Even when the produce prices had not yet risen through the roof, many of us veggie lovers still happily put in the vegetable garden, just in order to savor the fresh, delicious veggies right from the kitchen garden.
Now that the grocery store produce prices have most of us gasping, the veggie garden owner populations are soaring. If you’ve never ventured into this delightful hobby, we’ve got the secrets to your success right here. Psst! The biggest boost to your gardening success lies in understanding vegetable garden planning, along with a few tips to make your garden all the more productive, delicious and easy to maintain.
(1) To begin your vegetable garden planning project, you’ll first want to determine the size and location of your garden. Most veggies require at least 6, and preferably 8 hours of sunlight per day, so choose your location carefully. The size of garden you may have is limited only by available space and the existing landscape features. If your garden area is irregularly shaped, you might stake out individual smaller beds, using twine and small stakes, to suit the planting area shape. Measure carefully and transfer your measurements to graph paper, or a computer-based grid.
(2) The next stage of your vegetable garden planning is, arguably, the most important: deciding what you want to grow. Your goal is to grow veggies your family enjoys, in amounts sufficient to appear on your table as often as possible throughout the growing season. Not only will you serve superior produce, but you’ll be saving lots of money!
(3) Consider ‘companion planting’ (there’s lots of info on the net about this vegetable garden planning trick). One example of companion planting is planting basil around your tomato plants. There are three major benefits to this planting: these two plants have an ‘affinity’ for one another, such that both plants thrive better than alone, the flavor of each crop is enhanced and there is some evidence that each provides a protective boost against common pests.
(4) Keeping the critters out of your food can be a challenge. It’s well worth the trouble and minor expense to line the bottom and sides of each bed with chicken wire of a gauge the veggie-loving critters can’t penetrate.
(5) Consider raised beds, if your time and budget allows. Raised beds are worth the extra effort if you’re serious about maintaining a yearly vegetable garden. Raised beds assure that all of the soil contained within the bed is soft and friable, allowing your plants to develop strong, healthy root systems and larger fruits. Each year, the raised bed soil becomes ever-richer. No digging out stones or trying the slow process of gradually improving heavy clay soils.
(6) Installing a programmable drip irrigation system is the icing on your vegetable garden planning cake, so to speak. Drip irrigation is far more water efficient when compared with sprinklers and hoses. The plants receive deep watering, encouraging healthy root systems and fruits. You can go away on vacation and not worry about your plants flagging in the summer sun.
You can see that vegetable garden planning is not so much a mystery as a carefully, well-thought out road map to money savings and delicious eats! Go for it!