The love of gardening is usually associated with the smell of the soil, the freedom of movement and the enjoyment of the bounty. Most of us do not know why we should plant this vegetable or that one. Many novices in this area select vegetables by color or taste versus good planting sense. This is a mistake that could lead to a poor harvest. But I would suggest to the reader that perhaps the planting and enjoyment of fresh air is more important than the yield. I would also suggest that you should decide now whether it is the pursuit or the harvest you are interested in. Making this decision will make the ingestion of the knowledge within these pages easier and more enjoyable.
Once you have made this decision, you can decide whether to flip to your favorite vegetable or focus more on time and technique. It has been my experience that people who just enjoy gardening are mostly focused on their favorites versus attempting to gain a “giant world of veggies”.
In an effort to be thorough, I will make a list of every item you will need to build a modest garden for most vegetables. You will need:
1. A shovel
2. A hoe
3. A tiller or plow of some kind
4. A various assortment of seeds*
5. Fertilizer or Enriching Chemicals *
6. Insecticides & Herbicide (Insect and Weed Killer)*
7. Stakes & Poles
8. A plot in which to plant your seeds
9. Irrigation Tools of some kind (Garden Hose / Ditches/ Sprinklers)
*Items 5 and 6 are to be excluded if your goal is “organic” vegetables, and Item 4 can’t be genetically manipulated seeds. To develop a strong garden we will use a technique called succession planting. For those of you who don’t know, this is after one crop is harvested, another crop is immediately planted in its place. In order for this process to work, one crop must mature as another crop’s planting season comes. This rotating system must coordinate the season, maturation of crop one, and planting season of crop two.
We are going to review seeding techniques, planting techniques, plant types and the environment. We will first evaluate the vegetable, the best climate conditions, soil conditions and average growing season. Fertilizers vary greatly; therefore specific fertilizers vary in their effectiveness on plants under various conditions.