Home Vegetable Gardening For the Beginner

When deciding upon your site for the home vegetable garden there are some very important factors to consider eg position, size and shelter.

For your vegetable garden to be successful, position your garden in a sunny, well drained sheltered position. Forget the idea that vegetable gardens have to be hidden away at the back of the section because they can also be a garden of beauty. Also remember that your home vegetable garden needs to be easily accessible to the kitchen.

Choose a site that is sheltered from the prevailing winds but still gains full sun for the majority of the day. Young plants cannot grow successfully if they are competing against cold winds and lack of light and heat (sunshine).

If there is no ready shelter available there are many products that can be used to provide the necessary shelter. For example, wind break or shelter cloth are products that are very easy to erect with some stakes and will provide adequate shelter and if used as a fence around your garden will also provide protection from animals.

Now that you have selected your garden site you need to decide on the size, this will be dependent on the space available and the size of your family. If you are starting out it is a good idea to start small as looking after a small garden is easier than a large one. As you become more experienced you will probably want to expand your garden

Don’t be discouraged if the site you have chosen does not have the ideal soil as this problem can be remedied. Adding compost or rotted animal manure or any other soil nutrient will enhance any soil type. Sometimes adding sand can also help in making the soil less sticky and also aids drainage. Just remember for your garden to grow nutritious vegetables you need to keep feeding the soil before, during and after the growing season.

If your site does not have very good drainage this can be remedied by raising the garden either by building up the soil level or using a retaining wall then building up the soil level. Both these methods will improve the drainage. Another advantage of having a raised garden is that there is less bending involved when weeding or planting seeds in your home vegetable garden – very beneficial for the older gardener who may have knee or hip problems.

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