There is something very soothing and very fulfilling about planting and growing your own vegetable garden. When you grow your own veggies, you can be sure that they are free of chemicals. They are always fresh from the ground to a table and you will only ever pick enough for each meal you make. And, we all know that anything made from scratch tastes much better anyway! From taming pests to keeping the plants safe during the cold weather, here are some brilliant tips for growing a better vegetable garden.
How to Grow A Better Vegetable Garden
Growing Better Onions
Onions are the staple of many, many a great dish. But did you know there is a trick to growing them a little bit better? Here is a vegetable garden tip for you. The best way to grow onions is through newspaper mulch. It might sound a little strange, but the explanation is simple. Onion stalks don’t cast the greatest of shadows. That means they let in all of that glorious sunlight that sprouts weed seeds. A layer of newspaper puts an end to that. It will stop sprouts in their tracks. How do you do this?
In early springtime, damp down the onion patch. Then spread 3 or 4 sections of newspapers over the area. Then hose them down. Take your finger and punch in holes around 5 inches apart and plant your onion sets in there. Cover the newspaper layer with leaves, grass and other slippings. Not a single weed will get through.
Do you happen to have any old tires around? Well, imagine doubling your potato crop by using a stack of tires. Start with a single tire, plant two potatoes seeds and cover. When that has sprouted around 7-9 inches of foliage, place the second tire on top and fill with more soil. Leave approximately 3 inches of foliage exposed. Keep repeating the process until you have around 6 tires. The taller those stems get, the higher the yield of potatoes you’re going to be collecting. This is a new way of having a vegetable garden that save space to.
Starting Vegetable Seedlings
Do you start your vegetable garden in the early spring? Do you often find that the sun isn’t cooperating with your plans? Then make yourself a sun box. Remove the lid from a cardboard box, and line three of the four sides with aluminum foil. When you face the box towards the brightest windows, it reflects the minimal rays to significant effect. The seedlings will not only catch more rays, but their stems will grow much straighter as they aren’t going to be reaching towards the sun. Therefore, they won’t need to be turned.
Use Mothballs In Your Vegetable Garden
If you are struggling to protect your vegetable garden from certain rodents, then you might consider using mothballs. Aside from moths, they also deter rodents and other insects. Pop some of these fragrant balls around the garden. You’d be wise not to let them touch the soil though. They usually contain some chemicals that could contaminate your soil and crops.
The best way to place them is putting the mothballs inside a mesh bag and attaching the mesh bag to the top of a bean pole. If they are left on a flat surface like a bin lid, the wind might roll them where they shouldn’t be.
Keep Your Vegetables Warm
Make your plants some hot water bottles for their cold, cold evenings. Often we can get some unseasonably cold nights. That can cause some issues with newly sprouting veggies. The best thing you can do is surround your vegetable garden with some large rocks, terracotta tiles or other heat absorbing natural materials. If you don’t have the time for this, but you know the temperature is about to drop, then simply drape a thick black bag over your plants and secure it.
Keep Them Hydrated
Don’t skimp on keeping your vegetable garden hydrated. It is all too easy to think a quick spray of the hose in the morning is going to be enough. Actually, each vegetable is likely to have very different watering requirements. This is where having the right tools helps. With larger fields, you’re going to want to have something like a teejet to tackle this job for you
If you are new to keeping crops, avoid watering your plants during the blazing heat – even though you might be tempted. This can do more harm than good. Get into the habit of watering them early in the day and later in the evening. The sun mixed with water droplets might leave your plants with burn spots.
Group Them Together
Some crops grow better in triangles than in rows. If you avoid planting your vegetable garden in squares, you can get up to 14% more plants in each bed. You will have to be careful not to plant them too tightly together too though, this will make them more susceptible to infestations and stress.
Let Them Climb
If you are looking to make the most of your space then climbing plants really are always going to be the best option. If you aren’t blessed with a big space to work with, you can still get a fantastic yield of things like tomatoes, peas, pole beans melons, cucumbers and so on. As long as you build a well-supported structure using cages, trellises, and stakes you can build straight up rather than out.
More often than not you will get a healthier crop, due to the improved airflow around the foliage. This is a great way to conserve some space in your vegetable garden too.
Use Good Soil
This might go without saying, but you should be using the best possible soil. When using a raised bed, you want to fill it with organically rich soil as deep as possible. The growth of long, thick and healthy roots will depend upon this. The more nutrients and water a plant had, the more lush and productive your vegetable garden will be. A raised bed may produce up to 4 times more yield than the same amount of seeds planted in a row on the ground. The aerated organic soil is super fertile. It is more efficient for the roots to travel through.
When it comes to growing your own vegetable garden, a lot of it is trial and error. One year the seasons might be on your side and the next you might struggle. Once you find a few crops that really work for you, you’ll be branching out and growing your own all year round.
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Always enjoy your posts! I love my vegetable garden and appreciate your tips!
Awe! Thanks so much, Nancy! I am glad you enjoy reading them! Good luck with your vegetable garden!
This post is so informative, really good and efficient tips.
Thanks, Julia! I appreciate the warm comments!
I love to add vertical growing space to my gardens as well. Given I live in Canada, I use rocks as heat sinks in the my early gardens for helping create micro climates. Great idea’s there.
I love the idea of using rocks to attain a heat source! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the great ideas Annie. I will be implementing the trellis idea this year for my loofa and spinner gourds. Keep up the good work!
Your welcome, Jennifer! Make sure you share some pictures when you get your trellis up!
Best wishes with your garden this year, Annie!
Excellent tips here! I love the idea of going vertical with more veggies. I need to do that!
Vertical gardening is a great way to make room for gardening in a limited space too! I like to use vertical gardening for all my vine-type plants to save space for the sprawling ones.