Growing your own food is an important part of homesteading, but growing your own vegetables is not always easy. Growing the perfect vegetable garden is even harder.
There is a lot to learn and a lot that can go wrong. By growing your own vegetables, you can cut your grocery bills, and know exactly what you are putting into your body when you eat.
A vegetable garden is easy to start and does not have to be a chore. Try these tips for growing the perfect vegetable garden.
Location Is Key
Most vegetable plants will grow best in full sun. Find a spot on your land that gets at least six hours of full sunshine every day. This where your vegetable garden should be if you want to start growing the perfect vegetable garden.
To give the most sun exposure to all of your plants, put the tallest plants, like corn or pole beans, on the north or west side of your garden so they do not cast shade over the smaller plants.
Focus On The Soil
The best soil for vegetables should include a lot of compost and other organic matter like composted leaves or shredded bark. Whatever kind of soil you have to start with, you should add enough organic material so the soil is not sandy or compacted.
When you have the mix right, the soil will bind together when you squeeze it but will break apart easily when you disturb it. The soil is full of living microorganisms that will help to feed your plants as they grow. Water is better retained by good soil but will not saturate it either.
If moles are disturbing your carefully cultivated earth, then you can use mole repellers to move them on. When growing the perfect vegetable garden you do not want to have to worry about gardening pests for sure!
Use Patience With Pest Control
Unfortunately, pests are bound to find their way into your vegetable garden at some point. However, if you are patient, nature will often solve the problem for you. After all, most of the insects that you find in your garden are not actually pests. By growing healthy plants you will promote plants that are better able to stand up to potential pests.
There are many natural ways of controlling gardening pests when growing your perfect vegetable garden without using any harsh chemicals. Check out my E-Book Natural Old-Time Hacks, Tips, and Recipes for Your Homestead Garden for some easy ways to start growing the perfect vegetable garden on your homestead.
If you do need to use pesticides, apply them responsibly. Use them late in the day or evening, and only when absolutely necessary. Do not apply a pesticide in the morning, which is when pollinators and other beneficial insects are at their most active. Try to avoid using chemicals in a food garden. Instead, grow healthy plants in good soil and sunny conditions.
Most vegetable plants only need one inch of water a week, and that includes natural rainfall. It is easy to overwater. The most efficient way to irrigate and give your plants the water that they need is to use a soaker hose and a drip line for growing the perfect vegetable garden.
These work to deliver water slowly, allowing the roots time to absorb the water, and the soil to properly hydrate. It also keeps the foliage dry. Foliage that stays wet for a long time can promote diseases. An automatic timer can be a good way to take the effort out of watering and making it easier to get right.
Add a three-inch layer of organic mulch around your plants and over the irrigation lines. Mulch works to insulate the soil, which helps to keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Mulch also retains moisture, suppresses weeds, and acts as a barrier to diseases. Mulch also looks great in the garden.
It is important to know the source of your mulch, especially if you are going to use it in a vegetable garden. Some mulches can contain harmful chemicals in unacceptable amounts. Check the label or ask your supplier for the source of their mulch.
Do Not Over Fertilize
If you use too much fertilizer, especially with high levels of nitrogen (the first number on the fertilizer package), this can promote lots of lush green growth which looks good, but actually comes at the expense of less fruit and a smaller harvest. Excessive amounts of fertilizer can also be harmful to your plants and the soil.
Instead, add as much organic compost as you can, up to about 20% to the total soil makeup. Mix it into the soil so you supply your plants with the nutrients that they need in order to thrive. Feed the soil, and the soil will feed the plants.
Final Thoughts on Growing the Perfect Vegetable Garden
By putting these tips into practice in your vegetable garden, you can start growing the perfect vegetable garden right from the start and set it up for fruitful growth. Preparation is the key to growing healthier produce that tastes better than anything you can buy in a store.
Are you growing the perfect vegetable garden on your homestead? What are some of the challenges you have faced?