Growing vegetable plants is one of the most rewarding experiences a home gardener can have. However, this may be difficult because growing plants requires focus and dedication to achieve a high crop yield.
In this article, we’ll go over the seven most important things you should do to turn your garden into a bountiful one.
1. Know What is the Best Time to Germinate Seeds
When growing plants in your garden, you might consider buying seeds from your local garden shop and starting the germination process.
But that’s not the end of the process because germinating seeds takes time and effort to do thoroughly.
The germination process has some factors that need to consider so that your seeds will grow healthy.
One of these factors is the temperature that needs by the seeds.
The best time to germinate your seeds is in the morning since the temperature is favorable at this time to keep them warm. It needs immediate exposure to sunlight, approximately 12 to 16 hours each day, to grow.
It also gives you benefits because you provide them with moisture throughout their first 12 hours in the morning.
Remember that water is also an essential factor in germinating seeds. Morning time can give enough humidity to provide the soil with moisture that sources can use.
So it is recommended to start germinating your seeds in the morning, which benefits the home gardener and the sources needed to accomplish the growing process.
2. Plan a Garden Layout When Making a Garden
If you are a beginner and decide to make your garden in your home, it is advisable to plan the layout of your garden.
But this will depend on the size of your garden area and the nutrient status of your soil.
Make sure that everything you plant on can get enough nutrients and survive in the environment.
Here are the six basic types of garden layout that can be used depending on the size of your area and the availability of the soil:
Rows are the most straightforward garden layout you can use, especially if you have a small open space area. These are long and straight rows running from the north to the south.
Four squares is a simple garden layout in which the garden bed can divide into four, and each square can plant different types of plants based on the number of nutrients they need. It is suitable for classifying crops and crop rotation to reduce pests and soil disease.
Square Foot is not that complicated type of garden layout in which the garden bed will divide into equal square-foot sections. Each section can plant by one kind of plant.
Block is typically known as “close row” or “wide row.” It is a rectangular block instead of long single rows. It gives you a walkway throughout your garden, thus giving you maximum garden space.
Vertical is the best option to choose if you don’t have garden space in your home. It will let you plant vertically using trellises or hanging baskets or even form upside down.
Raised Bed/Containers is also a great alternative garden layout if you have limited soil in your area. It provides proper drainage and lets the soil warm quicker so you can plant again earlier for the next season.
However, there are also things you should consider before planning to layout your garden. First, make sure to determine the soil composition by soil testing.
Soil Testing is the most important chemical and physical measurement to measure your soil’s soil nutrient status and lime requirements.
When you do soil testing in your backyard, you will know what fertilizer to use for your soil.
Once you determine the status of your soil, you should also consider the location of your garden. Check if the area is in the open space (without trees) and directly to the sun.
If you don’t have any of this area in your home, look for a patio that receives sunlight. You can plant in any container on a deck or patio that receives sunlight.
Water is vital for your plant. Make sure that your area has a water source so that it is easy to refresh them without any hassle.
If you check these considerations first, this is now the time that you need to plan your garden layout. You are good to go for the next step when you already know the best structure for your garden.
3. Know What Vegetables You Should Plant First in Your Garden
There are many types of vegetables and crops you can plant in your garden. But knowing what they are can give you an idea of what you should plant.
Green and Leafy Vegetables, Fruit-bearing Crops, and Herbs are the best plants that you should plant in your garden first.
However, there is also a factor that you will also consider before you plant these plants.
Planting vegetables and crops should depend on the current weather status because some plants can tolerate or not in a specific season.
Cold-Season Crops/Vegetables can grow in cooler weather, specifically in early spring or late summer and autumn. While Warm-Season Crops/Vegetables can develop during the weather is warm, either late spring, summer, or early autumn.
Hence, plants that can grow in the cold season should prioritize to plant. In this way, it will mature when the warm season comes.
Examples of cold-season crops are Broccoli, Cabbage, Garlic, Asparagus, Parsley, Radishes, Spinach, Turnips, Peas, Parsley, and many more.
Examples of cold-season, half-sturdy vegetables are Carrot, Celery, Beets, Lettuce, Potatoes, and more.
On the other hand, plants that can grow in the warm season can plant during warm weather, based on the tenderness they hold.
Examples of tender vegetables are Tomatoes, Sweet Corn, Spinach, etc.
For very tender vegetables, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Okra, Squash, Watermelons, Sweet Potatoes, etc., are examples.
4. Know When to Repot Vegetable Seedlings
Repotting, or somewhat called “transplanting,” is the most effective way of making your garden plentiful. It is the time that you need to transfer your seedlings into your garden bed or in a bigger pot to continue its growing process.
Though sometimes there are gardeners are prefer to buy seedlings from a local garden shop and straightforwardly plant it in their garden. There is no wrong with that.
But germinating your seeds and transplanting them afterward will lead you to healthier plants and train them to grow bigger and stronger.
The best time when your seedling is now ready to transplant is when you see one or two sets of true leaves on it.
True leaves are the following sets of leaves after the cotyledons arise on your seed. So it would help if you looked for the true leaves first before replanting them.
You can see the sets of true leaves from your seedlings approximately three weeks after they sprout.
Also, the sign that you also need to observe is when these true leaves are turning yellow. At this point, seedlings are looking for nutrients to absorb, and one way to do this is to transfer them into the soil with enough nutrients they need.
Lack of nutrients is the cause why the leaves are turning yellow, and you don’t have to worry about this.
Lastly, when you find out that the seedlings in your trays are too crowded, this is also the best time to transplant them into a more extensive area.
Note that you need to do hardening off before you transfer them. It ensures that your seedlings can take the natural environment itself.
5. Know What are Incompatible Garden Plants
Generally, plants are plants. You can plant them anywhere together with the others.
But that idea is not that good after all!
Some plants may not plant together because plants are picky about what plant they want to companion, or some other plants that are vulnerable to pests and parasites can be harmful to others.
They are called Incompatible Garden Plants. It is a group of plants that the others cannot plant. In a quick view, some plants can grow well together, but some seem to hate each other. So they are incompatible plants.
With this, companion planting is beneficial, especially in farming and gardening, to avoid consequences in your garden.
We will make an article regarding Incompatible Garden Plants to provide information that might help you soon.
6. Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Plants
Choosing the right fertilizer for your plants is vital, especially when you don’t know what fertilizer you should apply for them.
But there are critical key points you should note if you are going to purchase fertilizer for your plants.
First and foremost, choosing fertilizer will always depend on the plant types. You have to familiarize yourself with the kinds of vegetables or plants and study how they grow.
After that, be aware of the types of fertilizer available today. Like humans, plants also need micro or macronutrients to grow and survive, and fertilizer does it all.
There are two kinds of fertilizer. These are All-Purpose Fertilizer and Soil Amendments.
All-Purpose Fertilizer has macro-nutrients that need by the plants, which enable growth for them.
Examples of macro-nutrients are Nitrogen (N), which is responsible for the growth of the stem and leaves. Potassium (K) is responsible for the immunity of plants. And lastly, Phosphorus (P) is responsible for photosynthesis (a systematic process by which plants convert solar energy to chemical energy).
These macro-nutrients can find in the fertilizer package that represents N-P-K. It shows the percentage that tells the total weight of each macro-nutrient in the fertilizer package.
On the other hand, soil amendments are organic fertilizers that can improve the natural soil by adding more organic matter and micro-nutrients, making it more rich and appropriate for vegetable plants.
Examples of soil amendments are as follows:
Composted Manure is a soil amendment that can add organic matter and increase the ability to hold moisture from the soil.
Earthworm Casting can help the plants produce flowers and fight disease.
Rock Dust can improve soil structure and add micronutrients like Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and many more that are very important in plant growth.
Bone Meal provides a high amount of Phosphorus, Calcium, and other micronutrients that help the plants produce solid roots and enhance photosynthesis.
There is no specific fertilizer appropriate for the plants to apply because their nutrient requirement changes all the time. As I said, you should consider knowing the basic types of plants first and how they grow so that you’ll be aware of what fertilizer you should purchase before you apply to them.
In addition, there are two forms of fertilizer present today. These are Granular Fertilizer and Liquid Fertilizer.
All-Purpose Fertilizer and High Phosphorus Fertilizer are the two options for Granular Fertilizer. All-Purpose Fertilizer contains the N-P-K content depending on the total weight of the macro-nutrients inside the package, while the latter is high on Phosphorus rather than the two.
Both of them have an essential role in plant growth stages, depending on the status you face with your plants.
On the other hand, Liquid Fertilizer is very beneficial rather than granular since it can easily absorb the soil after applying it. The N-P-K content can also identify for the liquid fertilizer.
7. Know What is the Best Time to Water the Plants
Watering the plants is the most critical responsibility the gardener should have.
According to research, the best time to water your plants is in the morning. When you try to water your plants in the middle of the day, there is a possibility that the water will evaporate rapidly.
Watering the plant in the night might be alright. But the plants will stay wet throughout the evening and eventually attract disease.
So make sure to water your plants daily in the morning.
Knowing the best time to germinate seeds is essential. The best time to germinate seeds is early in the morning since the temperature and humidity are favorable at this time to keep them warm and moist.
Plan your garden layout before planting. If you don’t have a plan, it’s impossible to succeed. Look back to the types of garden layouts in this blog if you want to take those as an inspiration.
Choose what vegetables to plant first. It will determine what crops will grow better in your garden. Also, know what incompatible garden plants are. Some plants are not compatible with other plants. Make sure to understand what are the best vegetables to plant together.
Select the right fertilizer for your plants since the nutrient requirements of the plants change all the time. Look for the most suitable fertilizer for your plants.
Know when is the right time to water your plants. Watering your plants in the morning is the most effective way to have healthy plants.
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- The Peak Time of Day to Water Vegetables. (2016, February 23).
- SPENGLER, T. The Best Time of Day to Plant Seeds.