A small space doesn't mean that you can't have a bountiful return in a vegetable garden. A 20-by-10-foot vegetable garden can yield enough vegetables to feed your family for months. Careful planning, followed by some basic care will give you a vegetable garden that produces fresh, delicious vegetables.
To begin your garden plan, you must first decide what to grow. Choose vegetables that your family likes to eat every week, such as tomatoes or beans. Know how much sun your plot receives, so you will be able to choose appropriate vegetables. Find out the safe planting date for summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, that need to be planted after the last frost. Armed with these facts it is time to sit down and make your plan.
Laying Out Your Garden
Using graph paper and a pencil, draw the boundaries of the garden on your paper using a scale of 2 feet per inch. You should have a square that measures 10 inches by 5 inches. Mark the north side of your garden. The north side of your garden is where you will plant the tallest plants as well as vining plants that can be grown vertically. Pole beans are a good choice here, as are cucumbers. You can also consider growing summer squash in the corners, training the vines to grow along the edges of your garden. The middle section of the garden is for your mid-sized plants, such as tomatoes and peppers. The front of the garden is space for the shorter vegetables, such as radishes, onions, broccoli and herbs
One way to gain a greater yield from a small garden is with succession gardening. Many plants, such as lettuce, peas or spinach, prefer cooler temperatures, while others such as tomatoes and peppers prefer the warmer summer heat to produce their crops. Plant the vegetables that prefer cooler temperatures in the early spring, leaving room for the warmer season plants. Once the weather settles and all danger of frost has passed, plant the warm-season vegetables. Within a few weeks you will have harvested your cool-season vegetables leaving room for the ones that prefer warmer conditions
Preparing the Soil
Gardening in succession on a small piece of garden is hard on the soil, depleting of nutrients. It is important to incorporate large amounts of organic matter into the soil to prepare for planting. Fertilize your plants one or twice a month to keep the garden growing at its best.
Watering Your Garden
Vegetable gardens need a lot of water. The right amount of moisture will give you the best yields. A low cost drip irrigation system is a good idea, and should be incorporated into your plan. It can be as simple as a soaker hose regulated by a timer.
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