When you grow your own fruit and vegetables, they taste better and give you peace of mind because you know exactly what has gone into cultivating them. Homegrown fruit and veg are also cheaper, which means you save money on your weekly shopping bill. Growing your own is a rewarding hobby that requires little space but plenty of dedication if you want to see results. However, many gardeners find it difficult to grow their own produce because they make the common mistakes that newbie growers often make. But don’t worry—we’ve all been there! The trick is knowing what not to do in order to achieve success with growing your own crops. These 10 easy steps will get you well on your way to successfully growing your own fruit and vegetables:
Step 1: Decide what you’re going to grow
It’s important to decide what you want to grow before you start gardening. This will help you think about the required space, amount of sunlight, amount of water and nutrients each plant will need in order to grow successfully. This will also affect when you can plant your crops. For example, lettuce is best planted in spring and summer, whereas carrots are best planted in autumn. Try to select crops that will grow in your local climate, so you aren’t constantly battling against the elements. For example, if you live in an area that doesn’t experience much rainfall, it would be foolhardy to attempt a water-reliant crop such as watermelons.
Step 2: Don’t forget about the soil
The first thing to do before planting anything is to check the soil in your garden bed. If it’s compacted, lacking in organic matter or simply doesn’t have the right nutrients for plant growth, then you’ll need to amend it. Before you do, though, make sure you have the right tools to hand. You’ll need a spade, trowel and/or fork, plus a few bags of compost or fertiliser. If your soil is very clay-like, you may want to consider mixing in sand or loam. If it’s too sandy, you can amend it with organic matter or compost. Moon Valley Nursery
Step 3: Make sure you have the right equipment and tools
Growing your own fruit and vegetables requires some equipment and tools. Firstly, you’ll need a garden bed or raised bed for growing your plants. You can either grow everything in your existing soil or you can buy specially designed ‘soil-less’ growing trays. You’ll also need to buy pots or planters for indoor growing. When it comes to tools, you’ll need a spade, fork, trowel and perhaps a hoe too. You’re also advised to have a good pair of gloves, especially if you’re planting in the spring or summer when the ground is still fairly chilly.
Step 4: Select your plants
Once you’ve decided which crops to grow, it’s time to select your specific varieties. It’s advisable to grow open-pollinated varieties, so you can save and plant your own seeds for years to come. Select disease-resistant varieties if you’re susceptible to pests or diseases in your area, and choose early- or late-maturing plants if you have a short growing season.
Step 5: Add fertiliser and manure
Before planting your chosen crops, add some organic matter such as manure or compost to the soil. This will add nutrients and organic matter to the soil, which will help your plants grow healthier and stronger. Once your plants have sprouted, add some kind of fertiliser such as blood and bone, fish or seaweed to your soil to help your plants grow bigger and stronger. Make sure you read the instructions on the packaging to get the correct dosage.
Step 6: Water, water and more water!
Gardening is 90% water and 10% gardening! You need to make sure your plants get enough water, especially during the first few weeks of growth when the plant roots are establishing themselves. Your plants will let you know when they need more water. You can also use a soil moisture gauge to see how much water your soil is holding. Once your plants are established, you can water less. But while they’re growing and developing, they need plenty of water to help them reach full maturity.
Step 7: Protect your plants from pests and disease
While there are pests and diseases you can’t prevent, there are some you can. Planting certain crops together can help deter pests and diseases. For example, planting nasturtiums among your tomatoes will help repel pests such as whiteflies and aphids. You can also use certain sprays to protect your plants from pests and diseases. For example, neem oil is a safe and eco-friendly way to repel insects. If your crops are affected by disease, the best way to treat them is to remove the affected leaves, and let nature take its course. You can also use fungicides and pesticides as a last resort, but make sure you read the product warnings and instructions before applying anything to your soil or plants.
When you grow your own fruit and vegetables, they taste better and give you peace of mind because you know exactly what has gone into cultivating them. Homegrown fruit and veg are also cheaper, which means you save money on your weekly shopping bill. Growing your own is a rewarding hobby that requires little space but plenty of dedication if you want to see results. These 10 easy steps will get you well on your way to successfully growing your own fruit and vegetables: Decide what you’re going to grow, don’t forget about the soil, make sure you have the right equipment and tools, select your plants, add fertiliser and manure, water, water and more water, protect your plants from pests and disease, and harvest time!
This article is provided by https://www.gardencenterguide.com/moon-valley-nurseries