Every year I look forward to gardening and enjoying fresh vegetables. My husband is an Agronomist and between his professional knowledge and my desire for good food it’s a lethal combination for a good garden. Through the years we have learned a thing or two about certain plants and how to get the best results. Like your watermelons can’t lie on the ground or they will turn black. We place boards underneath ours and it works out perfectly.
We have learned that tomatoes know what they want so you have to give it to them. They like lots of sunlight and a nice breeze. We have been known to put a fan up outside to answer the call. And with squash you will also need a very sunny area with acidic soil that drains well. So if you would like a vegetable garden and don’t know where to start? Remember a couple of important things:
1. Location, location, location. Its is best to plant your garden where there is full sunlight all day with easy water access.
2. You don’t have to plow your entire yard for a garden. You can plant a garden in a raised bed off your patio or you can plant a larger area if your yard permits.
3. Raised Beds off your patio can be purchased or built. Tilling with a tiller or even with a shovel can do a garden in the ground.
4. Make sure you keep your garden watered regularly but don’t overwater.
5. Check on your plants frequently.
6. Watch out for garden pest and bugs.
7. Improve your soil by tilling the ground, clearing the weeds, and other debris such as rocks and sticks. You may also add some compost to improve the organic material in your soil that will make your garden healthy.
8. Summer harvest plants include: tomatoes, peppers, squash, bush beans, eggplant, cucumbers and okra. Spring and Fall crops include: lettuce, broccoli, spinach and peas.
9. Place pine needles or mulch around your plant to protect the soil from drying out and it also keeps your soil temperature cooler.
10. Always allow enough space for your plants to grow.
Last night my family enjoyed fresh zucchini and squash, tomatoes and banana peppers straight from the garden. I cut up the zucchini and squash in cubes and added a bit of olive oil and garlic and baked in the oven for a yummy and nutritious side. Whether it is easier on the budget, a desire to be a bit healthier or just simply something for the family to do together, gardening is a great project for everyone to enjoy.