Tips for Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden
May 30, 2018 / Hollie Shuttlewood
Purchasing vegetables in the supermarket is undoubtedly convenient, but many people prefer knowing exactly where their produce has come from and the process in which it was grown. In order to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle, eating organically-sourced meals is essential, which is why more and more people are now turning to managing their own organic vegetable garden. This way, you can decide exactly what you want to grow and how, so you can rest assured that your vegetables were grown completely naturally.
Meal kit delivery providers such as Plated strive to produce customers with organic produce, meaning that they also follow these rules for the best results. However, maintaining your own organic vegetable garden can be your best bet, but it isn’t as simple as it sounds, so for the best results, we suggest following these easy tips.
Consider The Region & Current Conditions
When starting out your organic vegetable garden, it’s easy to get carried away with the prospect of growing exotic, exciting vegetables. However, this might not always be practical depending on the usual weather conditions that you receive, or even simply the region that you’re in. Before starting your vegetable garden, take some time to conduct thorough research into the types of vegetables that are able to substantially grow in your region. When making these decisions, you need to consider the growing zones, as well as the amount of sunlight that your garden usually receives, plus rainfall too.
Often, you can ask local farmer’s markets about which crops grow effectively in your region. The meal plan provider BlueApron, for example, organically source all of their vegetables on the Environmental Work Group’s Dirty Dozen, which helps them to gain an understanding into pesticides in produce and regions that will be safe from these obstructions. Therefore, by following suit and picking your vegetables wisely, you can avoid disappointment and watch in awe as your vegetables grow to their optimal size and juiciness!
Create Your Own Organic Compost & Mulch
When it comes to growing your own vegetables, people often overlook the soil and instead go straight to sunlight and water. However, if you want to grow a successful organic vegetable garden, you’ll need to make your own compost and mulch. This way, you’re able to provide your budding vegetables with much-needed organic matter, which will help with the natural growing process.Essentially, using organic compost will have the soil to retain moisture, supplying the saplings with all the nutrients it needs, as well as the worms and microbes that help to improve the quality of the surrounding soil.
While it can be tempting to pick up a bag of compost from the nearest garden centre, what you may not realise is just how easy it is to make effective, organic compost! Simply, all you need to do is pile up a concoction of leaves and garden clippings, as well as any other organic household waste you can find, such as grass clippings, leftover vegetables, and even egg shells! It has been stated by Country Living that the most effective compost forms from the right balance of nitrogen and carbon-rich organic waste, all mixed together with water, soil and air. Regardless, even with a minimally tended pile, you can expect to see impressive results with your organic vegetables if you create the compost and mulch yourself.
Vegetables To Start Off With
While diving in head first and aspiring to grow complex vegetables such as cauliflower and eggplant may seem like a good idea, we’re here to assure you that it’s not! As we’ve previously mentioned, growing an organic vegetable garden isn’t as straightforward as you may initially think, and can take some practice, so it’s therefore good to start by taking small baby steps. In order to help you out, we’ve created a short table naming some easy-to-grow vegetables that will help you to begin your organic vegetable garden.
Grow in a window box if you have limited space. The outer leaves can be harvested whenever you need while the rest keeps growing. Start the seeds off indoors and thin out the seedlings when you plant them outside. The more space you give, the bigger the leaves will be.
Tomatoes require lots of nurture during their first months of growth. Sow the seeds in winter and raise them indoors to ensure they are well established in May/June. They need lots of vertical space, so tie them to canes to support the upwards growth.
Sow directly in the soil from March through to June, and harvest them in June to August. All they need is support, so erect some wire to support the growth of each row.
Pay Attention To Crop Rotation
When you get stuck in a routine, it’s easy to plant your vegetables in the exact same position every time without ever considering the effect that it might have on the growth. Because of this, it is paramount that you alter the position of your crops when you plant them. Without this precaution, you run the risk of diseases spreading amongst your vegetables, stunting their growth and making them inedible. In addition, to eliminate these risks even further, try your hardest to plant them in different areas of your garden for the best organic results.
Another top tip would be to avoid planting the same vegetable where the previous one has been a couple of years previous. The reason for this is that when vegetables are closely related, they’re often affected by the very same diseases, which increasing the chances of your organic crops being killed off. One of the most affected vegetables by this factor is tomatoes, so always ensure that you get into the habit of rotating and resituating your crops at the early stages of your organic garden creation.
How To Water Your Vegetables Properly
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t water their crops properly, causing them to fail and potentially die quickly. However, watering your vegetables doesn’t have to be a difficult task, and by following a few simple rules, you can ensure that your vegetables are receiving the perfect amounts of water each day. Firstly, always aim to water your vegetables in the morning, as the conditions at this time of day tend to be cool and without strong winds, reducing the amount of water being evaporated in a short period of time and thus allowing the plant to absorb it instead. By watering plants in the evening, you run the risk of fungal damage, as the plant will stay damp overnight when it’s cold.
Due to laziness, many people tend to water their plants from up above, but you need to ensure that the water is directly poured onto the soil itself to allow the vegetable to absorb the nutrients properly. Organic gardening experts will often recommend watering vegetables infrequently for established plants, usually with approximately one inch of water per week, and this includes the amount of rainfall you might receive too.
Organically growing your vegetables may seem overwhelming at first, but we promise it can be a fun and easy task as long as you follow our instructions. For a real taste of how delicious different organic produce can be, invest in a weekly meal plan from SunBasket. An amazing 75% of their produce is organic, so you can rest assured that your food is healthy and packed with all of the nutrients your body needs.