December 12, 2022
So, you fancy growing your own vegetables? Growing vegetables at home is easy but all vegetables have different life spans and growth stages. From seed sprouting to the ripening of the fruit, a plant has different growth requirements. Well, here are a few general things to keep in mind!
1. Planting space2. What vegetables do you want to plant3. Where and when will you plant these vegetables4. Soil, water, and potting requirements
For growing in an outdoor garden, start with a small space if you are a beginner. Learn the gardening basics before going all in. First, decide where to start and choose the space where you will prepare your vegetable garden.
List down the vegetables you want to grow. Choose common vegetables that are best with the season. For example, start with vegetables like kale from March to May, followed by bulb fennel from May to July.
When you are clear with what to grow and when to grow, order the seeds and prepare the soil mix. To prepare the soil, use a soil mix with lots of compost, vermiculite, and organic matter. As a thumb rule, add enough organic material to the soil so that it is neither too sandy nor too compact.
A question that may come to your mind is: can I buy young plants instead of seeds? Yes, you can! It is a great way for beginners to skip the early growing stages of germination and sprouting. But if you wish to enjoy the entire growing process from seed to harvest, go for seeds.
Growing vegetables from seeds is more affordable than buying young plants. Now, how many seeds do you need to sow? That will depend on the vegetable you are growing. Vegetables like tomatoes and climbing beans produce huge harvests while others like asparagus give smaller yields.
When sowing outside, make 1-2m rows of lots of different crops. Say, a 1m row of radishes and coriander and a 2m row of dwarf beans and carrots. Making rows of different crops will give you a range of crops to harvest.
The majority of the seeds are sown in the top half inch of soil. Follow the directions mentioned on the seed packet. Almost any vegetable plant you can think of can thrive in a balcony vegetable garden if given the right conditions. Growing a vegetable garden on a balcony is not that difficult, even.
Container gardening is actually becoming quite popular in balcony gardens. Stick around and you'll find out why! It's easy to get carried away when you're starting out growing veggies. Start small and only grow what you know you and your family can consume.
Choose only high-quality seeds. A few extra cents spent on seeds will pay off in the long run with higher yields.
Choose clay pots or just any container of your choice that decorates your balcony garden the way you like it. Make sure the container you choose offers good drainage though. The drain holes are best if placed on the sides of the container. Place them about one-quarter to one-half inch (6 mm. to 1 cm.) from the bottom of the container. If you are planting vegetables in containers, you generally want to use synthetic soils. Synthetic soils are made of wood chips, peat moss, sawdust, vermiculite, or perlite.
Choose a stable spot for your plants. Avoid places receiving winds that could knock over your plants. If you are a beginner, stick to easy vegetables that are also productive. For example lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots. Not all seeds are sown at the same time. Some cool-season vegetables like lettuce and broccoli grow in cooler weather whereas warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers grow in late spring and summer.
To discourage pests and attract pollinators, mix in flowers such as marigolds with vegetables.