Grow Your Own Vegetables: Vegetable Gardening

Raised BedsStarting your first vegetable garden? Dream big, but start small and expand as you gain experience. Raised beds, such as these Grow Beds, make efficient use of space and keep maintenance to a minimum.

Growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding. All you really need to get started is some decent soil and a few plants. But to be a really successful vegetable gardener, and to do it organically, you'll need to understand what it takes to keep your plants healthy and vigorous. Here are the basics.

"Feed the soil" is like a mantra for organic gardeners, and with good reason. In conventional chemical agriculture, crop plants are indeed "fed" directly using synthetic fertilizers.

When taken to extremes, this kind of chemical force-feeding can gradually impoverish the soil. And turn it from a rich entity teeming with microorganisms insects and other life forms, into an inert growing medium that exists mainly to anchor the plants' roots, and that provides little or no nutrition in its own right.

Although various fertilizers and mineral nutrients (agricultural lime, rock phosphate, greensand, etc.) should be added periodically to the organic garden, by far the most useful substance for building and maintaining a healthy, well-balanced soil is organic matter.You can add organic matter to your soil many different ways, such as compost, shredded leaves, animal manures or cover crops.

Organic matter improves the fertility, the structure and the tilth of all kinds of soils. In particular, organic matter provides a continuous source of nitrogen and other nutrients that plants need to grow. It also provides a rich food source for soil microbes. As organisms in the soil carry out the processes of decay and decomposition, they make these nutrients available to plants. For more on this subject, read Building Healthy Soil.

Make Efficient Use of Space

The location of your garden (the amount of sunlight it receives, proximity to a source of water, and protection from frost and wind) is important. Yet just as crucial for growing vegetables is making the most of your garden space.

Lots of people dream of having a huge vegetable garden, a sprawling site that will be big enough to grow everything they want, including space-hungry crops like corn, dried beans, pumpkins and winter squash, melons, cucumbers and watermelons. If you have the room and, even more importantly, the time and energy needed to grow a huge garden well, then by all means go for it. But gardens that make efficient use of growing space are much easier to care for, whether you're talking about a few containers on the patio or a 50-by-100-foot plot in the backyard.

Get Rid of Your Rows

Source: www.gardeners.com


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Most design work is site specific

But you might want to visit the library and check out Keith Davitts book on small space garden design.
I bet he has a website too.
The Sunset series of books is good and I hear that BH+G has a website with some kind of garden plans.
I have never checked it out but have read about it on other gardening forums.

Strawberry fields on my terrace  — Daily News & Analysis
The farm, comprising of small plots (a minimum of 10X10), at Sarjapur Road on the outskirts of Bangalore caters to those living in the city who want to grow their own food. George is at her farm at least once ..

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Building Raised Vegetable Garden …
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