Get the most out of vegetable garden

A lot of people are beginning to see the benefits of planting vegetable gardens. It’s usually healthier because you get to decide whether or not to use commercial pesticide on them. Since vegetable gardens are typically manageable in size because they’re not grown for profit, it’s easier for people to manage the plot without having to resort to using commercial pesticides. It’s easy to become complacent when your vegetable garden first starts producing in early summer. But to get the most out of your vegetable garden, you will have to plan. Here are some of the ways to benefit in for longer period from your garden.

Rotate the veggies

People who have been successful in planting vegetable gardens usually know that you can’t keep growing only one type of vegetable in a garden. It’s usually more advisable to rotate crops instead of planting only one kind of vegetable year in and out. Rotating crops will make sure that the micro nutrients in the soil will be preserved, and that diseases will not build up in soil particulates.

Planting vegetable gardens take some careful planning on your part, and also an understanding on plant families to know which vegetable types are compatible with each other. These are some examples of groups that can be considered “compatible” and are safe to be rotated together.

Rotating vegetables of the same family would also mean that (more often than not) they would be susceptible to the same kind of pests. This makes pest control a bit more manageable for you since you don’t have to adjust to different types of pests for different families of vegetables.

Vegetables such as asparagus, rhubarbs, and other perennial vegetables must not be rotated. They should be planted separately because of this. The more hardy and semi-annual vegetables can be rotated yearly so that no family of vegetables is planted in the same bed for four years. If you have done some planning before planting vegetable gardens, a small plot would like similar to this: four beds for plants that can be rotated, and one bed for perennial, non-rotating plants.

Keep them healthy

Keeping your vegetable plants healthy is the first key to a long producing vegetable garden. But even the healthiest vegetable plants will finally exhaust themselves setting fruits and will need replacing. Eventually it will be time to put the garden to bed, but keep it going as long as you can. With a little planning, you can easily keep your vegetable garden producing in succession.

And after you have planted them on the ground, you will have to take care of them. You will have to

fulfill their water, light and nutrients needs while controlling the pests, diseases and weeds.

Pick it up

Don’t give up and leave those over ripened zucchini on the vines. Once a plant’s fruits have gone to seed, it thinks it is done for the season and begins to decline. Many plants, like squash, beans, peppers and eggplant, will stop producing new vegetables if the existing vegetables are left on the plants to fully ripen.

Succession planting

Planting crops at intervals will renew your garden by having new plants ready to take over for spent plants. Beans, radishes and lettuce can be seeded every two weeks, for an almost endless supply. Seedlings of early maturing tomatoes can be planted to replace plants that are on their last legs.

Extend the season

Cool nighttime temperatures send a signal to many plants to stop producing new fruits. If cool temperatures or a frost are inevitable, cover your crops with floating row covers. These

light-weight woven fabric allow light and water to come through, but raise the temperature slightly. If your crops need to be fertilised by insects, the row covers should come off during the day. — Compiled