Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just getting started, it’s important to plan your planting properly. You will reap the benefits of a delicious and nutritious harvest if you do this.
Start by choosing a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sun, but not too much. For most vegetables and fruits to thrive, they need at least six hours of direct sunshine.
- Preparation of the Soil
Soil is the basis of agriculture. It is crucial for farmers to understand soil preparation before they begin growing crops. Soil preparation includes plowing, levelling and manuring.
Soils contain a variety minerals and organic matter that support plants’ growth. It also supports the microorganisms that breathe life into your garden and turn dead leaves and other plant debris into nutrients.
The best soil is well drained yet retains moisture and gets enough air circulation for healthy roots. It is also suitable for a wide range of vegetables due to its pH range.
- Soil Testing
It is a good idea, before you even start planting, to conduct soil tests. They will help you decide which fertilizers are best for your garden and lawn.
The test can tell you the pH of your soil and which nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) are available to plants. The test also provides information about the soil’s organic content and texture.
Fill a cup with soil from each part of your garden to take a sample. Do this about 8 times to get a composite sample that is representative of the entire garden.
When planting, choose a spot with ample sun and close proximity to a water source. To avoid erosion, choose a level area if your garden is sloped.
Plan your planting so that tall crops (such pole beans on a tree or corn) don’t shade the shorter plants that need more sun. Plant taller crops to the north side of your garden if you can’t avoid shade.
Water deeply rather than superficially, as this encourages plants to grow stronger roots. This makes them more resilient to disease and fungus and helps them be healthier over the long-term.
Garden success is dependent on watering. A well-planned watering strategy can ensure your plants are always getting the moisture they need, and can help avoid periods of drought stress.
No matter if you use a drip, sprinkler, or hose irrigation, the key to good watering is to water deeply and at lower intervals. This will ensure that water reaches roots which are the main organs of plants that absorb nutrients, sugars, hormones, and other plant nutrients.
It is best to water early in the morning, before the sun rises. This is the only time the water can soak deep into the soil and the sun won’t dry out the plants.
Fertilizer aids plants by replenishing nutrients that may be lacking in the soil. It improves soil structure and nutrient levels.
The most important thing is to know which types of fertilizers you should use, how much they should be applied and when. The wrong type or method of application can cause injury or death to plants.
Before you sow seeds or transplants, give the garden a light application of a nitrogen fertilizer in the spring. This will increase the soil’s fertility to a satisfactory level.
It is an essential part of maintaining a productive crop. It is also a chance to clean up your garden space and make sure that each plant gets the space it needs to grow to its maximum potential.
Choosing the right time to harvest your vegetables is crucial. Many vegetables, particularly large fruits, are best picked when they are still young.
Picking vegetables too quickly can result in loss of flavor and texture. Pests can be prevented by picking early.
To cut your fruits or vegetables, you can use a pruning shears, a knife, or a handy garden fork. As they can easily bruise, it is important that you handle them gently. To prevent any damage and make it easy to wash, place them in a basket/trug.
Pruning is the act or removing non-productive, diseased or dead plant material from trees, shrubs, or other plants. Pruning is an essential part in plant care. It makes a huge impact on the health, aesthetics, and appearance of your garden.
Pruning also removes excess growth that can cause a tree or shrub to grow wildly. Pruning can make your garden look wild and jungle-like.
Pruned plants are more likely to remain healthy in the garden, flower and fruit better, and not produce a lot of waste or debris. Pruning can make your garden look better and easier to maintain.
- Harvesting Vegetables
One of the most important things you can do as a gardener is to harvest vegetables regularly. This will ensure that your garden produces at its best.
Picked at the right hour of day, vegetables ripen quicker. This is especially true for leafy vegetables that can wilt if picked in the heat of the day.
Seed packets and plant tags often contain projected maturity dates for each vegetable variety. The timing of ripening or harvesting can vary depending on a variety of factors, including cold spring weather and warmer-than normal summer temperatures.
- Harvesting Fruits
For a successful crop, it is important to pick the right time to harvest vegetables and fruits. Delays can have serious consequences, including crop losses and quality.
The wrong time of harvest can result in fruits that are less flavorful or rich in nutrients than their counterparts. It is important to know when to pick fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and kiwis. This will allow you to eat them fresh or preserve them for later use.
For example, figs can be harvested when they are still green and have a hint of yellow. Grapes should be allowed to ripen until plump and firm.
- Harvesting Herbs
A successful kitchen garden will include herbs. It’s important to know how to harvest them and when to do it so they retain their flavor and nutrients.
There are three parts of a herb that you can harvest: leaves, flowers or seeds. Basil, parsley and thyme are some of the most common herbs that are harvested for their leaves.
Similar to the above, herbs harvested for flowers often contain borage, chives, and German chamomile.
Regardless of which part you’re harvesting, it’s best to pick the plant parts early in the day when the concentration of oils is at its peak. This prevents plants from bolting when the temperature is too high. This can alter the taste of the herb and cause it to droop prematurely. This is especially true of annual herbs that prefer cooler temperatures.