My Small Vegetable Garden was designed to compliment My Hectic Lifestyle
A small vegetable garden suited my lifestyle. I was working 5 days each week and didn’t have much time. Plus I lacked space. I didn’t have the luxury of a huge backyard. Nonetheless, I still wanted to grow vegetables.
So the first thing I did was choose a site for the garden.
I could have started next to the kitchen as it would be convenient. I wouldn’t have to go to the backyard after dark to maintain the garden. And the distance was shorter when carrying stuff to and from the gardening site.
But, despite convenience I still decided against placing the garden next to the kitchen. I choose the backyard instead. My decision had all to do with defense.
The site close to the kitchen was convenient but harder to defend against my two dogs and the neighbor’s cat (which is always prowling about my yard).
I didn’t want to used leashes to tie the dogs. And it was useless getting the neighbor to take better care of her cat. Plus, I didn’t want to alter my lifestyle to accommodate the small vegetable garden.
I wanted gardening to fit into my routine. This way, taking care of it would be easier. And that’s how the site was chosen.
Now I must admit, my backyard wasn’t the best kept backyard on the block. It was overrun by weeds. But I didn’t let that discourage me. In fact I was glad.
I remembered reading somewhere that a garden site overgrown by weeds can be ideal. The fact that weeds are growing there means that the soil is rich. And that how I viewed my backyard (like a glass that’s not half empty but half full).
So I got to work on clearing the weeds.
Clearing the Site to Begin the Vegetable Garden
Anyone who knows me would be aware of my dislike for hard labor. And I wasn’t about to let gardening change that.
If starting a small vegetable garden meant dedicating my weekends to digging and uprooting weeds, then forget it. But being sold to the small garden ideas as I was, I got creative.
Now I didn’t invent this strategy. I read about it and used it to clear the site with great success.
I went around the neighborhood collecting old carpets and rugs. These were placed over an area of weeds measuring 140” by 140” (this was going to be the size of the garden). I left them on for about a month.
The carpets and rugs blocked out the sunlight and killed the weeds. And once dead, the weeds began to decompose.
I was thrilled by the results. I was clearing the garden site without much of my effort and time. By that I mean my garden site was being cleared while I were at work on weekdays, at sleep at nights or out with my girlfriend on the weekends.
Already the garden was fitting into my routine.
Using Insoluble Fertilizers was a Good Investment and Timesaver
While the carpet was clearing the site I was doing some research on fertilizers. And what I learnt is insoluble fertilizers last longer in soils than those can be dissolved in water.
Those that are dissolved in water can be washed away through a process called leeching.
So I found some organic and insoluble fertilizers that’s suppose to last at least a year .All I did was spread the fertilizer. The worms and micro-organisms would break them down to release the nutrients into the soil.
Applying fertilizers once a year is a great work rate for me.
Mulching and Irrigation
I decided to use a plastic mulch because I heard so many good things about them. I heard that they helped manage the moisture in the soil; control weeds and pests.
Best of all I heard that they speed up production and increase yields. So I decided to give it a try.
I paid $20.00 for my mulch but the last time I checked amazon.com, they had it cheaper. They’re selling them for $15.00 and under.
But installing the mulch wasn’t easy. I tried doing it by myself but the wind kept blowing it away. I got help from my neighbor though. He didn’t seem to mind the hassle.
Click here for more on plastic mulch.
Choosing Vegetables for A Small Space
Quick growing vegetables were part of my small vegetable garden plans. I didn’t want to wait too long too enjoy the fruits (or rather the vegetables) of my labor.
So I chose to grow the following:
- Sweet Pepper
- Climbing Beans
I also planted some herbs for protection and for extra spices in my cooking.
I’m proud to say that my small vegetable garden is a success. And if you too are thinking about planting vegetables I recommend starting small as well.
Before you even lift a finger out in the backyard you should do as much research on gardening as possible. The information you gather will serve you well when you do begin the vegetable garden.
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