Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden? With the growing trend to become self-sustaining and lead a ‘greener’ lifestyle, many people have found ways to provide their own vegetables, fruit and eggs, right from their own backyard efforts. Living off the land is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little bit of knowledge, some space and a couple of seed packets to get started.
When the vegetable season is over, grow a shoulder season crop if possible. Fruits like strawberries or raspberries bear fruit very early or very late in the season before or after the summer vegetable crops take over and can be planted. Raspberries can be planted to bear fruit in the fall and strawberries can be planted to bear fruit in the spring.
To produce the largest and tastiest fruits and vegetables from vine plants, don’t be afraid to pinch off blossoms, as well as the vine, that often trails far and away from the main plant. If you minimize the blossoms on a plant and the distance from the plant to those blossoms, the plant is better able to provide more nutrients to the blossoms that remain which will then result in the biggest and best fruits and vegetables.
For garden plants that crave and need a lot of water, use five gallon buckets to keep those thirsty fruits and vegetables happy. Simply drill or punch several 1/8′ to 1/4′ holes into the bottom of a five gallon bucket, fill with water and set near the parched plant. Gravity allows for a slow and steady watering of those plants and if you live in an area where you get frequent rain, you will be capturing plenty of rain water to keep those buckets fairly full all season long.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
Consider using organic fertilizers in your garden. These are safer than chemical fertilizers, which can build up salts in the ground over time. The salts restrict the ability of the plants to get water and nutrients from the soil. They can also kill helpful earthworms and microorganisms which eat thatch.
Just think of the beautiful harvest you can add to your dining table from your garden. Not to mention the environmentally friendly impact of growing your own food. Maintaining a personal vegetable garden can provide food at low cost to your family — and wait until you savor the amazing taste of vegetables, picked straight from the plant. Store-bought produce never tasted this good