Purchasing food products that aren’t treated with pesticides, preservatives or other chemicals is a popular step toward a more natural, healthy lifestyle. This organic movement praises those farmers who responsibly source their crops without pollution. However, you don’t need to spend money to provide your family with fresh, organic produce. Starting a backyard vegetable garden can go a long way in reducing your food costs and helping you stay healthier with exercise and a more natural diet. It’s also a cathartic activity that can be performed as a family or as a relaxing hobby by yourself.
It’s easy to see why lettuce is one of the most commonly homegrown vegetables. It’s versatile, easy to grow and yields large crop sizes, so you always have fresh lettuce on-hand.
Before you plant, be sure to till the soil well. Lettuce prefers loose soil beds with no large tightly-packed areas that may prevent germination. Plant your seeds in a row with about 4 inches between each to allow root growth and cover them with ¼ to ½ inch of soil. Water liberally after sowing and enjoy the results mere weeks later! If you’d like to control aphids, consider planting garlic or chives between each lettuce seed.
There’s nothing quite like a fresh tomato straight from the garden. These delicious vegetables like the warmer months and will thrive during spring and summer.
Tomatoes require extra support to keep them out of the dirt. Set up a trellis or chicken wire to give the plants somewhere to grow. Plant your seedlings two or three feet apart to ensure the roots have space to branch out and water heavily. Tomato roots grow deep into the soil and need as much water as possible to produce healthy, large fruit. In the end, the best way to judge if your tomato plants need more water is to feel the top layer of soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water again.
Growing squash is a little more nuanced than the obvious seasonal preferences of tomatoes and lettuce. There are all types of squash that each has their own ideal temperatures. Check with the local experts at Bennett’s Greenhouse before planting to ensure you’re planting at the correct time.
Squash is a very delicate crop that cannot very easily be transplanted from indoor pots to an outdoor garden, so it’s best to plant directly. These gourds require full sunlight and a moist but not waterlogged bed of soil. Because they take in so many nutrients from the soil, you’ll need to replenish the garden’s lost nutrients with compost or leftover organic matter straight from your dinner plate! Winter squash grows on vines, requiring five or six feet between plants. Summer squash, however, typically grows in bushes, which should ideally be planted about a foot apart. Water your crops frequently and fertilize often to yield beautiful squash.
Get Gardening with Bennett’s Greenhouse
Growing your own vegetable garden is not only healthy but also fulfilling and fun! To learn more about how to plant or care for your vegetable crops, contact Bennett’s Greenhouse online, visit us or call 765-447-7636.