Growing vegetables and flowers in your garden offers many advantages, like having access to fresh food straight from the source, without any chemicals or preservatives being used on them. You don’t need to drive to the store or the market to buy your vegetables, but instead go to your backyard and pick them fresh. You won’t have to worry about the price of vegetables either. There are of course many other benefits besides these three. Below are some great tips that make the process of gardening more rewarding and easier.
Develop Your Soil
Placing your plants in just any soil isn’t a wise, because not all soils are the same and they all have different properties, with deficiencies in some vital nutrients which may be what your crops might need to thrive. Developing your soil means that you will have to run some tests on it, get to know what nutrients it possesses or lacks. Just like they are vital for humans and animals, nutrients in the ground can make a huge difference to your plant health, and quality of the produce, the better you take care of the soil the healthier your garden will be.
Even if your soil is rich in minerals and nutrients, your crops may not always flourish if they aren’t able to reach these nutrients. Leaching, which is a tendency of soil nutrients sinking before the crops can get any real benefits from them, is a widespread occurrence. You have to deal with this problem immediately to have a fruitful and healthy harvest. It can be corrected by the introduction of compost mixture which will turn these minerals into the soil so that they can retain oxygen, water, and nutrients for your crops to use.
Heat-up The Soil Mixture
This is another crucial step in erecting a quality garden to grow your vegetables known as solarization, which is putting the soil through a process of temperature rising making life uncomfortable for any pest that could be living within the soil. The soil can be spread on plastic while this is done. It is necessary to kill all the parasites and their eggs, weeds, and even soil pathogens before planting your vegetables or flowers. Doing so can prevent future infections, pests, and subsequent crop failure.
Solarization is easier in the tropical or hotter regions of the world than anywhere else, though it could still be done in the colder regions by exposing the soil to the heat for a greater duration, to achieve adequate sterilization. Solarization sterilizes the soil of many negative things. Unfortunately, since it isn’t practiced on a broad scale, many people don’t know about it.
Coat The Soil Surface With Black Plastic
By this, we mean covering the entire surface of your garden soil with black plastic and planting your crops in the holes you make in the plastic. Using plastics this way is a major weed control measure. It is a more efficient way than weeding by hand and it holds your soil together, so you don’t have to worry about rain washing your garden away. Weeds compete with your crops for food, water, and space, leading to a poor harvest. You must use water irrigation under the plastic because your soil is covered in plastic and rain can’t the soil. Covering your soil in plastic raises the ground temperature and destroys weeds, soil pathogens, and some pests. In the case of having heat-sensitive crops such as lettuce and strawberries, you can replace the plastic covering with light-colored woven cloth.
Utilize The Advantage Of Cover Crops
Cover crops are those plants that promote soil enrichment and soil protection from erosion. Examples of these plants are rye, beans, oats, soybeans, clover, and buckwheat. They can do these partly because they do not stand upright but creep on the ground, as they are planted between the main crops in your garden. Cover crops can help the soil to replenish their lost or depleted nutrients. Hence, it is also advisable that they are planted in the off-seasons which is between planting periods when the soil should be vacant. One other benefit of these cover crops is that they can aid the soil in retaining their structure by maintaining the appropriate compaction which is enough to lessen leaching while being porous enough to absorb water, nutrients, and oxygen.
Integrate Earthworms Into The Soi
Worms benefit the ground in so many ways. They re-engineer the soil in ways that are beneficial to the plants. They are capable of breaking down complex organic components into smaller sizes that some crop-friendly micro-organisms can convey to the roots of your garden plants. Worms are quite good at maintaining a robust soil structure and cohesion too, causing an improvement in water and oxygen retention. They help organic substances to integrate appropriately into the soil. You can get this done by setting up a container of compost materials that will be a formidable habitat for worms. The compost can comprise of kitchen waste and other organic matters which the earthworms can convert into nutrients that plants can use.
With these things in mind you should be able to raise a better garden with healthier crops than before. Why not go ahead and try them out?