables which are produced with indiscriminate use of fertilizers, pesticides, and weedicides which maybe carrying a lot of residues of these chemicals and can make you sick, a very sick and you will have no choice but to repent a letter on.
Growing Vegetables is a quite rewarding hobby. The impact of pesticides on crops and implications on human health can be seen in my earlier blog.
How to do home vegetable gardening
Make a practical plan
Make a practical plan of the area where you want to grow vegetables and the size of your garden. It of course can be changed any time if needed.
First of all, we have to know, exactly where you want the beds to go. you have to consider the size, shape, of the area. it is also needed to understand the location of your garden to figure out the best set-up for you.
Now we will discuss how to do it step by step-
Basics of starting vegetable farming:
1. Try to choose an area that gets at least 6-7 hours of sunlight.
2. Try to plant in well-drained soil. If you have any problem with water logging you can grow it on raised beds.
3. Soil should have good organic matter. Any vacant land having any type of vegetation usually has sufficient organic matter in it.
4. The place should have a stable environment because too much wind can damage your young vegetable plants. You have to protect that area as too much foot traffic may destroy your crop. This area should not be low lying and should not be flooded with water in the rainy season.
5. Try to start vegetable farming in a small area and after gathering, experience, its area can be increased.
6. Do not go overdrive to do vegetable farming in big areas rather limit it to you and your family s needed quantity. Especially it is not recommended for beginners.
For a family size of 5 people then these are the tips;
1. The vegetable growing area should be 13 rows wide. Rows should be around 10 feet long.
2. Rows of the Vegetable area should run south and north.
3. Make sure that you have good access to each and every plant so that you can do weeding and harvesting easily.
4. If you think that area of 13 rows is too big for your family or you do not have that much area, you can reduce no. of rows and also the length of rows.
5. There should be a path after every 4 feet of plants.
Although for homegrown vegetables, the broadcasting of compost is in most cases are ok but if you have more interest to know about soil fertility you can take 4-5 soil samples from all over the area for planting after making a hole in the soil about 6 inches. Mix these soil samples and reduce it to half kg of soil and send it to the soil sampling lab for testing it.
Soil sampling will let you know what nutrients are available in the soil and in what quantity. Crops and vegetables require Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potash as primary nutrients. Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, copper, etc. are secondary nutrients that are required in very little quantity by vegetable plants.
Selection of vegetables to be grown
These are some of the vegetables you can choose to grow:
First of all, think about which vegetables you like most and which you do not like at all. Growing vegetables which you and your family don’t like to eat than it is better, never grow it. If you are a beginner, try to plant vegetables which are very easy to grow in your area.
Consider what types of organically certified vegetables are easily available in your grocery. You can avoid that vegetable and grow the other one which you and your family like to eat but not available in your nearby grocery. You can read my other blog on organic farming.
Use seeds or plants taken from reputed nurseries which give germination guarantee of seed more than 90%. Seeds and plants must be of good quality and of those varieties which are easy to grow and give more quality production. Please visit nurseries and vegetable farmers to get first-hand information on it.
When to Plant
Different crops are grown in different seasons –
1. There are Cool-season vegetables grow in spring-like lettuce, spinach, and root veggies.
2. Warm-season vegetables in warm seasons like tomatoes, peppers, etc.
3. Some crops have less harvesting periods like beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, etc.
4. As we want a regular supply of particular vegetables we, therefore, want to plant it in a staggered manner so that all crops should not ready for harvesting at the same time.
5. You must consult with a customized localized calendar of gardening planting dates.
6. You can also get more details about vegetable production from the vegetable growers of that area and also from the nearest agricultural center or agricultural universities.
How to plant
Soil digging is required to be done when soil is moist but dry enough to fall apart.
After digging soil and making it fine, put ½ inch layer of compost and mixed it in topsoil. You can use a sharp spade to turn the top 12 inches of soil.
You can use vegetable seeds to grow vegetables or you can directly transplant plants of a few days old or one-month-old plants from a nearby nursery. After digging holes you can plant transplanted plants very easily. After putting soil back to holes pat soil and do some watering in & around the plant. If you want to get, maximum yield per unit area than it is better to plant in stagger way and in triangles rather than square planting. About 13% more plants you can plant in this way.
You can also plant multiple crops in the same area if they are compatible. For example tomatoes, basil and onions can plant together.
Watering of plants
This is very important that seedling is never allowed to dry and daily watering is needed. Transplanted plants also require frequent watering. Do watering slowly so that it does not damage new plants or seedlings.
Protect Your Garden with Mulch
To keep the soil moist and weed-free covers the soil with a 2-3 inch of mulch. Mulching material can be of dry leaves or small branches of trees or crops. This mulching will infect decompose within a few months and increases the fertility of the soil.
Weed and Pest control
Manual weeding is better. Avoid chemical weedicides as much as possible for weed control.
Try to avoid using chemicals to control pest but if it is quite necessary then use non-poisonous mild chemicals with all precautions.
Once the crop is ready, start harvesting it on regular basis as per your requirement.
Now you will get fresh vegetables with original nice taste and without having any poisonous chemical residues.
Stay safe stay healthy
We are committed to promoting organic farming and We, Will be happy to have your comments on this.