Save money and grow your own home vegetable garden
There is nothing more exciting when it comes to harvesting your own grown vegetables!
And we all know how healthy they are!
A vegetable garden is not only economical, but you always have fresh products available without going to the shops every time you run out.
You do not need a large area to grow your vegetables, you can even grow them in pots.
Start off with only a few and first see if this is what you want to do.
Although there is not much work involved once your vegetable garden is established, you do need to water it and keep it tidy by getting rid of insects and weeds.
1-Home Grown Vegetables Just Taste Better
We tend to get used to buying vegetables and perhaps don’t pay enough attention to organically grown.
I get bad headaches, to the point of migraines.
It took me many years of suffering before I finally put it together.
I was being affected by the poisons on the vegetables and fruits we purchase.
Not any more though.
Our veggie garden isn’t big enough to provide all year long so we do buy vegetables but now we wash everything with special soap.
By the way, I have not had any migraines since we started washing our vegetables.
2-Where To Plant Your Vegetable Garden
We started growing vegetable in containers so finding a location in the sun was easy because we just moved them if they didn’t seem to get enough.
Once we decided on an in-ground vegetable garden we had to find the best spot to start it.
One that had good drainage, although we modified the soil to fix that little problem, and also a lot of sun over the summer.
Look for a space in the garden where it is protected against the wind and too much sun, preferably close to the kitchen.
This way you don’t have to walk far to get the odd vegetable and if you can see your garden you would keep it tidy.
Make sure the space you pick doesn’t interfere with things like access to washing lines, your children’s play area and distance to the tap.
Make pathways for easy access to your vegetables and if you want, add a neat edge around the garden with stones or bricks.
Choose which vegetables you would like to grow.
Buy seeds or seedlings or buy vegetables, for example tomatoes and use the pips.
Let’s start: Measure out the area you want to use for your vegetable garden.
Get rid of weeds and unwanted grass and plants.
Dig out the sand where you are planning to grow your vegetables, go as deep as 800 mm, mix organic compost with the sand you dug out and fill the hole with this.
Water well and start sowing!
3-How and When to Water
Next to sufficient sunlight, water is the most important substance that your plants will require.
If you’re growing a vegetable garden, it’s essential that you water your crops the right way for maximum benefit.
If possible, hook up an irrigation system with a timer that will ensure that your garden receives water in a precise amount and at the exact same time every day.
Early in the day is better, and make sure that your plants receive enough moisture with each watering session.
Most crops will need an average of an inch of water every week for best results.
4-Caring For Your Vegetable Garden:
Make sure you can get to your plants for weeding and easy picking.
Remove weeds regularly and water your plants at least once a week.
Rotate your crops, don’t plant the same in the same bed year after year, except for tomatoes and runner beans which will grow year after year in the same spot.
Rotation will help keep pests under control and crops will produce healthier plants.
Avoid sowing seeds in June or July.
In most of the country June and July are the quiet months in a vegetable garden.
It is normally too cold for seeds to germinate.
Make your own organic fertilizer or compost and use this instead of chemical fertilizers.
Always check for insects.
Use homemade products to spray the plants and never use poison on vegetables.
Poison contaminates your food and the environment.
Use the homemade sprays made from garlic.
5-When To Plant Your Veggies
You have now done all your home work and preparation.
The next important step is to be ready to plant at the right time and that’s going to depend on whether you start from seeds or plants that are already started.
I will plant things ahead of time so that we have starter plants for those veggies that require longer growing periods but for things like lettuce, radishes, carrots and potatoes to mention a few we plant directly in the garden.
We do plant some veggies a little earlier than we should but if there is a call for low temperatures we cover the areas of the garden that need protection from frost.
Vegetable gardening started out as an interest and way to get healthier produce but today, a few years later it’s now become a hobby and we look forward to it each year.
6- Garden Vegetables List: Easy To Grow Vegetables :
Beetroot is not always available in the shops, so why not plant your own?
Known to cleanse the blood and rids the body of many unwanted ailments.
Beetroots are not fussy, will grow in any soil, except soil containing acid.
Sow seeds 30 cm apart and 2cm deep.
Put a layer of mulch (grass cuttings or straw) on top to protect them from drying out.
Keep soil moist until plant emerges.
Remove the mulch, but as soon as the plant has fully emerged, put mulch back.
Water regularly: in cold weather once a week and in hot weather less water but 3 times a week.
Harvest when beetroot is 5 to 7 cm in size.
Carrots are very nutritious and rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C and also Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and the list goes on and on!
Even just one carrot a day will increase the beta-carotene levels in the body.
It is low in calories, so it can be eaten freely.
Carrots grow best in deep, loose sand but be careful with too much compost, as this will cause them to fork.
Sow in rows 30 cm apart. Keep soil moist.
When plants reach about 6 cm in height, thin out to allow those remaining to reach a good size.
Use the ones you removed in a salad.
Some of the nutritional value of green beans is Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and K, dietary fibre, Potassium, Protein, Iron, Magnesium etc.
It is known to lower high blood pressure.
Green beans are easy to grow, uncomplicated and is an encouraging vegetable for the inexperienced gardener.
Some green beans need support against a pole and some grow bushy.
They require warm soil in order to germinate.
Sow seeds 4 cm deep and 15 cm apart in double rows, keep rows 50 cm apart.
Water regularly and harvest when beans are young and tender.
These include green, yellow, red and chili peppers.
The nutritional values of peppers are Protein, Vitamin A, B6, and C, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.
Peppers contain high antioxidant levels and are linked to reduce heart disease.
It is low in calories and can be eaten freely.
Sow seeds 45 cm apart in rows 60 cm apart.
Peppers need well drained soil.
Pick some of the peppers when still small to encourage plant to become more productive.
Contains high levels of Vitamin C and E and Potassium.
It may reduce the risk of cancer, helps to avoid anemia and protects against heart disease.
Beet Spinach is the easiest to grow, especially the ones with wide white stems and large creased leaves.
Hint: don’t throw away the white stems, cooked with the leaves makes a tasty dish.
Spinach is not fussy about soil, all they need is organic compost.
Sow seeds 50 cm apart in rows 40 cm apart.
Water regularly as the plants grow.
If you cut off leaves on a regular basis, you will have spinach for a whole year.
Because spinach is always available, there is no need to store or freeze it.
Contain a high level of antioxidants.
Research has shown that tomatoes help to combat aging, cancer, cataracts and prostate cancer.
It reduces risk of heart attacks and is a good source of Vitamin C & E, low in calories and can be eaten freely.
Most tomatoes are good to grow, but the English type tomatoes called “money maker” is the best as this delivers the biggest harvest on a smaller piece of ground.
If you have too many tomatoes in the end, clean them, cook them, remove foam on top and immediately pour into sterilized jars with screw tops.
Close jars tightly and you will have tomato forever to use in dishes like curries and stews.
Although tomatoes are easy to grow, they are sensitive to very cold weather and subject to fungal disease in high humidity or high rainfall areas.
If you stay in these areas, it would be wise to plant your tomatoes in pots where you could move them around to a better position in the garden.
In the rest of the country you can grow tomatoes in well drained soil, rich with organic compost.
Make little heaps of sand and sow seeds one-one, 40 cm apart, on top of the heap – this is best for watering the plants.
Never water the top of the plant, always water the ground around the plant.
When plants are 20 cm high, replant and support them on a pole or fence.
Enjoy watching your vegetables grow!