Top tips for vegetable gardening

The top tips that I have learnt from the past 5 years of vegetable gardening through trial and error!

My garden teaches me something new every day and also reminds me that there is still so much to learn. Please share your top gardening tips in the comment section below:

Don’t start too big

I know many of us think we are the next farmer extraordinaire and that soon crops will be flowing from our gardens but you have to be realistic in the beginning. Start small with a few vegetables so that you learn some of the basics first without wasting time and money.

Try crop rotation

If you keep the same crop in the same spot then some nasty diseases could crop up. Certain plants take nutrients out of the ground while others return them to the soil, so changing things up a bit will greatly benefit the health of your soil.

“You can’t plough a field simply by turning it over in your mind.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Planning ahead will save you a lot of heartache and save you heaps of time. Draw out a map of your garden, where to plant what and study which plants go best together or apart. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

Make mulch your friend.

Mulching well reduces the spread of weeds whilst also helping your soil retain moisture for longer.

Location, location, location

Create your garden near your kitchen so that it is easy to pop out to gather provisions. Make sure the spot receives plenty sunlight as winter can be tough on many of your plants.

Grow your favourites

Grow the vegetables that you and your family enjoy. It does not help having acres of broccoli if your kids won’t touch the stuff.  Planting the vegetables that you eat regularly will insure that nothing goes to waste and will save you money.

Two is company, three’s a crowd

Give your plants ample space to grow. Crowding everything too close together makes for bad neighbours and in the end you will be left with less not more. Don’t make them fight for water or soil.

Buy seedlings

In the beginning, it may help to purchase seedlings to give you a boost in confidence and your garden a jump-start.

Compost is your best friend

The quality of the soil in most of our backyards is not of the highest standards, often littered with cement and sand left over from the building process. Good quality compost will ensure strong and healthy plants and will increase the yield.

Don’t let the weeds win!

Make sure to weed often as they can take over a garden very quickly. Get the kids involved by making it their task for a bit of extra pocket money or just to get them outside for some fresh air. Your vegetable garden should be a family affair so don’t go it alone for long.

Experiment

Try planting a new type of vegetable every now and then. This will increase your range of skills and knowledge and will make sure that your family does not get bored of the same vegs every night!

Lastly I leave you with the saying of a very wise lady. It does indeed take hard work but remember to enjoy not just the produce but the process as well.

“Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.  ~ Lou Erickson”

Sam Samantha van Riet Illustrator – Author – Blogger

www.samvanriet.co.za 

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One Response to Top tips for vegetable gardening

  1. Niall April 8, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Thanks Sam, these are great!

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