Vegetables can be planted or sowed. We can buy young plants and plant them in prepared vegetable beds or we can buy seeds and sow them on beds. We can grow our own seeds, but it is a lot easier to buy them.
Soil on a good vegetable garden is fertile, allows water to drain and retains moisture. If we can not prepare proper soil, we must buy it.
If the soil is poor with organic matter, it is mixed with compost or well-seasoned manure. Heavy soil, where water stagnates, can be loosen with sand. If the soil is too sandy and does not retain water, add clay or peat.
Acidity of the soil is also an important factor. Most vegetables will grow well in a slightly acidic soil with pH value between 6 and 7. If the acidity test shows that the soil is too acidic, add lime and repeat tests every few years.
We should grow vegetables that we love to eat. Family members will be happy if they can eat home grown vegetables they like. We should also choose those vegetables, that will grow in our environment.
The plan of vegetable garden with beds and vegetables is a very useful tool that will help us to properly manage production of vegetables. In winter, when it is too cold outside to work in the garden, we sketch on a sheet of paper vegetable beds and vegetables that we would like to plant. We should also make a note if we will later in the year grow on the same bed some other vegetable. Through the season this plan will be very useful and at next winter we will know what have we planted on different beds through the year. At our next plan we will rotate vegetables – plant same vegetables on different beds.
Every vegetable bed can be used for growing only one specific vegetable. Vegetable garden planted in this way will look very uniform. The disadvantage of such design is that the vegetables are slightly more vulnerable to pests. We must also be careful that the higher growing vegetables (beans, tomatoes) are not planted on the southern side as they will drop shadow on other beds.
If you are very familiar with the vegetables, then you can form mixed vegetable beds. Some of the vegetables have very positive impact on each other if they grow together. These can be planted together. Some vegetables must not be planted together as they have negative impact on each other.
Selection of seeds in the market is high. We should buy a variety that best suits us. Some give preference to domestic varieties, others prefer varieties that provide rich yield. It is important that the seeds are not too old, so check the expiration date. Buy bag of seed that has a more distant expiration date or seeds that are not older than two years. With time germination level drops fast. The seeds can also be purchased in a paper strips, with proper sowing distance between them.
We can sow and plant directly on garden beds or in sowing beds or sowing pots from which we will transplant them on beds when temperature of the soil will be over 7 degrees Celsius.
We sow in appropriately deep furrows. Information on how deep furrow must be can be acquired from the seed bags. If that information is missing, the depth of the furrows depend on the size of the seeds. Bigger the seeds are, deeper furrows should be, but not more than 5 cm. You can sprinkle the seeds evenly in the furrow, or place them individually. If the soil is dry, pour water in the furrow. At the end cover seeds with soil.
We can sow seed also in wide trenches. They are particularly suitable for plants that grow together. With a shovel or hoe create 20 to 25 cm wide trenches with adequate depth. Place seeds evenly and cover them with soil.
Larger seeds should be planted in individual holes that are accordingly distant from each other. Holes can be created with a finger. Put single seed in a hole and cover it with soil.
Vegetables with tiny seeds can be sowed over the surface of the vegetable bed. In this case, seeds should be covered with thin layer of soil. Put fleece cover over beds to prevent birds from eating seeds.