It's that time of year when we get our plants in the ground. Spring. I love it!
With the costs of living rising all the time, it's possible to save money and increase a family's health at the same time by growing vegetables in your backyard. Of course, it's a good idea to choose your favorite vegetables to grow. It does no good to plant veggies no one will eat! Plan beds for early, middle of the season and late varieties so your garden will work for you all season.
Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, some need 8, so be sure to check. Some quick growers like lettuce and radish can be grown between the rows of plants that take longer to mature, like beet or corn, thus making full use of the area available.
Throughout dry periods, gardens need extra watering. Most vegetables benefit from an inch or more of water each week, especially when they are fruiting. During the growing season, watch for insect pests. If you discover a bug problem early it will be much easier to cure, but be careful to avoid pesticides once the vegetable are close to being picked. I plant peppermint and spearmint in containers near my plants and never see a bug munching on them! It's a way to create a healthy and environment-friendly pesticide (or rather avoidance).
Once you've reaped your crop, put the vegetable waste in your compost pile so it can be recycled for next spring. I throw in a lot of my chicken manure too.
It is important to protect your garden from wild animals looking for a tasty treat. Make sure your garden is surrounded by a fence that will keep out dogs, rabbits, and other animals. The harm done by wandering animals during one season can equal the cost of a fence. A fence also can serve as a frame for peas, beans, tomatoes, and other crops that need support.
Follow these tips and your vegetable garden will yield a bountiful harvest. Happy planting!