Home Gardening Requirements for Beginners
Today, we discuss the topic of Home Gardening Requirements.
The home garden or kitchen garden can be defined as a farming method which combines different physical, economic & social functions on the area of land around the family home. It is a place for people to live in but it also produces a variety of foods and other things for both home use & income.
The main part of a home garden concentrates on three important aspects – the home garden as:
- The most direct approach of providing daily food;
- It is a source of income for the purchase of other foods;
- That means to produce non-food items such as medicinal herbs, spices, and building materials.
The main purpose of the home garden or kitchen vegetable gardening is to provide the family daily with fresh vegetables rich in nutrients & energy. There has been a more or less continuous supply of vegetables throughout the year according to the season. In the kitchen, the gardening emphasis is generally placed on a great variety of crops according to season.
Plant in a sunny location:
Most of the plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvest, the bigger the veggies, & the better the taste.
Planting is a major part of home gardening requirements.
Plant in good soil:
Plant roots penetrate the soft soil more easily, so you require nice loamy soil. Enriching your soil with compost provides required nutrients. Good drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly. What to know about pH level, it’s very important that garden soil has the proper soil pH. A very high or very low soil pH may effect in plant toxicity or nutrient deficiency. A pH value of 7 is neutral; microbial activity is greatest & plant roots absorb or access nutrients best when the pH is in the 5.5 to 7 range.
Some common sources of organic matter include:
- Compost, homemade or purchased
- Earthworm castings
- Manure (should be aged before using in the garden to avoid pathogen spread & risk of burning plants)
- Fall leaves (use as mulch or till in)
- Straw & wood chips (best used as mulch on the soil surface)
Plant in a stable environment:
Don’t want to plant in a place that’s prone to flooding through heavy rains, or in a place that tends to dry out a lot. You also don’t want to plant somewhere where strong winds can knock over your young plants or keep pollinators from doing their job.
Time for plantation:
Plants, in general, are divided into two groups based on season, i.e. warm season and cool season. Cool-season crops can stand lower temperatures so you can plant them before the soil gets warm in the spring. They can be planted in late summer to yield after the first frost in the fall. Whereas, warm-season crops cannot bear frostiness. It will not produce when the soil temperature is cool so it must be planted after the last frost in the spring & early enough to mature before frost in the fall.
Provide plenty of water:
Watering is key to garden success, especially in warm, dry regions. During the first few weeks after seeds germinate or seedlings are transplanted, watering keeps plants more strong. Deep watering encourages roots to produce deeper in the soil, where they’re better protected.
Weather conditions and the composition of your soil determine when you must water. Clay soil dries out more gradually than sandy soil. In the sunny, windy conditions dry out soil more quickly than cool, cloudy weather.
Providing frequent water to keep the soil moist and to avoid the plants from drying out, water is a major part of home gardening requirements.
Basic gardening tools
The right tools create works in your garden a pleasure instead of a chore. You don’t use a butter knife to chop up raw carrots, & you shouldn’t use dull or flimsy tools to work in your garden. Basic home gardening equipment includes:
Garden hoe, Scuffle hoe, a Dirt rake, Leaf Rake, Garden Shovel or D handle Shovel and Hand tools.
Suggested plants for a beginner’s home vegetable garden:
The vegetables recommended below are common, producing plants that are relatively easy to grow in home gardens:
Tomatoes, Zucchini squash, Peppers, Cabbage, Bush beans, Lettuce, Beets, Carrots, Chard, and Radishes.
Nutrients require for home gardens:
Just like people, plants need nutrients in order to grow healthy & strong (and those nutrients are passed on to us when we eat plants for food). In particular, plants require nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These nutrients can either be derived from the soil (more on that below!) or will want to be manually added.
In-home gardening, one should understand that plant nutrient are a major part of home gardening requirements.
Germination is affected by 4 environmental factors: water, oxygen, light, and temperature. Manage them correctly & your seeds are sure to sprout. Read your seed packets to recognize the requirements of each crop.
It’s important to know how much water to provide your seedlings; they will remain dormant if they are too dry & can rot if too wet. Adequate & consistent moisture is ideal. A gentle daily misting with a spray bottle must do the trick. Covering the seeds with a thin coating of vermiculite or peat moss helps.
From seeds to obtain enough oxygen, your soilless growing medium needs to drain well. Heavy, wet media cause the anaerobic situation, which inhibits germination.
Plants light requirements vary from crop to crop; where you place your seeds will determine how much light they receive per day.
Temperature affects the number of seeds that germinate & how quickly they germinate. Some seeds have a very specific temperature vary for germination, while others will germinate over a broad range of temperatures. A temperature range 65° to 75°F is typical for most seeds.
Planting seeds and seedlings:
The gardening season is to plant seeds and seedlings out into your garden. For your first garden, I recommend growing everything outside once it’s warm enough, rather than trying to develop your own seedlings indoors prior to the start of the outdoor season. Learning how to start a home garden is busy enough as it is without the added work of indoor seed starting.
Although most types of plants are available as seedlings, some plants are more generally “direct-seeded”, meaning that the seeds are sown directly in the garden once the soil is warm enough. Many gardeners will develop their leafy greens, carrots, and sunflowers from seed directly in the garden, and buy seedlings for their tomatoes & peppers. Sowing seeds, Each seed packet that you purchase for your garden must have specific instructions on it for that crop.
Give attention to the depth of each seed while planting. In general, seeds are planted about three times as deep as they are wide. So, a large pumpkin seed can be planted much deeper than a small carrot seed. Each plant is different though, with some requiring light to germinate & others requiring darkness.
Some of these crops are best grown by setting out started seedlings, but most are easy to develop from a packet of seeds.
Radishes: Radishes do well even in the not-so-great garden soil & are prepared to harvest in only a few weeks. Plant the seeds in spring & fall.
Green beans: Green beans are easy to grow and prolific. If you get a big crop, they freeze well, & they’re also delicious when pickled as dilly beans. Start with green bean seeds after all danger of frost has passed.
Onions: Start with small plants, and if they do well, can harvest bulb onions. If not, can always eat the greens.
Tomatoes: There’s just no substitute for a perfectly ripe homegrown tomato, & it’s hard to go wrong when you start with strong plants. If you obtain a big crop, consider canning or freezing.
Basil: Many herbs are easy to develop, but basil is a good choice because it’s a nice complement to tomatoes. Basil is easy to develop from seeds or from transplants.
Potatoes: Potatoes are an easy-to-grow staple that stores well when kept cool. A simple & low-maintenance approach is to plant potatoes in straw rather than soil. ‘Seeds’ are whole or cut part of potatoes, sold in early spring.
The three main nutrients plants need are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These are available in chemical or synthetic (nonorganic) fertilizers. The numbers of each nutrient show the percentage of net weight contained.
Nitrogen promotes strong leaf & stem growth and dark green colors, such as desired in broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and herbs. Add aged manure to the soil & apply alfalfa meal or fish or blood meal to increase available nitrogen.
Phosphorus promotes root & plant growth, including setting blossoms and developing fruit, and seed formation. It’s important for cucumbers, peppers, squash, & tomatoes any edible that extend after a flower has been pollinated. Add (fast-acting) bone meal or rock phosphate to increase phosphorus.
Potassium promotes plant root vigor U disease and stress resistance and enhances flavor; it’s vital for carrots, radishes, turnips, and onions & garlic. Add green sand, wood ashes, gypsum, or kelp to raise potassium.
The final phase of learning how to start a home garden is enjoying harvest season. This is the phase where you get to enjoy the results of all of your hard work learning how to start a garden.
Harvest your plants in the morning if possible, after the morning dew has dried. The veggies will be fresh & plump with moisture, having not yet been dried out by the hot afternoon sun. They’ll be at the peak of their flavor & perfect for enjoying.