As the weather warms up you can almost smell the sausages on the barbeque. There is nothing like a fresh garden salad to accompany barbeque food. It is even better when you can just wander out to the backyard and pick the ingredients. The good news is that whatever colour your thumb, you can have an abundant vegetable patch. Here are 5 tips to help you get there:
1. Location. Location. Location.
The majority of vegetables need at least 6 hours of sun a day to produce a good crop. Avoid placing your vegetable patch near tall buildings and trees to prevent shading. If you have a shady yard, place your vegetables in pots which can be moved around to get maximum sunlight.
Making sure your vegetable patch is near the house and a water source will help to make it easier to maintain and harvest.
If you don't have the space or the right position for a vegetable garden use pots.
2. Prepare the Soil
Vegetable plants flourish in well drained, fertile soil. Taking the time to prepare garden soil is important for growing thriving vegetables. Mixing in organic matter, such as horse manure, with the soil can help improve drainage and soil structure. The site for the vegetable patch should be level to avoid erosion.
Take time to prepare the soil.
3. Pick Your Seeds or Seedlings Carefully
Think about the vegetables you are most likely to use. There is no point in trying to grow radishes if you've never created a meal with them.
There are also vegetables, such as carrots, which can be difficult to grow well. For the effort you might as well save your time and space and buy a cheap bag at the supermarket.
Spend time watching the amount of light your vegetable patch gets and buy seeds or seedlings accordingly. Cool season crops, such as lettuces and spinach can cope in partial shade. Warm season crops, such as sweet corn and tomatoes, need full sun.
Choose your vegetable seedlings carefully.
4. Prevent Garden Nibblers
Disappointed doesn't even begin to describe the feeling that creeps through your bones when you arrive to find your freshly planted lettuces have been savaged by snails. There are a number of things you can do to help save your vegetables. If you want to go the bait free option you can use beer. There is also a list of how you can prevent other garden pests here.
Some plants need more water than others. Group plants that require more water together so you can water them at the same time. To see if the plants need water test the soil with your finger. It should be moist but not soggy.