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How to Grow Vegetables: What Every Gardener Should Know
A Vegetable Garden whether small or large, planned according to the space available, is always a rewarding asset to every home, quite apart from its value as a hobby, for there is no comparison between the shop bought article and the fresh home-grown vegetables.
A well run Vegetable Garden lessens the cost of living, for home-grown vegetables should be cheaper, cleaner and fresher. The Vegetable Garden provides greater variety of food, and the satisfaction of using vegetables of one’s own growing, and the fact that in many cases “if we don’t grow them, we do without them,” should be a great incentive towards planting a Vegetable Garden.
More gardens mean better health, and the exercise as well as the fact that gardening is an open-air hobby, further support this statement. Too large a garden should not be attempted, and the size should be determined with regard to the amount of time and labour available. Without the necessary and support, too large a garden becomes a burden rather than a pleasurable hobby.
A small vegetable garden area properly cared for, frequently worked and thoroughly well renewed from time to time with fertiliser and manurial soil, will give better results and satisfaction than a large space which not only cannot be attended to without exhaustive work, but cannot by any means be properly and thoroughly looked after.
There are two types of Home Vegetable Gardens, the City or Suburban, with a more or less limited space available for cultivation, and in many instances unfavorable conditions; and the Country or Farm Garden, with unlimited space and usually a fine, loamy soil, an adequate supply of natural manure, good drainage, plenty of sunshine, and moisture in abundance. With either type, the keynote of success is not only the location, soil, moisture, sunshine or plant food available, but also the persistent efforts of the individual to make the most of what ever type of garden you may have.
How to Grow Vegetables: The Fundamentals
Make the soil as rich as requirements demand; sow only the best seeds, and should the weather be too dry, or other adverse conditions for successful germination prevail, do not be discouraged – sow again and even a third time.
Keep the soil loose and fine by frequent workings, cultivate to prevent the weeds, not only from starting, but from flowering and reinfesting the ground with weed seeds, and also to encourage rapid growth and secure the finest quality vegetables.
Cut, pick or dig the produce of your garden when ready for use, and while young and tender, and do this, particularly in the hot summer months, in the cool of the early morning.
Pick or dig sufficient for the day, and store in a cool shaded place until required for use. Do not attempt to do too much and do not start by planting out too large an area.
The things to be considered in the Home Vegetable Garden are:
A sufficient supply to fill the family requirements
A continuous succession of crops
The ease and cheapness of cultivation
The maintenance of the productivity of the land after a year
A careful thought-out succession of crops and rotations and the utilisation of every foot of available space render it possible to raise considerable quantities and a good variety of vegetables on a limited area, and to so augment the family food supply.
A most important essential is to find out which varieties are best suited and give the best returns under the soil and climatic conditions prevailing.
Factors necessary for how successful a home vegetable garden will become
SOIL OF SUITABLE TEXTURE, CONTAINING AVAILABLE PLANT FOOD
Should the soil be unsuitable, improve and enrich it by supplying the necessary Plant Food, Humus and Lime. Regard the whole garden as a seed bed and CULTIVATE and fertilise accordingly.
SUFFICIENT MOISTURE, TO DISSOLVE THE PLANT FOOD AND TO MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO THE ROOTS
When the soil moisture is insufficient, water judiciously and carefully. Conserve the soil moisture BY FREQUENT cultivation.
SEEDS OR PLANTS TO PRODUCE THE DESIRED CROP
Buy only the best seeds or plants. Their cost is only a small part of the cost of production, but poor quality seeds or plants will mean failure of the anticipated crop, and consequent disappointment.
SUCCESSIONAL CROPS AND A CAREFUL SYSTEEM OF ROTATION
Plant out a careful succession of crops so as to ensure a greater range of varieties.
FREEDOM FROM WEEDS
Keep the weeds down, as they rob and impoverish the soil at the expense of the cultivated plant.
Thorough and frequent cultivation conserves the soil moisture by creating a dust mulch which keeps the ground clean and free from weeds and INCORPORATES AIR INTO the soil.
THE USE OF SEED BOXES, A HOT BED AND AN OUTDOOR SEED BED, AS WELL AS A GLASS FRAME WHERE POSSIBLE
Seed boxes will obviate the necessity for a Glass Frame in a small garden. These are necessary so as to have young seedlings ready for transplanting as soon as the ground is clear from the previous crop, and to thus preserve an unbroken and continuous succession.
MAINTENANCE OF THE SOIL FERTILITY
In a small garden where intensive cultivation must be practised, the fertility of the soil must be kept up by the frequent additions of fertiliser, humus, and where necessary, lime.
The human element is equally important in Gardening as in other pursuits, and the care and work bestowed upon the Vegetable patch, will invariably be reflected in the more or less successful and satisfactory results attained.