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Home Grown Vegetables

Author : Mark Bartley

Managing a vegetable garden at home is a fairly straight forward task once the garden is up and running, but although many people yearn for their own vegetable garden, the job of setting one up appears daunting and some people feel put off before they start. If that situation seems familiar to you, here is some simple advice to help break the deadlock and take the first steps to setting up a little vegetable plot of your own.

Firstly it's a good idea to keep things very easy to start with and spend some time planning and gathering information before you start work outside. It is very tempting to get your outdoor shoes on and head outside with your spade and wheelbarrow at the ready, but starting like that will never be the most efficient way. Gardens succeed or fail for a variety of reasons and it's very easy to get some things wrong at the start which are difficult if not impossible to correct later. However a great vegetable garden can be created by anyone if they follow some simple guidelines to start with.

There really are 4 main planning considerations when it comes to growing vegetables.

Which vegetables do you like to eat? Which of those can you realistically grow yourself? Get yourself a great growing location and be prepared for challenges before they arrive. Of course these are all high-level considerations, but at least it presents the project in a manner that highlights the need for some initial planning. There is little value in growing things nobody will want to eat, varieties that will not thrive in local conditions or attempting to grow challenging vegetables when your knowledge of the subject is just developing. So it's best to start with vegetables you love to eat and which will not throw up too many challenges for you. So let's get started with some planning.

The first decision to make concerns location. Think about soil condition (although this can be rectified if not already ideal), sunlight, wind, drainage and convenience. The issue of convenience is an important one, because if your garden is within easy reach of the home (ideally right outside the kitchen window) then it is much more likely to get the "little and often" attention on which it will thrive.

Having decided where to site your vegetable plot and that could be a sunny corner of the garden or a custom-built raised bed, the decision of what to grow needs to be made next. If you are doing your planning in January or February, then you'll have a bigger choice of possible vegetables to grow, but if the growing season is already underway, there may be varieties for which it is too late this year. If you have just missed the window for growing certain varieties from seed, you may be able to catch up by purchasing young plants in modules either online or from your local garden centre.

Now the fun starts and you can start sowing your first trays of seeds or visiting the local garden specialist to pick some seedlings. If you have grown some varieties from seed indoors or in the greenhouse, keep a careful eye on the weather forecast and pick a run of fine weather days that will ease the transition for your tender plants.

Apart from a bit of weeding and feeding and watering your crops, pests and disease now become important things to watch out for. Some preventative measures can be taken to tackle the more common problems like carrot fly, slugs or aphids and caterpillars. For more infrequent problems, again a good quality book or a quick search on the internet will help accelerate your vegetable growing knowledge quickly.

Because your own vegetables can move quickly from the garden to your plate, the taste of them is usually very good, much better than shop bought produce which may have been picked weeks earlier and travelled long distances to get to you. Also a vegetable garden of your own means you can decide exactly when you eat your produce. Some varieties can be eaten while small and young such as salad leaves, while others len themselves to home storage such as garlic.

Vegetable gardening is a very rewarding pastime and even more so when the result of your efforts is some great tasting food, so what are you waiting for? Growing vegetables can be easier than you think so start your planning today and it won't be long before your first crops are ready.

Author's Resource Box

Mike provides guidelines for garden owners thinking about growing vegetables at home. Mike is a gardening enthusiast and publisher.

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Tags:   growing vegetables, vegetable gardening

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Submitted : 2011-01-21    Word Count : 857    Times Viewed: 408