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- Vegetables, that are considered herbaceous plants, constitute a rich source of healthy food that is full of vitamins and other nutrients.
- They are delicious, too, and therefore no one should wonder that they have been eaten for ages in various forms – raw, cooked or roasted.
- Even though shops, supermarkets and fresh markets offer a wide choice of different vegetables, those grown on your own still taste best.
- We will tell you, how to properly approach vegetable cultivation.
Choosing the right site
- Choosing the right site for growing your veggies proves to be a crucial decision.
- Vegetables develop best on sunny sites, only few species, such as dwarf beans or celery, prefer partial shade.
- Sunlight plays an important role in plant development and, what is even more important, influence the taste and aroma of vegetables.
- The site should also be partially, yet not completely, sheltered from the wind.
- Vegetables do not like strong wind gusts, but should not be deprived of proper air circulation.
- Avoid lower borders when growing vegetables.
- These sites are exposed to frost and water tends to accumulate there.
- Soil type and quality also play an important role in vegetable cultivation.
- There are three basic soil types: light, medium light and heavy.
- The medium compact soils provide best possible conditions for vegetable development.
- Lighter soils, that are easier and cheaper to cultivate, quickly dry out and require extensive watering and fertilizing.
- The totally light soils, are on the other hand, meagre and dry, hence should not be considered at all as sites for vegetable cultures.
- The ideal soil for growing vegetables should be aerated, permeable and moist, yet never waterlogged.
- The water capacity and depth of the humus layer should also be closely observed.
- Shallow soils are not suited for growing vegetables that develop long roots.
Sowing and planting vegetables
- Do not forget to prepare the borders appropriately before sowing.
- The soil needs to be loosened – a shovel, hoe or rotary plough would work well in small home gardens, while the field needs to be properly tilled with a plough.
- It is highly recommended to enrich the soil with natural fertilizer, such as compost or well-decomposed manure.
- Some vegetable species need to be grown from seedlings.
- Therefore the seeds are sown to a hotbed or a greenhouse in March and April and the young plants can only be transplanted outside after the last frost in May.
- Some of those vegetables may also be sown directly to the field, using one of the three basic methods: row sowing, precision sow or hand sow.
- The last one proves to be most effective on smaller patches of land (home gardens, boxes and planters) and is the easiest one, as you only need to pour seeds, spreading them evenly over the cultivated land.
- Row sowing, as the name suggests, is placing seeds in rows, that are separated by evenly measured spaces, with help of mechanical seeders.
- Precision seeding is mostly used in sowing larger seeds that are placed separately in holes separated by even distances.
Taking basic care of your vegetables
- Watering, weeding and fertilizing are the absolutely crucial care measures that should be performed during whole vegetable vegetation period.
- Use organic and mineral, single or multi-compound fertilizers.
- Requirements in that regard depend on the nutrients’ content of a given soil type and individual needs of a given vegetable species or variety.
- Regular, frequent watering of the vegetable cultures is absolutely crucial – these plants should not be exposed to water shortages.
- Water vegetables in the morning, avoiding excessive evaporation. Water the soil directly under the vegetable plants and avoid pouring it over the foliage.
Vegetable compositions in the garden
- Do not forget to take the rules of combining different species into consideration when planning your vegetable garden.
- Tomatoes offer great company for lettuce, parsley, carrot and spinach.
- Squash prefers to be neighbour of beans and corn, while cabbage is befriended with beetroots, lettuce and celery.
- Growing carrot and onion together guarantees pest protection for these veggies.
- Beans, unfortunately, negatively influence onion growth, significantly hampering its development.
- Avoid matchmaking cucumbers with tomatoes and parsley with lettuce, too. Herbs, e.g. mint, caraway and sage, are great companions for vegetables.