Whether you are a beginner or an expert gardener, there are many things to consider when planning and planting a vegetable garden. Luckily, there are many little-known veg growing tips that you can use to ensure your veggies grow and produce to their full potential.
Keep these veg growing tips in mind as you plan and prepare your garden and you’re sure to enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables from your backyard!
Soil is the underlying medium that supports plant life and the ecosystem in which they live. It is a mixture of minerals, organic matter, air and water in varying proportions.
Soils are also home to a variety of living organisms, including insects, bacteria, fungi, worms, nematodes and feces. These are all vital to the natural cycle of soil.
In turn, these creatures provide warmth, air and moisture for the plants. They also aerate the soil and release carbon dioxide to support plant growth.
Vegetables thrive in well-drained soil, which is not too stony, sandy or acidic. You can improve this soil by adding a good quality organic fertilizer, such as compost. This provides nutrients and softens the soil to make it more spongelike, which helps it retain water and allows plant roots to grow easily.
Having the right amount of sunlight is essential for your garden to thrive. Having too little can stunt your plants and having too much can be toxic to them.
The sun provides plant energy in the form of a photon (think of it like a tiny bundle of energy). That energy is converted into chemical energy using the process called photosynthesis.
Most vegetable plants require full sunlight to grow and flourish. However, some plants are tolerant of less sunlight and others prefer partial sun or shade.
When selecting a site for your vegetable garden, remember to keep the amount of sun in mind. Most plants have a sun requirement indicated on their seed packet or nursery label that tells you how much light they need.
Water is the lifeblood of the vegetable garden and it is essential to the success of any veg growing plan. Most vegetables require consistent, even moisture from seed germination through harvest.
Some vegetables are shallow-rooted and may need frequent irrigation, including cucumbers, beans, okra, Swiss chard and spinach. For these crops, use emitters with closer spacing (12 inches) to ensure that all shallow roots receive adequate water.
A soil moisture meter is an excellent tool to use when planning emitter placement and watering practices. A meter measures the amount of water applied and the time it takes to soak into the soil, providing a measure of your irrigation efficiency.
As a rule of thumb, you should water your veg garden at least two times each week. The frequency and amount of water will depend on several factors, such as the climate in which you live and the quality of the soil.
Pests are organisms that humans consider undesirable because they compete with us for food, water, shelter, or space. These organisms can be anything from insects that damage a plant to mosquitoes that spread disease.
Vegetable growing requires a great deal of attention to pest management, both in the field and during harvesting. A regular check of fields for insects, damaged foliage, insect eggs, and frass can help keep growers informed of pest populations.
Insects can be controlled by a combination of cultural, mechanical, and biological methods. The effectiveness of these control methods depends on the crop, environment, and goals of the grower.