Monday, April 26, 2010

Planting Your Own Veggies

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different t...Image via Wikipedia
Back when I was a child, there was a small piece of land that we looked after. Our relatives didn't occupy that land until some time lately, and that gave us opportunities to at least plant some fruit-bearing trees, and some for foliage and ornaments.

I had my chance of discovering that I can plant. Yes, I'm a green thumb.

Unfortunately, the country that I and my family migrated in doesn't present me that opportunity. If ever there is anything that I can put on the soil, the soil has to be in a pot. We live high above the ground, suspended in mid-air by the layers of flats above and below us... (I did had a good success with my orchids and euphorbia in my previous flat - the sun was shining in our favor).

Well, still there is an opportunity, but not like if it were really a piece of land.

Nevertheless, I found this article from Ezine directories, and it tells about growing your own vegetables, primarily, to be sure that you are growing a healthy piece of green to put on your plate later on, and secondly, to save!

Not to delay any longer, here it is:

Save Money and Eat Healthy - 5 Critical Steps to Growing Vegetables

Burpee : The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener : A Guide to Growing Your Garden OrganicallyWow. Have you seen the prices of vegetables lately? Week-after-week, I cringe as I walk through the produce isle of my local grocery store. As wallets get thinner, it seems like prices are skyrocketing. And the worst part is the veggies aren't even that good.

So if you're ready to put your hands in the dirt and grow your own delicious and healthy prepared to save money and have some fun! Follow the next 5 steps and you'll be well on your way to a vegetable garden that your friends and family will be fawning over!

STEP 1: Location, Location, Location!

Yes, I know...that's a real estate term but the same holds true for your veggie garden. Plants love sun...the more the better. So when you scout for a location, pick the spot that gets full sun for the longest amount of time throughout the day. Now if you happen to have a shady yard then you might want to consider container gardening. This way you can garden almost anywhere that's sunny...even on the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper! So look around, make note of the amount of sun hitting certain areas of your yard and then move on to the next step.

STEP 2: Choose Your Method
Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening
Are you going to go with raised beds or are you going to plant right into the ground of your yard? Most people like the raised bed method because of a number of factors. First, it doesn't matter what kind of soil you have in your yard, you can use the best soil in your raised garden. The soil also warms up at a much faster rate so your plants will grow faster. The easiest way to do this is to make small frames with 2 x 6 wood more than 3 to 4 feet wide (if you're planting several next to each other, be sure to leave enough room in between the boxes for you to walk). And you can even go less than that, it just depends how much room you have. Then simply fill in the frame with high quality soil and you're done!

STEP 3: Prepare the Soil

Your plants will need nutrition to grow big and strong and organic gardeners will love this step! Mix a good amount of something called organic hummus to your soil (even if you're using potting soil). Now if you don't have a compost pile available to add the contents to your soil, go to your local garden center and grab some bags of processed manure and mix it in to your soil. You'll be amazed at the results!

The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (10th Anniversary Edition)STEP 4: The Fun Part - Choose the Type and Amount of Veggies You Want to Grow

So what type of veggies do you want to grow? Tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots? It's totally up to you and it simply depends on what you like and the time of year. So have fun with this part. Now once you choose the types of veggies, you then have to decide how many to plant. Your first consideration will be how many people are in your family who'll be eating the crops. But there's an old farmer's saying - a row of each for each. That means plant one row of veggies for each member of the family. Of course the amount you can plant on each row depends on the row size. Play around with the numbers. And remember, you can always can or freeze the excess.

STEP 5: Planning the Layout

Here's where you have to take direction and shade into consideration. Plant your rows going North to South. This way you won't have one row shading the other and stunting the growth of those plants. Then all of your taller crops (beans, corn, peas, etc) should be planted on the north side so they won't shade your shorter plants. Medium size should be located in the middle (tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, etc). And smaller varieties should be on the south end (carrots, lettuce, onions, etc). If you follow this layout, all of your veggies will get the sun exposure they need to grow well.

Grow Vegetables: Gardens - Yards - Balconies - Roof TerracesSo there you have it...the 5 critical steps to growing your own vegetables. Use this as your starting guide and then do more regional-specific research on what types of vegetables grow where you live and the best time to plant them.

You'll be amazed at the amazing flavor you'll get when you pick ripe and ready vegetables for your next meal. And you'll be even more satisfied when you realize the hundreds of dollars you save every year just by putting in a few, enjoyable hours in your garden.

Happy gardening!

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Article Directory: EzineArticles

Taken from Ezine article directories under the same title.

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