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Before plant a vegetable garden it is fair to ask how much it will cost us to make it from scratch to production. So let's get rid of the doubt: plant a vegetable garden of 20 square meters 'turnkey' has an indicative cost of 250 euros. The figure includes: earth, seedlings or seeds and fertilizer, tools for working the soil and picking the fruits, stakes (for tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes) and a rubber hose for watering.
Attention: the indicative cost refers to a traditional garden in the open ground. If you want a synergistic vegetable garden with drip irrigation system, a raised vegetable garden in wooden boxes or a terrace vegetable garden, the investment for the initial plant can be different.
How to plant a vegetable garden: the earth
Soil is the most important thing to get good results from a vegetable garden. However, that of the field is usually poor in nutritional elements so it must be amended and fertilized. Organic vegetable compost or good universal soil can be used as soil improvers. Manure (mature manure to be clear) is fine as a fertilizer and the richest is horse manure. But the top of organic fertilizers remains earthworm humus, which can be used pure if the garden is small (costicchia ...) and raw or semi-finished for larger spaces, even as a soil improver.
How to plant a vegetable garden: water
Water, together with the earth, is an indispensable element for the cultivation of a vegetable garden. If the source is not close and accessible by a pipe, it is necessary to provide collection tanks, which will be filled as they are emptied. Ideal for the vegetable garden is a drip irrigation done with a perforated tube passed close to the roots.
200 liter rainwater container
Drip irrigation hose
If you water by hand with the cane or with the watering can you have to be careful to give water to the roots and not on the leaves, which is useless (waste of water) and also harmful to the plants because the sun could burn them with the lens effect. Remember that for the garden, as well as for most plants, excess water is more harmful than a little dryness.
How to plant a vegetable garden: seeds and seedlings
With long-cycle vegetables (beans, peas, broad beans, corn ...) you proceed by sowing 3-4 seeds in the place where you want the plants and then select the best ones after germination. With short-cycle vegetables (radishes, rocket, carrots…) it is sown in rows, thinning out the seedlings. Many varieties require protected sowing before planting in the open field, which takes place with already sprouted seedlings (which can also be purchased).
How to plant a vegetable garden: sowing and transplanting
The seeds must be buried twice as deep as the diameter of the seed. After sowing the earth should be compacted without crushing it too much. The transplanting of sprouted seedlings in pots is done when the size of the seedling exceeds that of the pot. For some vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers, if you want to plant them already adults, it is possible to change the pot several times as they grow.
How to plant a vegetable garden: rotation and moon phases
Proper rotation and alternation of crops help not to tire the soil, maintain the right balance of nutrients and prevent the spread of diseases. Respecting the moon phases in sowing and transplanting instead helps to have a better and more abundant harvest.
How to plant a vegetable garden: the defense against parasites
The most natural way to protect the garden from parasites is to encourage the presence of predatory insects such as ladybugs, earwigs, chrysopes and solitary wasps, which will keep mites, lice, ants and more under control. To do this, it is useful to install a bug hotel for predatory insects, perhaps also providing one for pollinating insects.
For the defense against fungal diseases such as powdery mildew it is good to start with prevention and use natural remedies such as garlic infusion, nettle macerate, horsetail and so on ... In the event of a massive attack, non-natural pesticides should be avoided and those allowed in the organic cultivation.
How to plant a vegetable garden: the defense against snails and rodents
For the defense against red snails and slugs there are mechanical systems such as beer traps and the anti-slug fence. Or the organic anti-snail granulate. Remember that a synergistic mulch made from sawdust or wood chipboard keeps snails and slugs away, and is also a good thing for vegetables.
To keep voles and moles away, which are not the same, there are solar powered mouse chasers and battery chasers.
Drive away solar powered mice
Battery-driven mouse chaser
A natural remedy against voles, moles and field mice is to place fresh garlic cloves at the entrance to the burrows. The strands of human hair inserted in burrows also work as a repellent: mice and moles trust above all in their nose and smell the presence of man will keep away.