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Vegetable Garden Planning

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Just when you thought gardening is as easy as plowing, planting the seeds and waiting for days until they grow with crops…you haven’t seen anything yet.

You should know that, starting a garden is not as simple as it may seem. There are, of course, some things that an aspiring gardener should take into careful consideration. Embarking on to this task means tough work not only on the physical aspect, but on the mental aspect as well. You need to have the right amount of skills and knowledge; otherwise, you will only be opening your garden to hungry pests and filthy plant diseases.

Beginning a garden requires four important phases that you have to carefully outline. But of course, before anything else, you need to ascertain what kind of garden you want to have; whether you want to have a flower garden, a vegetable garden or what not. After deciding, you need to follow these steps:

  • OBSERVATION

This is one of the most important stages in gardening that most beginners fail to grasp. Once you decide to start a garden, the first step that you need to do is to observe the location in which you want to plant your seeds. This goes without saying that you need to consider the temperature, water flow, soil and sunlight.

Observe whether the temperature in the garden is just enough to sustain the life of your plants. However, you should also note that the temperature changes according to seasons, and therefore, you need to measure the average temperature of the area.

You also need to measure the sunlight and the water flow that covers the area of your garden. Know whether there is enough hydration and visible light in the location. Consider the trees and buildings surrounding the area and how much sunlight they filter. The frequency of rainfall must be considered and know whether or not it causes floods. You don’t want your garden to be overflowing like a pond in the course of a heavy rain, right?

Soil quality is also important for you to know what types of seeds are compatible with it.

  • INVESTIGATION

After you have written down all your observations, it’s now time for you to analyze every single detail that you have recorded. You have to know the meaning in every observation and sort out some ways on how you can use these remarks in coming up with a bountiful garden.

If you have recorded some problems with regards to the location of your garden, you need to come up with smart solutions that can help you push through with your vision of a beautiful garden.

For instance, if you noted that the area regularly floods, you need to find ways on how you can channel the waters to prevent it from pooling around your plants and eventually down them. Or if the areas have parasites, you need to have a buffer that would repel them and keep them from pestering your plants.

However, this does not mean that you have to close your solutions and provide necessary actions right away. Your solutions must be kept open and let your ideas come in as you start drafting your gardening plan.

  • PLANNING

Now you have analyzed your observations, the next step is to plan the things that you want to do with regards to building your garden. With the help of your observations and analysis, plan out your garden in the smartest and the most creative way as possible. Remember the problems and the solutions that you have come up with and weigh down your options on how you can stop the problem that would arise sooner or later.

Planning also includes choosing the right seeds to plant in your garden. As what was stated earlier, you need to consider the quality of the soil and the amount of sunlight in order for you to plant the right kinds of seeds that would grow well in the area of your garden. This also means picking out the right fertilizers and insecticides that you will need in growing your plants.

In this stage, you need to squeeze out all your ideas in order for you to come up with the best plan that would perfectly work for your own benefit.

  • PROCESSING

Finally, this is the stage where you will actually apply all the solutions and tactics that you have come up with. After all the careful observation, analysis and planning, carrying them out will come in handy. It’s just like a science investigation project, once you’re done with the theory; it’s time that you put them into practice.

However, since you are just a beginner, you might want to ask expert advices from professional gardeners who have been gardening for quite some time already. This is important because you’ll never know what will happen next. It could happen that while you’re in the process of carrying out your plans, you might discover some things that you haven’t sorted out earlier. Professional gardeners can help you in providing solutions as well as giving you some suggestions that can help you have the garden that you have been dreaming of.

In conclusion, gardening is indeed a dynamic task. In fact, no one has ever mastered the art of gardening yet, even professionals. Why? Because you can never tell what the future brings. There goes the issue on global warming and climate changes, which undeniably, can have a negative impact in maintaining a fruitful garden. However, if you put your heart in it, and that you are willing to embrace this craft with an optimistic perspective, you will soon be able to reap the fruits of your labor.

It may sound like an extremely tough job right? Not only that you need to use up all your physical energy, but as well as your mental ability to think and analyze things. It can be a draining task, but at the end of the day, your clouds will soon have its silver lining. All it takes is hard-work, will power and a spoonful of determination and just hope for the best. Besides, hope springs eternal, doesn’t it?

Well, good luck and have a bountiful garden all year round!

GARDENING FAQ:


1. Which is the best time to plant trees and shrubs?

Ans.    There are a few trees that can be best plated during the spring season. However, most of the           plants today can be planted at anytime in a year this is because the plants today are containerized.

2. How much or how often should the newly planted trees and shrubs be watered?

Ans.    The frequency of watering actually depends upon the amount of rainfall. If the amount of rainfall is less lets say, less than one inch per week then the plants have to be watered thoroughly once in a week especially during the growth season. And the growth seasons are during spring and summer. Some newly planted flowering plants have to be watered more frequently.

3. Is watering the plants during the night better than watering them in the morning?

Ans.    Definitely not, watering the plants during night or anytime after sunset will encourage fungal diseases in the plants. The reason behind this is, when the plants are watered during night time it takes longer time to dry out the excess water and creates a damp environment.

4. Once the branches of the trees are cut off should it be painted?

Ans.    Never, it is not at all required to paint the part of the tree from where a branch has been cut off. Plants have their own defense mechanism and power to regenerate.

5. How should the grass in the lawn be trimmed?

Ans.    The grasses in the home lawn are usually of a different kind and they need to be trimmed at 2 to 3 inches. And care should be taken not to cut them too short or else the roots might not have a good grip on the soil. It is advisable to use sharp bladed tool to trim the grass.

6. Which are the pests that are commonly found in tomato plants?

Ans.  The most commonly pests found in tomato plant are beetles, cutworms, grasshoppers, root weevils, spider mites, and Colorado potato beetles. These pests are commonly found in the tomato plants. More information about the pests is available in the web. One can find pictures of these pests on the web.

7. What are Blister Beetles?

Ans.   The most commonly found pests that damage the tomato plants are Blister Beetles, this is a kind of beetle that is around half inch long and grey or black in color. They feed on the leaves of the tomato plants. These beetles can be removed by picking them, however, care should be taken and it is advisable to wear gloves before hand picking them because they secret a kind of fluid called caustic fluid for their self defense.

8. What are Aphids?

Ans.    Another commonly found pest in tomato plants is the Aphids. Aphid is a kind of insect that are tiny and vary in color from green to black. They are normally found on the underside of the leaves. These aphids cause the distorted leaves and contribute to under develop a plant. Aphids that are limited to a small area can be either hand picked or even washed away with splash of water. There are several organic pesticides that can help get rid of aphids. Also, the lady beetles mostly feed on these Aphids. Insecticidal soap, neem oil, horticultural sprays and oils are very effective in getting rid of Aphids. Even organic pesticides are of great help but care has to be taken while using them.

9. How can we get rid of these long caterpillars with a horn like structure on its head which are destroying the tomato plants?


Ans.    The long caterpillars with horn like structure on its heads are called Tomato Hornworm. The tomato hornworms are around 3 to 4 inches long caterpillars. They are green in color and almost get blended with the color of the plant and the leaves. These caterpillars have diagonal lines on its side and have a very prominent horn on the rear end that’s on the head. These feed on the tomato plant and on the green fruits of the plant. Actually, Tomato Hornworms are the larvae of Hawk moths and Sphinx moth. These large adult moths mostly appear during the spring and lay pearl colored eggs. The moths lay eggs on the underside of the plant leaves. These eggs hatch in almost a week’s time. The larvae feed for about a month on the plants and green fruits before they get into the pupae stage. These can be hand picked easily and if it is more severe then BT (Bacillius thuringiensis) dust can be used to get rid of these caterpillars.

10. The tomatoes in the garden are out of shape and the plant has become very weak. Also, there is some kind of spots on the fruit. What is the problem with the tomato plant and how can I cure it?

Ans.     The root cause of the problem is Stink bugs. There are many different varieties of stink bugs ranging from green, brown and black etc. These could have or may not have markings on its body. They are shield shaped in structure and are almost 5/8 inch long and about 1/3 inch wide. Stink bugs discharge some kind of odor, very foul odor. Nymphs are smaller in size and resemble the adults. The adults and the Nymphs suck the juice from the plants and the fruits as a result of which the plants become very weak and also the buds and the fruits have distorted shapes. Not only are the fruits malformed but also a yellow – white color spots can be found under the skin of the ripen fruits. Stink bugs can be controlled by clearing the weeds in the garden. This will help to get rid of some varieties of stink bugs. There are other organic ways of getting rid of stink bugs one of which is by using sabadilla dust. The chemical control of stink bugs is by applying Sevin 5% dust. Care should be taken that it is not applied within 5 days of harvest.

11. What are these worms inside the tomatoes? And how can I protect the tomatoes from these worms?

Ans.     The worms inside the tomatoes are called Tomato Fruit worms. They are also called as the Corn Earworm. These worms are seen in many colors like green, pink, brown and have light stripes on the side of the body and also on the back. These are the larvae of moths and can be of almost 1 inch in length. The moths lay their eggs close to the fruit on the stem. The eggs hatch within a week and the larvae makes its way into the fruit and feeds on the fruit. These larvae may move from one fruit to another until it grows and moves into the next stage of its life cycle that is the pupae stage. After discarding the part where the larva is the rest of the fruit can be used. These larvae are prey for the birds. Using organic and biological pesticides like Parasitic Trichogramma sp. and BT (Bacillius thuringiensis) can help control the Tomato Fruit worm. Also using Sevin 5% dust as long as the plant is bearing the fruit or as long as it is required.

12. What are the different types of tomato leaves? How to differentiate between them?

Ans.     There are two types of tomato leaves, Regular leaf and Potato leaf. These are the two basic types. The regular leaves are very familiar among most of the people. As some of the people say these leaves have edges that resemble tooth like projection. Whereas, the edge of potato leaf type are normally smooth. These leaves vary from one another in terms of color, width, length. The leaves vary in shades of colors varying from green to a tint of blue-green etc. Leaf shape can be different with more or less smooth edges. This also depends on the climatic conditions and also on the growing methods.

13. How can tomatoes be prevented from Cross – Pollinating?

Ans.     Cross-pollination occurs when the pollen from one variety of plant lands on the female part of another variety of plant and thus resulting in a hybrid fruit. If the plants of different varieties of plants are planted in close proximity then there higher chances of Cross-pollination. Since the fruit contains genes of two different varieties of plants the fruits in the next generation will vary. And the factors that aid in Cross-pollination are wind, insects, birds, vibrations of blossoms etc. Cross-pollination does not affect the taste or shape of the fruit it only has variation in the seeds of the fruit. Cross-pollination can be prevented by protecting the blossoms by using a physical barrier for example by covering the blossoms with a bag. By maintaining considerable amount of distance of about 20 to 25 feet between the varieties of plant s can also help avoid Cross-pollination. Cross-pollination can also be prevented by growing different plants in different seasons when the other varieties are not blossoming.

14. What is the reason for some plants growing slowly?

Ans.    Some seedlings or plants grow very slowly this is due to either very low temperature or due to the lack of nutrient level.

15. How to identify good seeds?

Ans.    A good seed should be able to germinate. It is always advisable to buy seeds from a highly regarded shop or nurseries that supply good healthy seeds. Good seed helps to increase the chances of growing a plant successfully. The germination rate of seeds decreases as the seed grows older. Seeds that are less than four years old are best to use. However seeds that are more than four years old but are stored in cool and dry conditions can also be germinated.

16. What kind of containers should be used for growing plants?

Ans.    As long as the seeds get moisture and warmth they can germinate in any kind of a container.  Once the seeds germinate and are in their initial stages of growth they need to be potted in a larger container. The container should be such that it is able to drain out the excess water. This will ensure the seed gets the amount of moisture required for a healthy growth. If the containers are old and are previously used containers then it advisable to sterilize these containers with approximately 10% bleaching solution. The size of the container depends upon the number of plants one is willing to have in a single container.

17. What is the procedure to plant the seeds?

Ans.    Firstly, one has to fill the container with seed starting mix and ensure that it is damp. One can purchase good seed starting mix from commercial shops. This can be also prepared at homes. Mixes that have high amount of fertilizers has to be avoided. The mix should be damp and not dry. Now, one has to plant the seeds well, about 3mm deep into the soil. It should be ensured that the seed is in direct contact with the moist mix. This is because during the germination process the seed needs to absorb ample of moisture. One can plant many seeds at once close to each other. Once they all germinate it should be moved to different container, a larger container. This is after the first true leaves have appeared. In order to lock the moisture one can always cover the container with a plastic sheet and ensure air circulation.

18. How to water the young plants?

Ans.    Watering plays an important role is successfully growing a plant. Young plants or seedlings should be watered in a manner such that the seeds are not washed away. Seedlings need to be watered gently. If the soil appears to be muddy then arrangement should be done to remove the excess water by adding some more drainage slits. And if the soil is looking dry. Then I is obvious that it needs water especially during germination. One should always have an eye to check the moisture.

Home Gardening Tips:

Tomato growing tips

During spring tomato lovers think about the idea of growing tomatoes in their garden. Tomatoes are the vegetables that can be grown easily, but tomato gardening tips are always welcome. One of the tomato gardening tips that should be followed is that the tomato should be planted deeply. The deeper you plant them the better you can establish a strong root system; strong root system will avoid the plant to fall all over the place as it starts to grow bigger.

While buying plants it is good to buy the taller ones, plant the plants deep enough; the plants health depends on how you plant them. You should also look at the advantages of growing upside down tomatoes

Autumn gardening tips

After summer seasons come to an end, it is the autumn, which you will be worried about and about taking care of your plants and flowers. The weather turns colder, wetter and darker, which means that the plants need extra care to keep it looking good.

Keep It Tidy.
Make sure you keep your garden clean during autumn, Ensure that any extra rain does not spoil your plants.

Dig It Up.
Removing old and dried plants will really help the other plants grow in a better way.

Recycle.
Preparing your own compost will be good, to do so you can collect dried leaves and other cuttings in compost bin and turn it over regularly in winter months.

Apartment container gardening tips

Container gardening offers lot of benefits to the people who live in apartments, using container gardening you can grow flowers and vegetables in a small space. You can get quite creative, while choosing the container.

Imagine a salad garden on your Childs blue wagon that can be pulled anywhere in your terrace to get enough sunlight. You can grow plant herbs, vegetables, strawberries and flowers in containers and move around the terrace while the weather is nice, or keep it inside the house, container gardening can be of great fun.

Tips for growing beans

Beans grow in a very small root space, and they are easy to grow. Many people love beans, beans are packed with nutrition. Here are some tips that would be really helpful in growing beans.

1. Warm weather

Mostly green beans are grown in a warm soil. The soil should be 65 degrees or warmer on a reliable basis. If you have long winters, you can plant the beans indoor in peat pots. After the plants grow 4 inches long you can plant them outside in the ground.

2. Good soil

Good soil is very much necessary when it comes to planting your beans, Choose a place where there is good drainage and rich soil. Plant the soil in a new location so that it does not get any diseases.

Tips for growing raspberries

It is pretty easy to grow raspberries, the amount of work is less and the rewards are too many. They come in many colors, and can be produced in spring as well. There are hardly few tips to grow raspberries successfully.

The first thing is a good location, growing raspberries needs a normal soil. If the soil is acidic, agricultural lime can be used.  If you are confused with the soil, then you can go seek help from regional government agency, who will help you and provide information about how and where to get soil tests performed. Your soil should have lot of humus in it; if not there are many ways to add organic matter.

Tips for organic gardening

Organic gardening is a natural way of gardening; it is a healthy way of growing plants without the usage of chemicals or other harmful substance. Studies say organically grown foods have higher level of vitamins and minerals compared to those grown using chemicals and pesticides.

Some tips for organic gardening are

Soil – the important factor in organic gardening is soil, you have to take an extra care of the soil, and the nutrients in soil can be increased by adding manure and vegetable pulp.

Fertilizers and pesticides not to be used – This will allow the soil to be free from harmful materials; and keep the soil healthy.

Tips for growing strawberry

Growing strawberries is an admired proprietor garden project. Strawberries are available by mid spring. The methods of growing strawberry are straight forward for a skilled gardener, but it is quite hard for the beginners. Strawberries are the main homegrown fruit for many gardeners.

Strawberry Plant Basics

Three types of strawberry plants are available and each strawberry plant needs different methods to be followed to plant them. The different types of plants are June bearing, ever bearing and day neutral strawberry plants.

June bearing strawberries are well-shaped, plump and juicy, ready to be picked in middle of June. Ever bearing strawberries ripens in the spring. Day neutral strawberry plants continue producing fruit throughout the year; they are smaller in size compared to ever bearing strawberries.

Planting Strawberry Plants

There should be a good location for planting strawberry, choosing the right location will provide you juicy berries. Strawberry plants need six hours of sunshine each day to grow, choose a spot where watering can be done easily.

Tips for growing vegetables

Growing vegetables does not need much work; the main element required is planning and set up. Here are some tips for growing vegetables.

Location of Your Plot – chooses an area which receives plenty of morning sun, but has to be protected from wind. Trees roots can take away all the nutrients from your vegetables, so staying away from trees is good. In order to enjoy the benefits, one should have the knowledge about planting the vegetables properly.

Preparations – see to that there are no weeds near your plot, dig the soil for about a foot. And ensure weather the soil is clear and free from waste. Having the right soil structure is very important.

Tips for growing flowers

The most attractive aspect of gardening is flower gardening, followed and admired by lot of individuals. Having a flower garden outside your house will make the house look beautiful, with different colors of flowers.

To grow beautiful flowers in your flower garden, you have to find an appropriate place for your garden. The location will matter the most in your flower gardening, you can choose a gardening technique for flower gardening, There are two, that is gardening on a piece of land and the other one is flower container gardening. Container gardening have some benefits, such as the container can be carried from one place to another.

Tips for growing cucumber in pots

Many of them like the idea of growing their own vegetables without using any pesticides. But it would be very tedious to involve yourselves cultivating in a plot of land. In that case you can make a small garden where you can grow all your vegetables.

Here are some tips for growing cucumber in pots

There are varieties of cucumbers, like salad bush, midget bush etc.; the tags on the plants inform you about the plant variety, if it is suitable or not for container growing. You can take a pot and open the drainage holes in the bottom, drainage holes will help prevent the roots from getting water logged and then rotting.

Tips for growing carrots in raised beds

It is very much necessary that the raised bed is properly prepared where you are going to plant your carrots, and make sure that you have at least 30 cm of loose soil. Take out the stones and break up the lumps from the soil.

The type of soil really matters for the growth of the carrot, you can use well-rotted animal manure or any other organic material which is available. The more humus you use the better will be the soil. Try to keep up the moister of the soil which will help the carrots to grow sweeter and better.

Tips for growing lime tree inside the house

Choose the Proper Location

Providing your tree adequate sunlight is the biggest key to success, Afternoon sun is best. Your tree should get six hours of sun per day.

Do Not Over Water

The soil in the container should be on the dry side of moist, before watering. During winter water less, wait until the soil is completely dry before watering.

Mist the Tree

These are tropical plants and enjoy humidity, Mist your lime tree with a spray bottle for couple of times per week. Misting not only provides humidity but also prevent pests like that may stick to the plant, like fruit flies.

Tips for gardening at Low cost

Here are some tips to help you in your development of a low cost garden.

Low cost garden tip 1:  use recycled materials like timber, chicken wire to prepare your compost. You can put anything to your compost pile – grass, leaves, and shredded paper. Anything that is biodegradable is accepted.

Low cost garden tip 2: you can use recycled materials like old bricks to make paths, steps and borders, which you can get easily from your neighbors or local construction sites.

Low cost garden tip 3: having problems with the pests on your fruit and vegetables are normal, in order to avoid this use coffee grounds which will deter snails and slugs.

Tips for growing blueberries

Blueberries are one of the easiest plants to grow; they last and bear fruits for many years.

Buy the plants which are two years old, this will help in transplanting berries easily. This will cost you less as well.

Plant the berries where they get enough sunlight, when planting blueberries inside the house it is better to place the plant where it can receive more sunlight.

Adding peat moss to the soil will increase the acidity; blueberries grow better in acidic soil.

Water the plants regularly, new plants require more water compared to matured plants. But overwatering must not be done.

Tips for terrace gardening

In this busy world, you would hardly find any time for nature trails. In that case having a garden at home, especially in terrace is the best idea. Following some tips will really help you maintain your terrace garden.

Firstly you should make sure your terrace is strong to carry the weight of the garden, and also ensure that there is good drainage system and no water leaks. In terrace gardening keep the shrubs, lawns, small trees and ground covers proportional.

For choosing plants, you can choose fiber-rooted plants rather than tap-rooted plants. Tap-rooted plants can grow into the building and damage the structure.

Tips for growing apple tree

It would be very satisfying and rewarding to grow your own apple tree. Some tips that would be really helpful in growing apple trees are.

Make sure the apple trees get 6 hours of sunshine, but you have to be careful during the first stage. During winter the temperature range should be 32 – 45 degrees. Apples grow well in cold climates with a mild summer.

Tips for getting rid of weeds

You can use vinegar to organically kill the weeds in your garden; they must be applied carefully. Make sure you apply vinegar only to the weeds, if not used carefully they can harm other plants. But if you are careful vinegar can be great way to control weeds.

You can also install landscape fabrics, which is another way of reducing the occurrence of weeds.

Tips for water management

Water management is one of the most important fundamentals to cultivate healthy garden, in order to cultivate healthy garden one must study the soil well. Soils with greater amount of clay have a finer texture and hold more water. Clay soils absorbs water very slowly, hence watering should be done slowly and carefully. For sandy soils, organic content can be added to improve water-holding capacity.

Tips to maintain healthy garden

For the healthy growth of plants, plants require six to ten hours of sunlight daily. You should feed nutrients in the form of manure and compost to the soil bed of your garden. You should always use good quality seeds, watering should be done regularly.

Tips for home gardening décor

Create a Theme – using some themes will really make your garden look more consistent and neat.

Do not go overboard – do not add many things in your garden, which may make the garden look messy.

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