Many home vegetable growers opt for the “hope for the best” route when it comes to growing their own produce and many of them are successful. However, many others end up with produce they can’t use or with very little produce that wasn’t worth the effort. If you’re thinking about starting your own vegetable patch, though, it’s better to plan in advance to ensure the operation goes smoothly. Here are the steps you need to take to ensure your patch isn’t a complete waste of time.
Make a Plan
A vegetable patch can work a treat even when it’s not been planned, but you’ll always get more produce if you plan in advance. The trick is to know what you’re going to grow and how long it will take to grow, just so you can work out the costs to see if it’s going to be viable for you and your family. Of course, what you grow will also determine the space it takes and the environment it needs to thrive. In some cases, you may want to invest in a decent greenhouse frame to give plants the best chance of a high-yield. Other times, a simple vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden will suffice. Look at this helpful guide that will give you a rough idea of what you need to make the operation successful.
The Location of Your Patch is Vital
You’ll next want to determine where the best location in your garden is for the patch and your plants to thrive. What you’re looking to grow will determine where you want your patch to be. You need plenty of light for a start, so creating a patch at the bottom of the garden where the sun doesn’t shine as frequently isn’t going to do your patch any favors. You’ll also want to consider the different wind speeds to ensure your plants aren’t going to succumb to any natural damage. You’ll also need to regularly water your plants and undertake regular digging duties, so if the patch isn’t easy to access at all times, you’re going to encounter several problems that’ll make maintenance tricky.
Clear the Area
Before you start planting, you’ll want the best soil to ensure you get a high-yield vegetable patch. If the soil isn’t good enough, you’re only going to end up with produce that isn’t worth growing in the first place. If the area is covered in grass, unearth the grass so it’s upside down and it’ll create a good foundation for your plants to thrive. Dig up any roots and try to make the soil as fluffy and least compact as possible just so your plant roots benefit from a lot of space to grow into.
Maintain the Soil
Before you start growing your plants, it’s best to maintain the soil for a couple of weeks and let it warm up ready for good produce – it’ll boost the yield and make growing times considerably quicker. This can be done in several ways, but most green thumb enthusiasts have had the best yield from covering their soil with some sort of clear plastic covering. It’ll ensure the patch is weed-free and it’ll also dry the soil out for easy maintenance in the near future. The more effort you put into maintaining the soil before planting, the more produce you will get. It will also require less effort to maintain throughout the growing process.
Take Advantage of Compost to Help the Soil
Many green thumbs don’t care too much about the soil and later regret it when they get a yield that’s next to nothing. Not only will you want to ensure you get good soil for the foundation, but you’ll also want to ensure it’s filled with the best compost and nutrients to give your plants a better chance. If the area you’re converting into a patch was first covered with grass, then simply overturning the soil is an effective way to create a decent soil/compost foundation, but other times you’ll want to put an inch of mulch down on top to create a better soil foundation.
Effort is everything when it comes to starting a new vegetable patch and, while most of the work comes into play when it comes to converting an area of the garden, you’ll still want to carry on maintaining the patch throughout the growing process to get a better yield for your efforts.