The growing concern and care about the food we put into our bodies has brought on a pretty significant change in our cooking and eating habits all around the world — so much so that the number of people trying to grow a vegetable garden from home is rising every day.
If you are one of these people who took up this brilliant new hobby and are a part of the Green Revolution, knowing how to care for a vegetable garden is indispensable knowledge.
We are here to help, and we want to give you a crash course on how to get amazing vegetables from your homegrown garden that will put the supermarket at shame.
How to Care for a Vegetable Garden?
These six easy steps are going to ensure you a perfect vegetable garden in no time. Let’s begin:
Use Proper Potting Soil
Since the garden is inside your house, it’s safe to assume that you don’t have a large space and soil beds, and instead, you will be using planting pots. It is a completely fine method and can give you perfect results.
However, know what kind of soil you are putting in the pots. Seeding the plants in suitable soil is important as you need to provide all the nutrients your plant might need from the soil. The potting soil for your vegetables is the one that has the perfect mix of soil, sand, and nutrients for your desired fruit.
The soil has to have a proper amount of compost or organic matter so that it’s neither too sandy nor too muddy. To make this guessing game more scientific, you can purchase packed potting soil for your desired vegetable, and the options are many.
Going back to the point, if your soil is proper, it will very easily stay together when squeezed but will also disintegrate as soon as it’s mixed. This ideal soil will be overflowing with microorganisms that feed your plant and keep it in a very healthy shape.
Simply put, proper soil moisture will give your vegetable a healthy and strong root that sucks up nutrients like a charm.
Water requirements are different for different vegetables and fruits, but as a rule of thumb and accounting for natural rainfall, your plant should have one inch of water each week. A drip irrigation system might be the objectively best one, but you can choose from a variety of methods, from sprinklers to water pots.
Throughout the lifetime of your plant, you need to provide a slightly different amount of moisture. For example, if you just planted your seed or the plant is still very young, keeping the topmost fifteen centimeters or six inches of soil wet is good practice.
Now that your plant has passed its young and delicate phase providing moisture fifteen centimeters deep and keeping the top layer somewhat dry will inspire deep and healthy rooting.
Account for the weather as a hot environment requires more water, while the opposite is true for lower temperatures. However, always remember never to overwater.
Resort to chemical-free mulch
The non-profit organization The Mulch and Soil Council suggests you check for harmful chemicals in your mulch. They even certify bagged soils or mulches that are free from harmful components.
Did we get too ahead of ourselves there? Organic mulch provides you a handful of services like weed growth control, soil moisture retention, temperature regulation, disease reduction, and soil eroding prevention.
If you find the bagged mulches to be too costly, or if you have to go out of your way to buy a big bag (most of it is going to remain unused anyway) use shredded leaves and grass from your backyard. Pine needles and straws work just as well.
This does not mean any organic material will do. Always avoid hay, fresh sawdust, and fresh manure.
Add a layer of two to four centimeters of mulch on top of the soil right after the soil has warmed and replace it as needed.
Don’t Let Weeds Grow
Weeds around the plant will compete with your vegetable for the limited nutrients in your pot. So, they are up to no good.
Look out for those pesky little greens and pull them out root and all as soon as they appear. Maintaining a layer of mulch will help you in your fight against weeds, but even then, some might appear. Get rid of them promptly and give your crop the space it needs to grow.
Get Rid of Pesky Insects
Unless you notice a large infestation of pests, resorting to insecticides is somewhat unnecessary. However, if you have to, use caution. Avoid applications in the morning as it will kill the pollinators and good insects. Apply good insecticides responsibly in the evening or afternoon.
This might not be as big of a problem as you imagined, as only around 3 in every 100 insects from your garden will harm your crop. Keep an eye but do not worry as nature will help you in this journey.
Fertilize as Needed
Different vegetables and fruits require different fertilizers at different times of the season. Cole crops, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers can be fertilized 21 to 30 days after seeding.
Vine crops such as cucumbers, melons, and squashes need fertilizers when their vines are at large and for a second time when the flowers bloom. Mix your fertilizer according to the number of plants you have and use a sprinkler from fifteen to twenty centimeters away or mix into the top part of the soil.
Refrain from using too much, though. An excessive amount of nitrogen in your pots may give you a surge of leaf growth but make no mistakes, they will reduce your harvest.
Research a bit about your fertilizer of choice, and you will know exactly what we are talking about.
Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor Today!
With our handy little discussion, you are now all prepared to grow the picture-perfect garden you always dreamt of. Choose your plants and grow vegetables in pots. We promise you it will taste a hundred times better than the mass-grown stuff from your supermarket.
Follow our guide on how to care for a vegetable garden, and your kitchen will be filled with your favorite harvest in no time.