A garden complements the beauty of a house, but what can be better than when it also serves you fresh raw vegetable and help saving you money besides being a beauty enhancer for your home? Building a vegetable garden not only will save you money but will also let you get fresh and natural food which would definitely benefit your health as it would be free from harsh chemicals and pesticides. Thus it is a wise decision to have a vegetable garden at your home, no matter big or small. It would also save you from the tedious job of purchasing those veggies in that rush hour.
Here are a few tips to help you lay down your vegetable garden which would cater all your veggie needs: Firstly decide if you have space or a big garden or if you want a small one. A big garden could take the load of your entire family’s breakfast and dinner needs but it would also need “big” care whereas on the other hand a small garden is relatively easy to maintain and would supply sufficient vegetables and fruits for a small family, one to two times a day.
Picking the vegetables that will cater your needs:
Remember that whatever you plan to plant, keep a check on how much fruit/vegetables it will provide in a season so you do not have to discard any leftover harvest. And do not sow a huge variety of plants, just plant what you will need, not what you can get. Nothing more, and nothing less!
Look out for perennial vegetables like tomatoes, chillies, squash and plant them in less numbers as their production will be gradual but continuous. But vegetables like Tomatillo, Tomatoes, summer squash, Cucumbers are seasonal and should be planted in summer only. Also, some vegetables like radishes, carrots only yield once so they should be planted in more numbers in contrast to vegetables like tomatoes which can breed again and again.
For adding colours to your garden, you could plant tomatoes, oranges and other fruits. And for adding lush greenery you could sow leafy vegetable plants like spinach, coriander, cauliflower etc. Adding fertilizers is also a good practice if you know how much to add and what nutrients your soil needs. You could hire an agriculture engineer for this and get a check of your soil quality. He would tell you what fertilizer and how much amount of it is required for the crops you’re planning to plant. Or if you know that your soil is regular garden soil and calling an engineer would be a waste of money then you could simply just buy a bag or box of fertilizer and use it as instructed on the package. But do not overuse the fertilizers as it would, in turn, decrease the yield.
Upkeep of your garden
In general, like all the plants, your vegetable foliage would require four basic things: Sunlight, water, fertile soil and air. This being said, the sunlight is the resource you need not worry about because vegetable gardens are never indoors unless you’re planning to plant mushrooms (which are fungi; not vegetable). Also, the rain will generally take care of your plants, but still keep check and make sure that they get about 3 centimetres of water each week. You could also use advanced irrigation methods like drip irrigation or water sprinklers depending on the water availability in your area.
Also make the bed of your garden a little wedge-shaped and plant the plants that need most of the water at the lower side of the wedge and those which need less on the upper side. Keep the angle of about say 15-20 degrees. This will further enhance the watering of your plants and water won’t get wasted.
Safeguarding the garden against Weeds and pests
Weeds are unwanted plants in a garden or crop. They might or might not damage the crop directly. Although they definitely decrease yield as they consume the same nutrients which your plant does. So it is a safe practice to keep checking the soil for weeds regularly and remove them manually; you can also restrain their seeds from getting planted by regularly digging the upper fertile layer (a few mm thick) using a hoe or fork.
Pests and plant diseases are a major concern as they’re inevitable as the garden is generally open. So, buy a decent pesticide use it regularly but do not exceed the indicated amount as it could also poison the plants and that would travel up the food chain causing bio-magnification.