You do not need a huge backyard to grow your own produce. At the very least you can grow sprouts and herbs on a window sill and some tomatoes in a planter box. These alone will be a great addition to your family table.
If you are fortunate to have a backyard, you can produce a variety of bountiful crops with very little effort. All you need is adequate sunlight, water, soil and a little patience to successfully grow organic vegetables most of the year.
Before planting any seedlings you need to select the best area for your garden. A successful garden needs at least six hours of sun, especially during the winter months. This is important for strong, nutritious and healthy plants. Also consider protection from the wind which can slow down growth, dry out the soil, and physically damage your plants.
The soil needs to be rich and fertile for best results, and can be improved by adding aged manure and a good quality compost before planting. Most vegetables will thrive on these two additions alone. Other vegetables require lime, nitrogen and/or potash for ideal conditions — check the growing requirements for each vegetable before you plant.
Vegetables need lots of water and adequate drainage to thrive. The amount of water depends on the climate, the time of the year, and your soil conditions. Adding mulch, such as straw, on top of the soil will help to retain valuable moisture and regulate the soil temperature. Drainage is improved by incorporating bulky matter into the soil or by building raised beds on top of the existing garden level.After selecting the best position for your garden divide the area into three or more separate beds so you can rotate your crops each season. Crop rotation helps to combat soil-borne pests and diseases and improves soil conditions by nutrient transfer. Plants are then planted in family groups, such as root crops and brassica’s. As a novice gardener select vegetables that are both easy to grow and tasty to eat such as peas, tomatoes, swiss chard, beets, lettuce and cabbage, and divide them into family groups for each of your separate garden beds. For example, the first bed may contain tomato and capsicum, the second may contain lettuce and cabbage, and the third bed may contain carrots and turnips.
In addition to sun, water and fertile soil, vegetables need regular care to produce a strong healthy crop. This involves little more than maintaining soil moisture, weed and pest control, pruning, and occasional fertilizing as required. A little time each day will pay huge dividends at harvest time.
With a little time, discipline and patience you will be growing fresh, organic vegetables within a few weeks, providing delicious additions to your family table.
More great vegetable gardening tips here.