Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden? With the growing trend to become self-sustaining and lead a “greener” lifestyle, many people have found ways to provide their own vegetables, fruit and eggs, right from their own backyard efforts. Living off the land is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little bit of knowledge, some space and a couple of seed packets to get started.
It is obvious that plants require water to grow. It’s also important to know the amount of water that particular plants actually need. Overwatering or under-watering a plant can severely damage its growth and health. Overwatering can result in root rot, where the water-filled environment encourages the growth of microbes that eat away at the roots. Under-watering a plant can make it’s leaves dry and brittle.
For garden plants that crave and need a lot of water, use five gallon buckets to keep those thirsty fruits and vegetables happy. Simply drill or punch several 1/8″ to 1/4″ holes into the bottom of a five gallon bucket, fill with water and set near the parched plant. Gravity allows for a slow and steady watering of those plants and if you live in an area where you get frequent rain, you will be capturing plenty of rain water to keep those buckets fairly full all season long.
Use seedlings to run relay planting. Using seedlings can allow you to get a jump start on the growing season and improve yields to the harvest by extending time. If growing lettuce and a squash harvest is needed for summer, then after the lettuce has been harvested you can plant seedlings to get a jump start on another crop and a higher yield for the garden.
Be sure to water a tomato patch no more than once every five to seven days. However, when you do water, be sure to give the ground a thorough soaking. Tomatoes do best if the soil is wet deeply, unlike many plants which prefer a light misting more often. Also, be sure to water the ground, not the plants.
As the weather turns colder, it is important to prepare your sensitive shrubs for the change. Cold weather significantly affects these plants, especially if they are in pots. Try to tie the tops all together and cover them with a sheet, large piece of cloth, or blanket. This method works better than covering your bushes in plastic, allowing air to circulate and preventing rotting.
To cut down on the time you spend pruning and pulling weeds, make sure that all the tools you use are sharpened and cleaned. A dull or dirty tool will make basic gardening tasks much more challenging, and can significantly increase the work you have to put into your garden. Caring for your tools regularly is more than worth the effort it takes.
Just think of the beautiful harvest you can add to your dining table from your garden. Not to mention the environmentally friendly impact of growing your own food. Maintaining a personal vegetable garden can provide food at low cost to your family — and wait until you savor the amazing taste of vegetables, picked straight from the plant. Store-bought produce never tasted this good!