Popular tips for growing vegetables

The following content details about gardening ideas and Plant Growing Tips for Beginners.

Introduction to Gardening:- Most of the people dream about growing vegetables, flowers and fruits on their own especially in places like backyards, patios, balconies, pots, containers and roofs / terrace. Gardening is not only provides physical activity but also mental peace. However, you can spend some time growing plants indoors and relive from daily stress, this can also provide fresh home grown vegetables, flowers and fruits without spending money to buy these. Gardening is easy if you follow some management practices. So let us discuss how we can start a garden. First and foremost, you should decide about plants that you are planning to grow in the garden then accordingly your garden should be designed.

Gardening Ideas and Tips #1 – How to Select the Place:- Proper site selection is very important as most of the vegetables crops, fruit  crops and flower crops require 7 to 8 hours  sunlight though some can be grown under partial shade. You must choose a place which gets the exposure of sunlight. The selected spot should be convenient for watering and caring the plants.

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Gardening Ideas and Tips #2 – Garden Layout:- Garden layout should be based on the plot size and type of plants grown. The selected layout should have at least 8 hours of sunlight. Observe the wind patterns when you design your garden. Leave comfortable space for walking and caring your plants. In case of vine vegetables (cucumber, squash and any type gourd vegetables) and flowers (creeping roses or jasmines) or even fruits (like water melon), they layout must allow enough space to creep the vine and there should good space for supporting these vines without disturbing other plants. When you design your garden, keep in mind that the sowing distance and make sure the soil will drain out quickly in case of heavy rains. Waterlogging may cause root rot. If you plan to go for drip watering, this should also keep in mind to fix the drip lines at plant bases. Proper fencing (wooden or steel) around the garden should planned .If you are planning to grow in apartment balconies or indoors, terrace/roof (where we assume enough sun light  is present in day time), you can get some kind of raised beds or containers even big pots for planting the trees. Based on the area, you can select these containers. Don’t plant tall growing plants in wind direction as it may damage the plant and crop.
Gardening Ideas and Tips #3 – Gardening Tools Required: Well, when you are into gardening, you must have basic tools for maintaining the plants and soil. The following are some of the important gardening tools required for beginners. Keep these tools handy to start a garden.
• Gloves
• Hand Trowel
• Spade
• Rake
• Hoe
• Loppers (Cutting tool especially for pruning purpose)
• Long hose with adjustable nozzle & rain wand
• Wheelbarrow (compost puller)

Gardening Ideas and Tips #4 – Preparation of Soil:- Type of soil plays major roles in home gardening. We all know the soil around houses is not that fertile and is not ideal for home gardening.  Unless the soil is heavily compacted, do not till the soil deeply as deep tilling promotes the weed germination already present deeper layers and lowers the moisture holding capacity of the soil in arid climatic conditions. Irrigate/water the area 2 or 3 times each day over a two- to three-week period to encourage dormant weed seed germination. After 2 to 3 weeks, when this second crop of weeds is up, mow the new weeds off (remove) at ground level. Next, supplement (add) well-decomposed organic matter like cow dung to the soil. Even you can buy garden compost in fertilizer shops or seed shops or in nurseries and add to the soil. Always make sure to keep the garden with moisture conditions at plant base. Now the fertile soil is ready for sowing the seeds. In case of balcony growing, you directly put the garden compost in the container.

Gardening Ideas and Tips #5 – Seed Sowing:- If you are a beginner in gardening, it is preferred to grow row flowers, vegetables and herbs from easy to grow seeds. This way initially, you don’t get disappointed and you feel happy when you pick the vegetables in short period of time. Make sure the seed bed has enough moisture for germinating the seeds. Light watering should be given to seed bed before sowing the seeds. You can grow other type’s plants as well once you are little experienced with basic gardening. Each plant seed is different in terms of method of planting and germination and growing. Always buy the disease free, and high vigour seeds for good germination and quality produce. There are thousands of varieties of seeds available in the market. Hybrid and high yielding should be right choice of selection of seeds. Read the instructions carefully on the pack for seed sowing. Avoid buying too old stock and once you grow them on your own you can retain good yielding seeds for future plantation as well. In case of small seeds, care should be taken well enough to make them to germinate properly. Small plant seeds must be sown very evenly over the surface of the compost. Fine seeds must not be covered with compost as they may not germinate at all. Seeds should be mixed with fine sand for an even sowing. Do not use force to water after sowing otherwise seeds may come out so light and evenly distributed watering should be done. Small plant seeds are generally photo-sensitive and most of seeds require light to germinate. However some of the seeds may require shade and darkness. So it is very important to read the sowing instructions on the seed packet.

Gardening Ideas and Tips #6 – Watering/ Irrigation:- Frequency of watering depends on soil moisture holding capacity, plant age, and climate. Watering should be done frequently when seeds are germinated and started growing (seedlings). Thumb rule is that soil should have unique moisture conditions. Care should be taken to avoid overwatering and plants should not go through water stress in summer or drought periods.

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Gardening Ideas and Tips #7 – Climatic Conditions:-  You must select to grow the plants according to the seasons in your garden and the local climatic conditions. Some plants are suitable to grow in cold / winter conditions whereas some are suitable for rainy and summer seasons.
Gardening Ideas and Tips #8 – Plant Care Instructions:- This is one of the major tasks in home gardening. All plants need some attention throughout their growth period.  The following are some of the tasks need to be performed as part of plant care.

• Weeding
• Mulching
• Manures/Fertilizers
• Pruning
• Training
• Irrigation
• Pests and Disease control

What are weeds? Well they are the plants grown on their own in your gardening by competing with main plants. Mostly these are grown from previous crop seeds/ birds. They should be removed as soon as possible. They compete with manures/nutrients/water   with other plants. Weed problem is very less in case of container or pot and terrace gardening.  Though there are many ways of removing weeds, we prefer to remove by hand. There are herbicides and other mechanical ways to remove weeds. If you are planning to grow organically, use hand method to remove any weeds from your garden.
Mulching is another way of controlling weeds or weed growth at plant base. Mulch material like dry grass or dry leaves can be used at plant base so that it can protect the plant from moisture loss and control weeds. Eventually, this dry grass can decompose and works as good organic manure at plant base.

You can use well-decomposed farm yard manure (FMY) and NPK fertilizers for based on soil type. When you buy garden compost, you no need to worry about fertility of the soil.

Pruning (cutting the branches) is an activity some plants need at different stages to give a good shape and prevent the spreading branches unevenly. Each tree has different timings for pruning the trees. Mostly tall growing and highly branched plants require this.
Training needs to be carried out by supporting tall growing plants and vines. To establish a better frame work of your garden, bamboo sticks or any kind other poles needs to be used in your back yard gardening. You can do this in containers/balcony/roof/terrace or pot gardening as well.

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Timely irrigation is very important so that you never allow seedlings or plants to dry out. Monitor the soil moisture constantly to see whether the plants need any watering.

Pests and diseases are to be controlled for better produce and good yield. Use organic fertilizers like neem cake and other bio-fertilizers to control the pests and diseases in home garden. You can avoid most of the seed borne and soil borne diseases by buying disease resistant quality seeds. Usually, common disease is called “Dampening Off” is found in your home garden. This is basically caused by fungus that attacks the plants. Make sure the seedlings have good air circulation as well as making sure you don’t over-water the plants.


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