The Basics Of Planting Vegetable Gardens

Not a lot of people try planting vegetable gardens these days, especially not in the city. What with the busy lifestyle, constrained spaces, and pollution, it seems inconceivable that a vegetable garden would survive. The fact is, you can actually grow them even if you are smack in the middle of a busy city. It’s only important that you get the basics of planting vegetable gardens right.

First things first. Soil preparation. This is one of the most basic things that any new gardener will have to learn. Whether you plan to use a plot of land in your backyard or start a vegetable garden in plant boxes, soil preparation plays an important role in whether your vegetable garden will survive or not. There are three types of soil that you need to be familiar with; sand, clay and silt. Sandy soil is loose and helps the roots of plants breathe because it lets the air pass through easily. Clay soil absorbs water faster and keeps it inside longer, a soil composition that has more clay particles in it would be ideal for places that are too hot and the soil dries up quickly. Silt is a fine mixture of sand and clay particles.

When preparing the soil for your vegetable garden, dig up the soil and break off the lumps. Take out the rocks, roots, and weeds while you’re at it. Check if you have just the right mixture of sand, silt, and clay before you begin planting vegetable gardens. Ideally, silt and sand should both be 40%, and clay should just be 20%, this is to make sure that the water isn’t trapped inside too much that the roots will choke. Also, if the water is trapped too long inside the soil, the roots will rot. One good way to test whether the composition of your soil is good is by scooping out a handful and forming a ball with it. The soil should hold the shape of a ball without too much difficulty. If the soil cannot hold the shape, you might have too much silt or sand in the mixture. If the soil holds the shape but does not crumble easily when you poke it, it might have too much clay in it which you need to balance out with a little silt or sand.

Once you have finished cultivating the soil where you want to plant your vegetables, pick what kind of vegetable you want to grow there. Keep in mind that some vegetables don’t grow well when you plant them too close to certain types of other vegetables. Potatoes, for example, shouldn’t be planted too close to squash or tomatoes because it inhibits their growth. They can be planted in the same garden, just don’t plant them beside each other.

After you have decided on the kind of vegetables you want and planting them into the cultivated soil, you’ll have to learn about how to water them properly. Vegetables need to be watered consistently. When planting vegetable gardens in a big space, you might want to consider using a soaker hose. A soaker hose has many holes along its body that waters your garden by letting the water seep through its holes.

Planting vegetable gardens require manual labor (yes, actual work), and a lot of patience. The rewards are very well worth it, though. Especially for people who are concerned about their health. Growing your own vegetables makes sure that there’s the least amount of poisonous (and in the long run, carcinogenic) particulates in it as possible.

Save Money And Get Healthy By Planting Vegetable Gardens

Instead of setting up a swimming pool or a Zen garden in your backyard, why not plant vegetables instead? Planting vegetable gardens is a great way to spend a quiet time de-stressing while getting in touch with nature. Having a steady supply of vegetables will also lessen food expenses and improve the health of your loved ones.

Money-saving strategy

It’s not easy to ignore the soaring prices of food items these days, including vegetables. Although your backyard may be small and your vegetable garden may not provide all that you need, it will have a dramatic effect in reducing your food bill. Imagine not having to run to the grocery store to buy some of the ingredients for your cooking. Some of the most common vegetables that you need are already right there in your very own backyard. Depending on the kind of vegetables you plant and your methods of preserving them, the economical benefits you get from your vegetable garden may be felt all year round.

You may also think that your kids will likely to eat less each time your serve them vegetables. It is obvious that kids would prefer to eat burgers, hotdogs and others. However, there are several cookbooks available in bookstores that can show you a variety of vegetable meals to prepare that are appetizing even for the kids. When what you serve on the table does not look and taste boring, your kids will surely dig it.

More nutritious meals

With a variety of vegetables practically ready to pick right in your backyard, you will find it more pleasing to cook and serve vegetable dishes to your family. This means that everybody will get to enjoy the numerous health benefits of eating fresh produce, since vegetables are packed with tons of nutrients. Aside from the fact that they are low in fats and calories, and contain no cholesterol, you will also get a steady source of the following:

• Dietary fiber – This is important for normal bowel movement and good for your entire digestive tract. Dietary fiber is also known to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body, lower the risk of heart diseases, as well as fight off certain forms of cancers. If you are on a diet, you will also feel much fuller faster. Some vegetables rich in dietary fiber are peas, carrots, cabbage and spinach.

• Potassium – This is necessary for keeping blood pressure at a normal level. It is also important in keeping the brain, muscles and other tissues in the body functioning normally. Vegetables that are loaded with potassium include potatoes, squash, tomato, eggplant and celery.

• Vitamins A, B and C – Vitamin A is great for the eyes and skin. Vitamin C is necessary to maintain healthy connective tissues and is known to boost the immune system. Vitamin B is important for extracting the energy in the carbohydrates in several food sources. Carrots, asparagus, broccoli and green pepper are rich in Vitamin A. Broccoli, peas and beans are a great source of vitamin B. Your dose of vitamin C is supplied by red cabbage, kale, parsley and turnip.

Other vitamins and minerals you can get from vegetables include calcium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, iron, niacin, folate, zinc and manganese.

Save money and help your kids stay in the pink of health through planting vegetable gardens. Plus you get that sense of pride each time your family enjoys the meal on the table, whose vegetable ingredients you cultivated yourself in your backyard.

No Backyard? Try Planting Vegetable Gardens Indoors!

Nothing beats the fresh wholesome taste of vegetables freshly picked from your own garden. Planting vegetable gardens can be a challenge if you don’t have a backyard, but you can still grow vegetables indoors. Just follow a few simple garden-smart guidelines.

Choose Appropriate Vegetables

Different plants have different requirements and with indoor gardens the major restrictions tend to be available space and available light. If you want to grow fruit bearing plants, these will require large amounts of sunlight. Salad greens like lettuce, miniature cabbages, swiss chard, and spinach require less light and do quite well indoors.

The size of your pots will also determine your choice of plant, choose containers big enough for the plants full growth. Small root crops such as radishes and onions are great choices, and there are even small root carrots available. Herbs are a popular choice because they are compact and do not need much space. Miniature varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant can also thrive inside when given the proper care.

Find the Perfect Spot for Growing

As mentioned earlier, lighting is an important consideration for an indoor vegetable garden. A bright south-facing window is your best bet, but any spot that gets a minimum of 5 hours of continuous light can be used. In addition to natural light, you can set up supplemental artificial lighting if you are really serious about growing healthy plants.

Traffic flow is also another important factor to think about. Vegetables in general bruise easily so you want to choose fairly quiet spots so minimize accidental human contact. If you have small children or pets at home, you may want to locate your garden well out of their reach. It is also important to think about proximity to your gardening tools and easy clean-up if things get messy.

Optimize the Microclimate

Plants grow best in high humidity and moderate temperatures. Indoor gardens usually suffer from low humidity and this needs to be addressed. Container grown plants tend to dry out faster and will require more frequent watering. However, it is important not to let the plants get waterlogged as this may cause root rot. Make sure that there is good drainage by raising pots with a pan of gravel underneath. Evaporation from these dishes also improves humidity so they serve a dual purpose.

Another great way optimize your microclimate is to group plants together. You can mix your vegetables with more decorative houseplants to create groupings that are not only beautiful but also functional. Temperature is actually easier to control inside the house, as it is easy to provide more shade by simply drawing the curtains. Just make sure plants are protected from drafts.

Get Good Potting Soil

Potting soil for indoor gardens should drain well and contain the nutrients required to support growth and development. You can purchase premixed potting soil that already incorporates the proper amount of fertilizer. If you prefer to go organic, you can get organic potting mixes from your local garden shop. Add nutrients with caution, as fertilizer buildup is quite common in containers.

Planting vegetable gardens indoors can be incredibly rewarding, so do not be afraid to give it a try. You may even end up growing enough produce to give as gifts to delighted family and friends.

Planting Vegetable Gardens For Beginners

Planting vegetable gardens can be a very rewarding endeavor, not to mention that it’s good for your body because of all the exercise you will get, and the vegetables that you’ll get to eat. These days, it’s really ideal if you can plant your own vegetables to make sure that they’re pesticide free, but a lot of people feel intimidated by the idea of planting vegetable gardens especially in a city.

Vegetable gardens are typically easier to maintain than flower gardens because vegetables are more resilient, especially in different types of weathers. Flowers are typically more delicate to changes in the weather, and don’t adapt as easily. Planting vegetable gardens usually demand a lot of space, although some vegetables can also survive in plant boxes. It really depends on what kind of vegetables you will plant, and what you expect out of your vegetable garden.

Planting Styles The more traditional way of planting vegetables is laying them out in straight, organized lines. Some people prefer to plant alternating rows of different types of vegetables so that when one type of vegetable is about to be harvested, the rows in between them have vegetables that are not yet in season. The soil structure quickly becomes ruined because gardeners have to walk between rows, though.

A popular way of planting vegetable these days is planting them in beds rather than the traditional rows. The beds have to be small enough in size so that you can reach into it and pull out the weeds that will grow among your plants. Beds can also be raised a bit higher off the ground so that the heat will be kept inside longer during cold weather. It also makes for a good drainage system around the beds.

Another planting style that is popular is potager which combines vegetables with flowers and herbs and are planted in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.

For people who have constrained living spaces (especially those who live in the city), vegetables and herbs can grow in smaller plant boxes and containers. Vegetables will need a lot of sunlight and open spaces. If you want to reap a lot of vegetables, you should invest in bigger real estate.

Preparing the soil A very important aspect of planting vegetable gardens is preparing the soil. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to raise vegetables in a small plot of land or in a plant box. Soil preparation is an essential step. Soil can be categorized as sandy or clay-like, with silt being a fine mixture of both sand and clay. Clay particles in sand help retain water longer as well as make the soil absorb water faster. Sandy particles in soil makes the water flow through it easily and lets the air in so that the roots can breathe.

The best way to go when preparing the soil for your vegetable garden it to make try and make the soil be a good balance of clay, silt, and sand. Ideally, it should be 40% silt, 40% sand, and 20% clay. To test it, you can scoop up soil and form it into a ball using your hand. It should not be too hard as to not crumble when you poke at it, but it should also be sticky enough that it retains its shape even if you don’t press it too hard with your hands.

Planting vegetable gardens require a lot of patience. You have to find what works for you, and experiment on getting the right type of soil for the right type of vegetables. All the hard work will be worth it, though, once you experience eating something that grew from a garden that you planted yourself.

Planning Before Planting Vegetable Gardens

In periods of financial difficulty, planting vegetable gardens becomes a viable option that achieves two things: it helps the family reduce expenses related to buying food, and it offers the opportunity to sell excess yield to friends and neighbours. Starting a vegetable garden is not particularly difficult, for so long as you put enough thought, time, and effort.

The first decision you have to make is the location of the vegetable garden. You must place this vegetable garden in an area where it is exposed to at least 6 hours of sunlight. The location must also be near where you will source the water you will use to water the plants. It must be near enough for you to make a short trip if you are carrying a pail of water, or it must be near enough to be easily accessible to the hose you will connect to a faucet inside your home. Also, check if the area has soil conducive for growing plants. It must have good drainage, and must be free of silt, stones, and other hard objects. Lastly, the location of your vegetable garden must be somewhere accessible, so that you can frequently check for pests and weeds when you walk by.

Included in your plans should be the sort of plants that you intend to plant, and how many of them you intend to grow. This will help determine the size of the plot you will need. Afterwards, make a list of all the plants you want to grow in your garden. This decision cannot be completely random, especially because the yield of the garden will be what you will consume as a family. Make sure to plant vegetables that your family would love to eat, or vegetables that you often use for cooking. This way, you are ensured of a direct benefit from growing your own vegetable garden.

Make a plan for the arrangement of the vegetable plants in the garden as well. The first consideration is the frequency of yield. Perennial plants, or those who yield vegetables for constantly throughout the year must be placed at the back of the garden, where it will be undisturbed by whatever gardening activities you may have in the rest of the garden. Put the crops that produce early yield together. These crops include radishes, spinach, carrots, beets, and the like. Make some space for replanting successively. Once these crops have seen their yield, you can plant in their place crops that produce yield later in the season.

The last consideration for arrangement is the reality that there are plants that cannot grow beside other plants. For instance, there are those plants that enhance the growth of another when planted together; there are those that inhibit the other. It is important to take into consideration which crops inhibit the growth of the other. For instance, potatoes are capable of inhibiting the growth of both squash and tomato plants. Broccoli also inhibits tomato growth. Beans, on the other hand, inhibit the growth of onions. Carrots also inhibit the growth of dill plants. This does not stop you from planting all these plants in the garden. This only acts as a reminder of which plants you should separate from the other when planting vegetable gardens.

Building And Planting Vegetable Gardens

vegetable garden

The structure of your vegetable garden does not have to be entirely functional but it should also look and feel good. Building some decorative arches and some tomato cages not only makes your garden look good but also helps it produce more crops. After all, there is more to planting vegetable gardens than just cultivating a spot of land.

Function Over Form

The most well known form garden structures are those that are built to sustain plants and give them the room to climb, hold up the weight of its fruits and other plants as well.

Building cages and poles lets you have a vertical garden which boosts your produce per square foot since you’ll have more space to plant in the ground.

Vegetables like cucumbers, peas, peppers and eggplants need lots of garden support. Carrying these vegetables above ground not only will produce better crop it also protects it from insects found in the soil. Plus, the fruits will be less likely to rot if planted this way. Building other support structures like stakes and cages will help in making your plants grow stronger and taller.

Choose Your Structure

If you plan to shop for things for your garden online or in a garden store, you’ll notice how many choices there are when it comes to garden structures. A great online garden resource is a company called Garden Supply Company. Not only do they have a mail-order catalogue, they make trellises for plants like cucumbers that serve as a shade to neighboring plants, tomato cages, spiral supports, bean towers, maypoles and others.

Garden structures may vary especially in terms of form and function because they not only are very supportive of plants it also makes your garden look good. The best kind of garden is not only beautiful, but also enhances the health of the vegetables planted there.

Form over Function

There are so many options when it comes to building your vegetable garden especially if you’re purpose is purely aesthetic. You can build ornaments like arches, trellises or archways to beautify your garden. You can even build walls or doorways to surround your garden for a more visual appeal.

For gardens like these, you can decorate them with plants aside from vegetables. You can plant beautiful flowers to cover your trellis but choose flowers that are sun friendly and attract helpful insects.

An example is trumpet flowers, which are not only beautiful but they attract bees for your vegetable garden. Since you also want to attract helpful creatures, you can build a bird bath or a bird house in your garden. If you’re particularly into organic gardening, the birds can certainly help eliminate pests

As long as you keep your garden attractive to birds and other helpful insects, they will spend a lot of time in your garden and repay you by eating away harmful pests.

Supporting Your Plants

Building plant supports are essential garden structures which is why it’s necessary to use them in the proper way to maximize results. This does not mean building stakes or cages in the ground and leave the plant to grow on its own.

There are other materials like plant ties, jute cords or twines which you can use to tie up your plant to the cages or poles but don’t tie them too tight.

Another great support when it comes to planting vegetables gardens are stakes. Make sure to drive them properly into the ground and space them a little further from your main plant to avoid hitting its roots.

Advantages Of Planting Vegetable Gardens

Is there a patch of land in your backyard that’s been left useless all this time? If you’re still undecided to what to make out of it, maybe it’s high time you consider planting vegetables in it. Read on to learn some of the advantages of planting vegetable gardens.

Yummier veggie treats

Many people attest that vegetables grown in their own backyard tastes much better than those bought at grocery stores. They remark how much flavorful their harvests are, whether used as ingredients in a fresh veggie salad or cooked dishes. Be it because of the extra amount of love and care these home-grown vegetables got or the person taking pride in growing crops in his or her backyard, it doesn’t rally matter. What matters is what you serve on the table is fresh right off your vegetable garden and more scrumptious for every member of the family to enjoy. You are also assured that what you put on the table is fresh and free from harmful chemicals like preservatives.

Guaranteed no harmful chemicals

Chances are you might not fully know whether the vegetables you buy at the supermarket are free of pesticides. Some vendors claim that their vegetables are free from harmful chemicals. What about if the soil where those crops grew was exposed to pesticides before or they were planted next to crops sprayed with pesticides? Prolonged dietary exposure to pesticides is linked to various adverse reproductive and developmental effects, although there is little data to support this. Your children are at higher risk to the dangers of such chemicals on the vegetables they consume. Their bodies are not yet fully developed to properly metabolize or excrete such substances.

A great way to workout

If you got little or no time to go to the gym or health spa to workout, then let gardening provide your daily dose of exercise. Tending your vegetable garden for at least 30 minutes a day is a great way to burn those excess calories and lose weight. You are able to work several major muscle groups in the body, like the legs, arms, back, buttocks and many others. Gardening is also improves your flexibility each time you stretch to reach for weeds or bend to plant a seedling.

By the time your crops are ready for harvest, you will notice a change in your body, especially if you look after your garden on a regular basis. Picking the car key that fell on the floor or reaching for a book at the top of a tall shelf will be a lot easier for you to do. Unlike jogging, playing basketball and others, gardening has less impact on your joints. Gardening is best were vigorous exercises is not applicable, such as for people with high blood pressure, heart diseases, bone joint disorders and many others.

Help save the environment

If commercially grown vegetables receive little demand from consumers, then commercial farmers will find no reason to expand their plantations. So there’s no need to cut down rain forests and devastate habitats of wild animals. Also, if demand is lowered farmers will use less pesticide and other harmful chemicals that pollute our rivers and the rest of the environment. You might feel that you as a concerned citizen cannot contribute that much positive impact on the environment by planting vegetable gardens. But imagine the difference made if a lot of people started to plant their vegetables in their own backyard.

Winterizing Your Swimming Pool

Once fall ends and winter begins to rear it’s ugly head, it will be time to shut your pool down. When shutting your pool down, the first step will be the water. You should begin by checking your pH level, and making sure that it is around 7.5. If it isn’t, simply add some dry acid. You should also check your chlorine as well, and use a winterizing product to make sure that your pool will be protected from algae during the few months that you won’t be swimming.

During the winter months, you should run your pump for around 6 hours a day, to ensure that the algae doesn’t settle in. You should also go ahead and check for any types of leaks as well, then switch your skimmer valve off and let the water drain to around 6 inches below the skimmer’s bottom. This way, you’ll have the preferred amount of water in your pool.

If you are using a summer cover, take it down and give it a good cleaning using fresh water and a pressure washer if you have access to one. Once you have cleaned the cover really good, go ahead and put it in your building or garage and break out your winter cover. When you put your winter cover on the pool, make sure that you have plenty of tension on the cover, to prevent anything from getting under it.

Although you may have put the cover on tight, you should still check it every couple of days to make sure that it is still tight. Remind your family and friends that you have closed your pool down for the winter, and that they shouldn’t be around it. Pool covers are designed to protect your pool and the water – they aren’t made for safety. Never, under any circumstances should you let a pet or a person on the cover.

Once you have finished with the cover, it is time for the equipment. You’ll need to drain the water from your pump, heater, and your filter. Each one should have a drain plug located somewhere near the bottom, which makes it easy to drain the water out. You should never forget to do this, as the water can freeze inside of your equipment during the cold months of winter and result in permanent damage of your equipment.

Once you have finished getting your swimming pool ready for winter, you can relax knowing that your pool is protected. Keeping a check on it every few days will ensure that nothing has happened. Once summer starts to arrive again, you can get your pool ready for summer and prepare to open it up again. If you’ve done things right – your pool will be ready to go in no time at all.

What You Need For Your Pool

When summer arrives, it’s time to get cool and enjoy the fun of summer. Like other homeowners, you may be thinking a swimming pool. Pools are great to have, although they require a lot of work and maintenance – whether you have an in ground or above ground swimming pool. Before you rush out and buy your pool for summer, there are a few things you should know.

When you buy your pool, your dealer or salesman will more than likely go over what else you need with your pool. In order to operate your pool, there are several things that you simply must have to get started.

The first thing you’ll need is a filtration system. When you get your filtration system, make sure that your filtration system is capable of handling your pool capacity. A filtration system is very important, as it helps to remove small partials and bacteria from building up in your water.

A vacuum is also important. You should make sure however, that you purchase a vacuum that is specific for your swimming pool. There are several types of vacuums available, and you want to make sure that you don’t purchase the wrong one. Vacuums are essential to operating your pool, as they help to clean out debris settled on the bottom.

You should also make sure that you get a skimmer basket or strainer as well, as it helps with your vacuum and filtration system. Skimmer baskets or strainers will keep your pool clean by catching debris and bugs that manage to get into your pool. You should use them whenever you use your pool, as they will do a majority of the cleaning for you.

To protect your pool, you’ll also need a swimming pool cover. Covers are available in a few different types, and several different sizes. A cover will protect your pool from debris and elements, as well as preventing those you love from drowning. You should always make sure that you buy a strong and sturdy cover, and be sure to use it to cover your pool when you aren’t swimming.

A maintenance chart is also important. With a maintenance chart, you can keep track of what you have done to your pool, the level of chemicals that you are using, and the readings of the tests that you have performed on your water. Maintenance charts are easily overlooked by pool owners, although they are essential to knowing what you have done to your pool.

Another important items you’ll need are chemicals. They play a very important role in balancing your water, and helping swimmers stay healthy. There are several different types of chemicals available, including chlorine, clarifier, and pH chemicals. All types of chemicals are very important, and need to be used to keep your water levels healthy. You can check your water and pH levels on a daily basis, as you do your regular pool maintenance.

In order to perform tests on your pool, you’ll need a testing kit. They come in either strip or bottle form, and allow you to test and understand the different chemical levels in your water. If you are planning to keep your pool healthy, you’ll need to do tests. They are easy to do, and won’t take you but a few minutes of your time.

To operate your pool and perform the proper maintenance, you’ll need to have the above equipment and supplies. Although you can buy pool accessories such as toys and furniture, they aren’t required to use your swimming pool. You don’t need to have any accessories – although you do need everything listed above.

Types Of Swimming Pools

Swimming pools provide a great way to relax, exercise, and enjoy yourself on a hot summer day, coming in a variety of different shapes and sizes. To efficiently and safely operate a swimming pool, you’ll need to have a pump, basin, water filter, chemical feeder, return, drains, and the proper plumbing to transport your water.

Depending on the basin structure, there are various types of pools available for you to choose from. Above ground swimming pools are the easiest to build and the cheapest to buy, as they come with pre-made kits. Fiberglass pools are built using molded fiberglass, reinforced plastic. Fiberglass pools are in ground, and can provide you years and years of family fun and swimming excitement.

Vinyl lined swimming pools are the cheapest types of in ground designs you can get, although you’ll need to have the liner replaced every 10 years or so. Concrete is another popular design for in ground pools, as they provide plenty of room and no need to have the liner replaced.

There are also the public swimming pools, which include heated indoor pools, children’s pools, and outdoor pools. Public swimming pools are well known for their slides and other features such as waterfalls and splash pads. Public pools are great for hot days, although most prefer to get their own pool due to public pools being so crowded on a frequent basis.

Swim spas, or exercise pools are also popular, known for their resistance swimming. Swimming is one of the best exercises that you can do for your body, as it works just about every muscle in your body. There are several exercises that you can do in an exercise pool, such as jogging, water toning, and water yoga.

No matter what type of swimming pool it may be, it’s very important that the chemicals stay balanced. If the balance of the chemicals is off, it can damage the water, which can really irritate your skin and your eyes. Therefore, swimming pools need to be disinfected on a daily basis and treated with various chemicals. To maintain the proper health of the skin, purifying the water is very important.

If you are looking to add a swimming pool to your property, there are several for you to choose from. Swimming pools can help add property value to your home, which is always a good thing. When you add a swimming pool to your property, you should always think in terms of safety, and ensure that your pool is protected against young children. If you take care of your pool and always make sure that things are clean and safe, your pool will provide you with plenty of fun for years and years to come.