Gardening - Tips For Easier Growing Vegetables
When it comes time to start growing vegetables, most gardeners quickly decide that they need a fast-growing bed. The problem is that many of the so-called "fast-growing" vegetables are not what they seem. Fast-growing vegetables may be fine for gardeners who only have enough time to harvest a limited number of vegetables in a row or space. For those who have a full schedule involving working around children, housework and sports, it's probably better to choose traditional vegetables. But with all of the hype surrounding "fast-grow" vegetables such as zucchini, beets and radishes, many beginning gardeners are overwhelmed and disappointed with their results. A quick review reveals several things about these popular vegetable choices that make them harder to grow than other vegetables:
Vegetables grown in raised beds tend to be slower Growing vegetables in this manner requires more patience. Fast-growing vegetables, however, are ideal for gardeners who need to optimize their seasonal harvest (whether it's a bumper crop or just an erratic one). For each quick-growing vegetable chosen for planting, the number of days it takes before it's ready to harvest greatly exceeds the total number of months it takes for plants to mature. Plants that are carefully raised can usually be harvested in about five months from a given location. On the other hand, vegetables that are left to grow in the ground for their full maturity can take as long as twelve to eighteen months to yield a normal crop.
Growing vegetables in pots is often much easier and much less expensive than traditional indoor growing. However, this doesn't mean that it has to be the most difficult method of gardening. Pots can be filled with nearly any variety of vegetable, some of which are much more compact than others. Vegetables can also be divided into smaller groups so you can easily see the differences in growth habits and nutritional content.
Cucumbers are the easiest vegetables to grow in indoor containers. The majority of seed packets for cucumbers will show a photo of a baby Cucumber making it easy to visualize the difference between an adult plant and a mature Cucumber. Because they do not normally flower until the late summer or early fall, mature Cucumbers can be harvested at any point throughout the growing season. While they are generally slow growing plants, most varieties of Cucumbers are fairly drought tolerant and do well in low fertility soil. Most people choose a variety of varieties of cucumbers to grow, since the taste differs depending on which variety is used.
Beets are another very popular vegetable crop to plant in small containers. They have the ability to grow up to three feet per year and produce spectacular yields. Because beets are quite prolific in warm weather regions, it is possible to easily cultivate a bed of them in a small area without concern for weeds. There are many different cultivars of beets, so it is possible to grow them throughout the year in varying color shades, shapes, and sizes. They do extremely well in an environment that has cool seasons.
Although a little more expensive than beets, onions rank at the top of the list for fast-growing vegetables. The key to growing onions is properly sowing seeds prior to planting and ensuring they get enough warmth during their growing season. Harvesting your onions early will also ensure that they have ample room to grow, while ensuring you don't cross over an opposing field before harvesting. Many gardeners choose to grow onion plants in groups, utilizing the space and character of individual plants to provide contrast in color.
One of the easiest vegetables to care for and grow is the potato. While it does require a bit of extra attention in terms of watering, fertilizing, and harvesting, if cared for correctly potatoes can last for years. The key is planting the right variety of potato and ensuring it gets plenty of sun and remains a small, compact structure during its lifetime in your garden. In addition, you may choose to grow potatoes along with a few friends, provided that they too want to share the responsibility of caring for the garden!
For gardeners with small gardens, it is possible to grow a wide variety of beans and tomatoes. Both beans and tomatoes love similar, nutrient-rich soil and can be planted in almost any type of environment. Planting beans in containers is a great way to save space in a small backyard, while allowing you the option of experimenting with new varieties as they mature. Tomato plants are another popular option for small gardens, especially since they enjoy lots of sunshine and room to grow. You may also choose to grow a small variety of basil if you enjoy eating basil flavored products, such as spreads and sauces. Growing your own food is not only economical, but it is also fun and rewarding.