Growing flowers in your garden has its own rewards: you see a beautiful flower, you feel happy. You get no real, physical benefit from growing flowers. However, if you are planning on growing vegetables in your garden, you will not only have the satisfaction of eating home-grown food, you will save some money as well. You do not need to have a green thumb to grow your own food, but it is a good idea to start off with the simpler vegetables and build up slowly.
Know Your Soil
Before you start planting a vegetable garden, it is important to know the soil type. Take a lump of soil in your hand. If it is wet and forms a shape easily without breaking, it is more of a clayey soil. If you see gritty, lose sand in the soil, it is sandy type soil. Now you need a balance of the two to make the ideal soil. Clay soil is fertile, but is heavy and water retentive. You need to add some horticultural grit to make it lighter. Sandy soil drains water easily but is not very fertile so you need to add compost to it to make it more fertile.
Working the Soil
Once you have figured out the type of soil you have, you need to work it. That is to say, you need to turn the soil around a lot. It allows some air to be worked into the soil, making it richer. Also, you need to remove any pieces of stone and rock as much as possible from the soil. Remove weeds from the soil; rip the weeds out from the roots so that they do not re-grow. Make sure to do this only on that portion of the garden where you are planning to grow the vegetable or else the weed will invariably return. If you find that your garden is too shallow, less than the length of your spade head, you could consider raised flower beds for the vegetables.
Sowing it Right
Vegetables love to grow in the sun, so pick the sunniest spot in the garden for your vegetable patch. Make sure the spot has the longest hour of sunshine and it has no shade from the trees or the house. Once you have found the ideal spot, it is a good idea to leave some empty spaces in between the plants and around it. This space can be made up of compacted soil. This will bring any slugs and snails approaching your patch, out in the open where they can be easily spotted. They can then be picked up by predators or by you.
Follow the instructions on the seed packets as they tell you when to plant the vegetables. Try to stay within the time frame, and by no means rush it; the cold weather can kill the plants.
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