A Complete and Best Guideline on Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: How to Grow Vegetables in Garden? Vegetables are a favorite food item since ancient times. People all over the world prefer vegetables in their diet chart. After the cereal crops, vegetables are the highest in production in the world. Vegetables are a storehouse of vitamins and minerals also fiber, and we know fibrous food is essential for our health. Also, the human body needs some essential minerals, which we can get directly from vegetables.
Not only for health but also fresh vegetables are used in making various delicious dishes, for example, like making vegetable soup, vegetable curry, etc. It is also eaten only in boiling conditions without spice. The production area and demand for vegetables is increasing day by day. Man is reducing dependency on cereals and rising dependence on vegetables. So the preference for vegetables worldwide is increasing day by day. The price of vegetables in the market place is also growing day by day.
Guideline on vegetable gardening for beginners
People who can not afford the high price of vegetables ignore the need for vegetables in their daily meals. Especially in the western world, people find it very expensive to buy vegetables from supermarkets. But they crave to take vegetables in their daily diet rather than having meat. Even meat is cheaper than vegetables in those areas. So people try to cultivate the vegetables at home, by home gardening. In a home garden, people love to grow babies like vegetables and consume them in fresh condition after harvest. It is a great experience.
Advantages/Benefits/Importance of vegetable gardening
The advantages of a vegetable garden in the house are various.
Vegetable garden ensures organic vegetables:
A vegetable garden ensures the supply of fresh organic vegetables. They are free from different chemicals because of less application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Vegetables coming from the market place are not always safe to consume. Some people selling vegetables are treated with chemicals to look fresh for a longer time.
Keep protecting from harmful chemicals:
Some illegal sellers allow the vegetables to dip in wax to look shinier after a long time passed. Formalin is added to the vegetables to increase their shelf life. Also, some growers add extra chemicals to fasten the ripening process of vegetables. Due to this reason, vegetables ripen from the outside, but inside they are unripe and tasteless. These chemicals are very much poisonous to health. So if these vegetables are grown at home will minimize the risk of chemical contamination.
Vegetable gardening is affordable:
A home garden is the best idea for middle-class people who can not afford to buy and eat vegetables regularly. It doesn’t need so much money to make a vegetable garden. You can save a lot of money by making a kitchen garden. Not only saving money but also you can make a higher outcome from a vegetable garden. Vegetable plants are mostly fast-growing, so that you can grow them continuously.
Supply vegetables in the whole season:
Every season has a specific vegetable production time. So in every season, if you can grow vegetables, it will return with great production. And the supplement of vegetables will be in the whole season. It is very cost-effective. Fewer investment returns with a tremendous outcome. That means less effort, time, and energy formulates the most remarkable results.
Making family relations better:
Home gardening is also very useful in making family relations better. Members of the family work together in the garden. And spend a great time together. It’s an outstanding achievement for the family members. In the busy schedule of life, members hardly get time to spend with each other. In this cruel life, the family is the only support of human beings. Gardening helps it to do so.
Enriched knowledge about vegetable garden:
You can enrich your knowledge house with various new knowledge about vegetable gardening. The children of the house start learning about the garden and the vegetables. The growing season of different vegetables, cultivation procedures of various vegetables. The longevity of plants. Children come to know about all this. Also, the adult can learn new things by operating the garden.
Vegetable gardening is eco friendly:
Vegetable gardening is also very eco friendly. Not only the vegetable garden, but all gardens also create an eco-friendly environment. Plants provide fresh oxygen, and a clean atmosphere allows people to have a healthy and sound mind. Greenery makes us happy. A new flush or a new flower or a fresh fruit brings a smile to our faces. So for mental health security, hardening can be a better idea.
Types of vegetables for gardening
There are two types of vegetables (1. Fleshy vegetables, and 2. Leafy vegetables) that we grow in our garden and consume.
- Fleshy vegetables
Vegetables that have flesh to cook and eat are called fleshy vegetables. They are like fruits of plants, but as we eat them by cooking or boiling so, they are vegetables. Fleshy vegetables contain a considerable amount of water, vitamins, and minerals. They are so nutritious for our whole body. As for our stomach, our skin, our heart, kidney, and brain. Vegetables also induce blood production and more hemoglobin production. Some examples of fleshy vegetables with little detail is as follows-
Tomato is a highly nutritious vegetable. Worldwide there is hardly any food industry that doesn’t use tomatoes in their industry for making food. Tomato is full of water, and it is very rich in potassium, vitamin A and C. People love to eat tomatoes as a salad. But you should wash them very carefully before that. Tomato is a winter crop. So when the day is shorter than the night, the tomato grows. It is a very much susceptible plant to wilt disease. So before sowing tomatoes, you should take proper prevention.
Brinjal or Eggplant
Brinjal is a plant that is medium in size but gives so many fruits if maintained. It’s a mucilaginous fleshy vegetable. It is very much tasty when fried or cooked with fishes. Or many more dishes are eaten of brinjal. It is rich in potassium. It has an easy procedure to grow. But this plant is very much vulnerable to insects. Brinjal shoot and fruit borer is the most common and devastating insect o brinjal. It can destroy the whole plant and fruit. So prevention for minimizing the attack of this insect is essential.
In the western world, this vegetable is known as lady’s finger. It is also a mucilage create vegetable like brinjal. This vegetable seems very tasty when fried with onion. This fried dish is the best-eaten dish o this vegetable. The seeds of it are easy to preserve. Just need a wash and dry. If not harvested on time it will dry. And will burst at one time. Okra is rich in minerals. Vulnerable mostly to viral disease. It has a low maintenance easy growing procedure.
Cucurbits are all the vegetables of the Cucurbitaceae family. Cucurbits are highly water contained. Fleshy vegetables. These vegetables are delicious in their own way. Cucurbits can be grown all over the year. In different seasons different cucurbits grow. For example:
It is a bottle-shaped vegetable. Greenish in color. Has an abundance of water in it. Fleshy properties are filled with water and fiber. Bottle gourd is very good for digestive properties. People who have a problem with constipation are sure to get rid of it. Bottle gourd is very popular in Asia. It has an easy growing method but as a trailing plant space is required for cultivating this. They are vulnerable to insect pests.
Pumpkin is a favorite vegetable worldwide. It can be fried or cooked with fish even with meat. Tastes very good. It is a storehouse of minerals. Eating pumpkin is a good habit. Pumpkin seeds are also eaten. The cultivation procedure is very simple o pumpkin. The seeds inside it are enough for creating new growth. It is a sweet vegetable. But very much nutritious. It can heal the scars on the skin to some extent. The plant is very susceptible to insects and birds.
Cucumber is a worldwide popular vegetable. People use to eat it as their dietary supplements. It is 70% water 30% flesh. It fulfills the water requirement of the body if the water is scarce. People use to have it in the salad. Some people make dishes of it by cooking them. That is also very tasty. The health-conscious population who are on diet eat them mostly.
It is a bitter tasted vegetable. People use to fry them and eat. The juice is very nutritious. And the diabetes patient is benefited by drinking the juice of bitter gourd. The sugar level is controlled appropriately by drinking bitter gourd juice. The cultivation of this plant is also very easy. But very much susceptible to viruses. So care should be taken over its production.
Squash is a vegetable with huge benefits. They provide us with water, delicious fiber. Squash is an orange-colored vegetable medium in size. People love to eat quash in their day to day life. Children do not like it very much because it may have a smell that is not pleasant to everyone. But it tastes good. And makes our body cool and calm.
The trailing plant having vegetables on them who have big sized seed in them. These seeds are called beans. Beans are very nutritious for our health. It provides us with vitamin A, B, D. Health conscious people must include a bean in their diet chart. Country bean, kidney bean, nuts these are some popular bean types. Some beans are oil-producing. These are very vulnerable to insect pests and also viruses. So protection from these things is a must while gardening.
Potato is a tuber crop. It is also called an agronomic crop beside a horticultural crop. It is a rich source of carbohydrates. For sugar patients, it is not recommended to eat. It loves sandy soil for growth as it doesn’t stand water. Potato has various varieties. In the food industry potato is the main food ingredient.
2. Leafy vegetables
Leafy vegetables are those of which we eat the leaves and stems. They are fibrous and mineralized. Leafy vegetables are helpful in reducing constipation, improving skin, and overall. So people should keep it their daily eating habit. Some leafy vegetables are.
Amaranth is red and green leaves that we harvest and wash and cook to eat. With onion and garlic, amaranth makes a great dish. Also, it is cooked with fishes. And there are many more cooking ideas of amaranth. It is filled with vitamin A essentials. Very much good for our eyes. Seeds are tiny black. Just need a broadcast to grow.
Spinach is a green leaf vegetable. It has thick leaf a little succulent. It is an energy booster. People worldwide love to eat spinach for keeping themselves more activated. Spinach can be eaten by boiling or by cooking with fish, even with cheese it can be cooked. That is also a delicious dish for eating. Vegetarian people prefer cheese better than fish.
Leaves of cucurbits
Leaves of cucurbits are another popular leafy vegetable. They are highly fibrous and strengthens the digestive system of humans. It can be eaten by vaporizing or by boiling or frying.
Asparagus is a vegetable which stems are eaten. Nutrient-rich this vegetable initiates the people to eat this vegetable in various ways.
It can be cut fried, boiled, and cooked. In the restaurant industry, it is a popular food item. For making soup, salad asparagus is profusely used. It is better to eat this item.
Steps for vegetable gardening
These are some most wanted vegetable items that can be included in the garden plan. Rather there are many more vegetables. Now the cultivation procedure of vegetables is given below:
1. Site selection for vegetable gardening
For garden planning site selection is an important matter. If the site is not suitable for vegetable growth the garden will not be successful. So for successful gardening, a site with bright sunny weather is preferable. Vegetable plants are not adapted to the hard sun. So a site that is exposed to the light sun is recommended for gardening.
Mostly the south side of the house is preferable for any kind of gardening. If the selected site is too large in size then it needs much more preparation than a small area. Also, gardening of vegetables can be done on the balcony of the house. It also serves the beautification purpose and the vegetable supply purpose.
The site should be less affected by rainfall and proper aeration is a must in the place. Otherwise, plants will suffocate due to low aeration. Now the garden site should be ridged then the mainland and tilted to some extent. Otherwise, the water will not be drained out.
2. Soil selection for vegetable gardening
For vegetable gardening, a huge range of soil selection can be taken. For example, the potato demand for sandy textured soil as potato cannot be grown in the held water condition. It needs soil that will leach out easily and the tuber will not rot.
Tomato demands loamy soil as it needs water held in the soil in winter dryness and so on. So which kind o vegetable the grower wants to grow in his garden will decide the soil texture. Or in the same garden, there may be multiple textured soils. For example in one portion of the area will consist of sandy soil. The potato will grow there. And on another portion loamy soil is good enough.
Mix textured like sandy loam is also recommended for growing vegetables. That means according to the available soil texture of the land, a choice of vegetables will be made. Also, the soil should not be so hard and compact. Should allow the root penetration easily. The porosity of the soil should be of plant requirement.
4. Land preparation for vegetable gardening
Cleaning debris from the land
Selected land must be cleared off. All the garbage, plastic if existing must be removed. For ensuring proper environment. The weed population must be diminished weed infestation is a great challenge for the desired plant to grow over them, as weed competes with the plants for light, water, nutrient, and space. So they must be under control. If needed weedicide can be used to remove the stubborn weed population. If the area is not much large enough then manual weeding is enough.
Weed killing and cleaning
After clearing the weeds, the soil should be plowed. Plowing the soil is a great practice of inverting the soil. By this, the subsurface soil comes up and the surface soil goes down. It helps the soil to get more fertile. As the nutrients of the subsurface are higher than the surface of the fallow land. So the inversion causes soil fertility to be increased over time. Plants are benefited by this practice in a huge area. Also, you can use a good weedkiller.
Organic matter inoculation
Organic matter inoculation is a crucial need for vegetable gardening. Obviously not raw organics. Before inoculation, it must be assured that the organic substances are well decomposed. Raw organics will create toxicity in the soil. That will result in the death o plants. So before 30 days of seed sowing, well-decomposed organic matter should be inoculated in the soil.
With organic matter fertilizer like urea, MOP, TSP is also crucial need o soil to provide nutrients to plant roots. These fertilizers supply the major nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous to the plant. So before at least 20 days of seed sowing, the fertilizer doses should be applied. For vegetables, the ratio of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous should be 5:5:5.
Treating the soil with insecticides and fungicides is very important. As the vegetable plants are very much vulnerable to insects and diseases so prevention is very much important to minimize future loss. Soil-borne diseases like damping off are very high occurring in seedbeds. Also in young seedling wilt disease is very much seen. So before seed sowing management of these soil-borne pathogens is very important. Again the insect larvae, eggs, pupa live in the soil pores.
The insecticide should be applied to kill them off. For example, the brinjal shoot and fruit borer larva come to shoot from the soil. And make a huge loss. Due to these things soil treatment is very important.
Watering the soil after all the preparation is essential to keep the soil moist and prevent the soil from evaporation loss.
5. Seed sowing
Sometimes seeds could be contaminated with disease inoculum. So seed treatment may be needed. But the seeds are processed in a quarantined system. They are mostly safe. Before sowing seeds should be soaked for at least 8 hours. It will soften the seed coat and ease the germination process. After the seeds are sown water spray on the seed should be done. Proper moisture supply and temperature will accelerate the germination process. In 10-12 days new plants will emerge.
After the germination of the seed, the baby plant should be protected from the eye of whelming birds around. Or they will eat them. Seeds are sown in broadcast or line or pit sowing method as per the preference of the vegetable plant. For example, cucurbits are sown in the pit method, amaranth is sown in the broadcasting method, brinjal, tomato are sown in the line sowing method.
6. Seedling care for vegetable gardening
After a month or one and a half months, the seedling will reach a medium height. Vegetables are mostly herbaceous plants. Some like drumstick is a tree type plant. It is perennial and takes almost 3 years to establish itself for giving birth to fruits. This plant can be sown at the edges of the garden area. And they will fruit per year.
For proper nourishment, watering is essential for plants on a daily basis. Otherwise, they will wilt and fade away. Discoloration in some leaves of a plant indicates a nutrient deficiency in the soil. So appropriate fertilizer should be applied. If the little young leaves are yellowish in color that means the soil is lacking nitrogen. So input should be provided. Trailing plants need support to trail around so management of support should be imposed near the plants.
7. Flower nourishment
When the plants start flowering there must be an arrangement for pollination. Cucurbits may need hand pollination early in the morning. Watering is needed to keep the flowers healthy. But at the flowering stage fertilizer shouldn’t be applied. Removal of tip twig of cucurbits enhances the production of the female flowers. The more is the female flower the more fruit is produced. So it is a good idea to have some attractive flower plants in the garden to invite the pollination insects like the honey bee, bumblebee to the garden.
8. Enjoying vegetables
3 months of vegetables will be produced in the plants. Different vegetables matured at different times. By being concerned about the maturity index the vegetables are harvested at the right time. Also as per the requirement of the family vegetables are harvested. And cooked and eaten and enjoyed. Plants are mostly annual and biennial in the vegetable category. After harvesting the plants die.
By removing the residues a new plant can be sown at that place as per the season going on. While the grower sees the happy vegetables in his plants he is also happy. And the successful garden circulates a feeling of joy among the family members. That means gardening is a hobby that regulates the body and mind together. Also, enrich the knowledge house of man.