There are many advantages to planting your own organic vegetables. You’ll be able to stay at home and pick your own rather than make endless trips to the grocery store. The food that you grow will taste better, and will not be exposed to pesticides. You will also be able to grow things that may not be available at your local grocery store and save a ton of money. Depending on the containers used, you have the ability to decorate with your plants and have a mobile garden.
Grow in Large Containers
When choosing your containers, remember that bigger is better. A container can’t be too big, but can definitely be too small. Larger pots mean less watering. Drainage holes are a must-have. Darker colors retain heat, which can lead to dry soil and damage to root systems. Don’t be afraid to use odd objects such as pails, old wash tubs, or even an old boot. You also need to use some type of weed blocking material under your soil such as cardboard or wet newspaper.
Garden Varieties to Choose From
In order to be creative, you have tons of different options in terms of style, size, and containers that you may use.
- Keyhole gardens are unique in that they are either round or u-shaped. This gives you easy access to the compost in the middle and the plants around the outside. This is good for a dry environment.
- Vertical gardens take up very little ground space and work their way upwards. Most plants that grow by the vine are ideal. This garden works well with pipes, rope, bamboo sticks, fences, and chicken wire.
- A bucket garden concept is quite simple. It isn’t strictly confined to buckets. However, the easiest of these can be achieved with the help of several five-gallon buckets. You should choose your size of container based upon what you wish to grow.
- If you wish to have a very mobile garden, you need to make use of fabric grow bags. These bags are quite sturdy and give you the ability to hang your plants from porches and balconies.
- Straw bales have been used for a very long time. Corn typically doesn’t do very well coming out of a straw bale. Just let your bale sit out and begin to decompose slightly before planting. Keep soil out of your straw bale.
To Seed or Not To Seed
In the event that you choose seeds rather than transplants from your local nursery, you can use pallet gardens or square-foot gardens. Each of these is relatively easy to make and use. With a pallet garden, you simply use the frame of the pallet, add a weed blocker to the bottom, fill it with soil, and use the top slats as a guide for plants. With the square-foot garden, the same concept applies except you need to build the entire box.
Planter boxes are a great option when trying to create a beautiful home garden. Be careful of treated woods as some types can be toxic to your plants. Pottery will be porous and will cause you to water your plants more often. Lighter colors are better. Try and arrange your plants so that the tallest ones will be in the middle, and the smaller ones will be around the outside so that they all receive proper sunlight.
Take Root and Grow
Organic soil is best. You can always purchase commercial triple mix at your local nursery, but there are many other options such as a backyard compost. Ensure that potting soil, peat moss, and either vermiculite, perlite, or clean sand are included.
You can seed directly, or purchase transplants. Transplants are easier for beginners as they have already developed roots. You need to soak the soil before you add your plants, and try to leave roughly 4 inches between each plant. In the event that you plant seeds, use more than you need because they all won’t grow.
It’s also a good idea to use some form of ID tags so you can locate everything. You may fertilize the soil before adding plants. After that, fertilize the plants about once a month and keep them watered. A good idea would be to use straw or compost to help keep moisture in the soil.
Elevated Raised-Bed Gardens
This choice is a combination of a planter and a raised-bed garden, and it offers the best of both worlds. In a sense, these gardens bring the plants up to you so that there’s no need to bend or kneel. There are no weeds, no pest, no fungus, and very little over-dried soil.
If you choose to build your own, remember this. You should use rot-resistant materials. It needs to be large enough to allow for root systems. Be sure to fill this with soil after you have situated it where you intend on using it, as it will be incredibly heavy.
Your plants are typically more productive the sooner you harvest. Once the growing season is over, completely remove old soil. By doing this, there’s a much smaller chance of infestations or disease. Use a cleaning solution that is one-part bleach and 9-parts water to clean out containers.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started in the planning of your own garden. Just be sure to take into account the amount of room you have available. Also, plan on the types of plants you wish to grow, containers available, and how often you wish to water them. Good luck!