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Vegetable Gardening In Spring

Author : Mark Bartley

The secret to a successful vegetable garden is to make the most use of the space available – whether that's an acre of land that you can dedicate to growing vegetables or just a single raised bed. One of the best ways to maximise your yearly crop is to plan out the growing year carefully, starting with your salad vegetables in the spring and running right through to winter crops such as Brussel sprouts, main crop potatoes and leeks. If you get your planning right not only will you have a continuous supply of fresh vegetables but you will also avoid exhausting the nutrients in your soil. So let's take a look at the early part of the year.

Spring is the busy season for vegetable gardeners.

Be prepared for plenty of work during spring. If you've spent the winter preparing your beds they should be ready for planting your early crops as soon as the threat of frost has passed. Get an early start by bringing on your seedlings in trays either in a greenhouse or in a warm, sunny windowsill. If your seedlings have at least two to three sets of leaves before you plant them out into the beds they will have a better chance of surviving any inclement spring weather.

This is also the time when the dreaded weeds are going to be in full growing mode, so be prepared to go into battle! It's much easier to stop weeds from getting a foothold in your plot if you catch them early.

Spread the growing cycle out

Spring crops are usually fast growing and to prevent a glut of lettuces for example, try planting a new row or part-row of seeds at weekly intervals. This way you will ensure that different plantings mature at different times, enabling you to prevent a glut and then drought of produce. If the spring is particularly wet you may find that tempting young lettuces become targets for slugs.

Are your vegetables getting enough nutrients?

With your ground preparation during winter done well, your soil should already be full of nutrients from all the organic matter you've double-dug into the beds. However, if your crops are struggling to grow you may need to boost the nutrient supply with a liquid feed during the early part of the growing season. Watch out for sickly plants, yellowing leaves or poor growth. This will indicate that your vegetable garden is lacking in nutrients or that the soil is becoming to wet.

While spring in the vegetable garden may appear to be a continuous battle against weeds and nurturing tender young plants through weather challenges, the result of all this hard work is a bountiful crop of spring vegetables and a garden that's ready to plant your summer crops once you've lifted the last lettuce. Not only will you be rewarded with tasty, fresh vegetables for a variety of dishes, but it could also save you a considerable amount of money on your weekly shopping bill. Spring vegetables are often some of the most expensive to buy in the shops, so growing your own makes economic sense too. Once the last of the spring crops are cleared away you will be ready to replant your beds with the summer and autumn cropping vegetables, making the best use of your vegetable garden all year round.

Author's Resource Box

Mark has explained the key to the successful vegetable garden for various gardening sites and puts into practice his own advice in an abundant vegetable garden at home.

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Tags:   vegetable gardening

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Submitted : 2011-01-10    Word Count : 659    Times Viewed: 395