Garden / June 23, 2018 / .
After deciding to grow your own vegetables, choosing the right plants for your space may be the most important decision you will make. Many plants will require a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day and others will prefer partial shade during the hottest days of the summer. Assess your space, choose wisely and good luck.
Raised beds offer excellent drainage. Soil compaction in no longer an issue, so working the soil and weeding will be much easier. Every square inch of soil will go towards food production as none will be wasted underfoot. Depending on how high you choose to build your raised beds, you could completely eliminate the need to bend over. At worst, even if your raised beds are only a foot and a half high, you would not be bending as far.
Instead of rows, Jeavons and Bartholomew suggest planting in tightly spaced geometric patterns that will allow the crops to create a living mulch of foliage as they mature. This living mulch performs two of the main tasks that regular old dead mulch does: keeping the soil moist and suppressing weeds. In order to create this effect, however, you need to know how much space to give each plant. Mel Bartholomews brilliantly simple tactic is to set a 1-by-1-foot grid onto a garden space and plant crops into the grid. Large crops such as broccoli, peppers and cabbage require a whole square, whereas small ones such as carrots and radishes can be planted 16 to a square.
If you do not want to opt for drip irrigation, try and site your vegetable garden near a water spigot. You will be more likely to water if you do not have to drag the hose out. This final consideration is essential. Vegetables need a soil rich in organic matter. Soil is important to the growth of all plants, but more so with vegetables, because even taste is affected by the quality of the soil. That is part of why wine from the same grape variety can vary from region to region and why some areas grow hotter peppers than others.