Your Own Veggie Patch - By: Cara Brownethorpe

Perhaps you live inside the city but have always had green fingers. Perhaps you have a little patch of soil in your backyard that you want to convert into a productive garden. Perhaps you may even have read an article or two about organically produced vegetables and wish to try growing them on your own.

No matter what the reason, you're at the point where you are preparing to jump into gardening in some way. Before you do so, there are a number of things to consider that you should give some thought to to make sure that your experience is enjoyable and worthwhile.

The main, and possibly most basic, subject you need to ask yourself is exactly what sort of garden do you want to have? Still writing strictly about veg gardens, there are a number of types of them depending on the space available to you and your lifestyle.

Maybe you are interested just in herbs or smaller plants? They can easily be kept in a container garden using flower pots. Plus container gardens have the added benefit of being able to be brought into the house when the weather gets too cold outdoors. There's no need even for transplanting!

If you are contemplating more of a 'regular' style of garden, the ground must be prepared and reguraly hoed before you can plant. The soil will need to be tested as well to create the most effective marriage of soil type to what's being grown. With a large enough garden, you have the potential of harvesting enough vegetables to eat throughout the growing season and store/pickle/can the remainder for the off-season.

Finally, an improvement to the idea of the 'regular' garden is a raised garden. At its most basic, raised garden beds resemble sandboxes with vegetables growing out of them. These enclosures have a large number of benefits over 'regular' bed gardening. The soil itself warms more quickly early in the growing season and the construction of the enclosure itself is great for drainage. There is also the added return of not having to bend or stoop quite as much when working in your garden, which anybody with lumbar pain can easily identify with.

After research into the type of garden, another question to ask yourself is why. Exactly why do you want to get into horticulture? Is it for one of the reasons that has been mentioned at the beginning of the article, or possibly another more personal one.

Gardens can provide a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables that are unique to individual tastes. For those who really enjoy pumpkins, for example, turn part of your back yard into a pumpkin patch. And honestly, the texture and taste of freshly grown produce picked at almost the minute that they ripen can not be surpassed.

Once bitten by the gardening bug - no pun intended - you may find that you lean towards organic gardening to produce vegetables and fruits that are free of pesticides. Or you might find that your soil is particularly suited for one kind of vegetation or another; for example, blueberries normally thrive in soil that has an acid pH level.

When you make the choice that this is a hobby that you'd like to engage in, the possibilities are unlimited, subject only to your imagination. Each year gives a new blank slate of choices that you can work with. If something doesn't work particularly well, don't try it again next year. If you enjoy something and you don't mind the extra effort involved with care and maintenance, you can plant twice.

The choice is up to you.

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