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Vegetable garden

How to start a vegetable garden

Saturday, August 06, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: vegetable garden, fresh produce, health news

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(NewsTarget) These days, more and more people have decided to start a vegetable garden. Not only is the produce guaranteed to be a lot cheaper than that purchased at the store, but it is also a lot healthier and almost certainly guaranteed to be organic.

Starting your own vegetable garden need not be expensive in the least. For those with limited or no yard space, containers can be used as planters. Ordinary strips of scrap wood can be nailed or lashed together to make a `tepee` design, which works well for runner plants such as beans, some cucumbers, peas and some tomatoes. Used pallet wood can be used to make raised garden beds or containers.

It is important to note that if you are starting a vegetable garden for the first time, it is better to rather master 2 or 3 different crops initially than plant 15 different crops and not be able to tend to all of them. As you master each crop, you will find that you will be able to successfully add a larger selection to your garden.

Calculate the amount of growing space you wish to use and plant seeds accordingly. The ideal patch of ground or growing area will be that which receives full sun almost all day. Ensure that you have the necessary tools such as spades, hoes, rakes and gloves before embarking on your project.

Always buy heirloom seeds from reputable sources. Heirloom seeds may be more costly to purchase, but they are definitely the better option, as seeds can be saved from each crop for the following year. Whereas with chemically treated seeds from some sources, the plants stand a good chance of being genetically modified.

Once you have your seeds or seedlings, you need to ensure that your soil is suitable for growing produce. A pH level of around 6.5 is ideal for optimal growing conditions. If you are unsure whether your soil is ph balanced or suitable for growing produce in, it is best to take a sample of it to your local nursery for them to test it and to determine whether you need to treat the soil before planting your crops.

Once planted, your crops will begin to grow. They will need a little attention from you in the form of watering, mulching (for certain plants) and weeding. It is important to keep weeds out of your vegetable patch, as they will steal valuable nutrients from the soil that could otherwise have gone to your produce.

Most importantly, if you find that you have a surplus of produce, a good idea is to share with friends, neighbours and family. This could encourage them to start their own vegetable patch, which could in turn lead to a barter system where each person grows different crops and exchanges his/her surplus.

Sources:

http://startagarden.com/
http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/01/11...
http://www.ehow.com/how_110539_start-vegetab...


About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here


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