Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables in a backyard garden? With the growing trend to become self-sustaining and lead a “greener” lifestyle, many people have found ways to provide their own vegetables, fruit and eggs, right from their own backyard efforts. Living off the land is not as difficult as you think, it just takes a little bit of knowledge, some space and a couple of seed packets to get started.
When the vegetable season is over, grow a shoulder season crop if possible. Fruits like strawberries or raspberries bear fruit very early or very late in the season before or after the summer vegetable crops take over and can be planted. Raspberries can be planted to bear fruit in the fall and strawberries can be planted to bear fruit in the spring.
Save money by drying the seeds from your annuals to plant next year. Petunias, zinnias and impatiens are just a few of the flowers from which it is easy to extract and save seeds. You will have to extract the seed pod from some flowers, and wait for it to split open. With others, such as marigolds, you will have to open the flower and extract the seeds yourself. After extracting the seeds, let them dry for at least a week. Place them in a jar with a rubber seal, and add silica gel pouches to keep them from absorbing moisture. Store them in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to plant them next year.
Before planting anything, clean up as much as possible the area where you plan on having flowers or any other delicate plants. Remove all the weeds and the grass if you think it is necessary. Your flowers should not have any competitors for the nutrients they need while they grow.
Weed the garden often and early. Plan on a weeding schedule for the garden at least three times. The first should be five to seven days after sowing, and again seven to ten days after that. The third time should be three to four weeks after planting, by this time the plants should be rooted well enough to add mulching and sufficient leaves to shade the surface.
Protect your plants from moisture on a daily basis. Moisture can be a magnet for disease and parasites on your plants. Fungus infections are common in overly moist plants. Fungi can be controlled with fungicide sprays, but it is important to treat your area with the spray, before you see any problems.
Just think of the beautiful harvest you can add to your dining table from your garden. Not to mention the environmentally friendly impact of growing your own food. Maintaining a personal vegetable garden can provide food at low cost to your family — and wait until you savor the amazing taste of vegetables, picked straight from the plant. Store-bought produce never tasted this good!
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