How to Grow a Low Maintenance Vegetable Garden that Takes Care of Itself
Growing your own vegetables can be highly rewarding, highly nutritious and in some cases time-consuming. It is this last one that prevents numerous people from taking up the gardening of their own vegetables and missing out on the extra nutrition and also the cost savings you can find with growing your own.
If it was possible to grow your own vegetables that require little effort and little maintenance you could be on a win-win situation. These tips can help you to achieve just that. It might be the case you are busy with a highly demanding job, or you wish to go on vacation? By following these tips, you can have the vegetables you want.
A bit of thoughtful planning on your garden can make all the difference to success or failure. No one wants to go on vacation to find all their crops have withered. As you are seeking ease of gardening, you can leave the full sized garden patch until later.
Container gardening can produce as much and are easier to control and to grow. With good sized containers, you can locate these closer to your home, which is advisable as it saves legwork, and it makes watering and harvesting much more relaxed.
Any containers can be used that are a suitable size yet to grow much more produce; larger pots are best as they let you grow vertically as well.
One type of garden that you might not consider as a container is raised vegetable gardening. These beds can be easily constructed in a few minutes, and by their design, they can be placed almost anywhere.
This is also crucial for successful easy gardening. If you choose vegetables that are high maintenance you are doomed to having a failed crop.
As with vegetables that are fast growers, if these have been sown at the wrong time they will require harvesting right in the middle of your summer vacation.
As a basis the types of plant varieties to choose are as follows:
These can be grown in small containers. Window boxes or old food cans are ideal, and they can be grown on your inside windowsill.
Many of the leafy types can be grown anytime throughout the year. You can time these to grow while you are on vacation and you will have fresh juicy salad leaves when you return.
Radish and Spring Onions
These are also quick to grow and are ideal for containers or a raised bed. Both are durable and once planted pretty much take care of themselves apart from watering (discussed later).
These can be planted in potato bags that sit on your patio or close to your house. Partly filled with compost until seeds sprout, they are then covered again.
This is repeated until the bag is full. Before you can harvest they take 10-20 weeks, so you have more than enough time to kick back and relax.
Onions and Garlic
These you can plant in spring, and with little care, they will grow until late summer when they are ready to harvest. These can also be planted from any old ones you have that have sprouted, so no need to buy from your local garden center.
Many other vegetables require as little maintenance as these. All can be found at a local garden center.
No Dig Gardens
As you are growing in containers, you will be using top quality garden or potting soil. This is already ideal for vegetables to grow in.
All you have to do to maintain goodness in the soil is add organic matter once and a while. This can be compost which breaks down and adds needed nutrients to your vegetables and helps keep weeds at bay.
If you add mulch to your containers or raised beds, this can save a great deal of time. You spend less time weeding, watering and needing to add fertilizer.
Watering Your Garden
If you are away from your garden for any length of time, it is crucial you have a watering system in place. There are numerous free or cheap ways you can do this with containers:
- Self-Watering Pots
- Wicking Beds
- Plastic Bottle drip systems (upside down)
These are just a few ways you can make sure your plants get sufficient water when they need it. It not only gives you more control it makes things almost maintenance free.
Now you can see, with a little thought and ingenuity you can have fresh produce for you and your family. Being away from home need not be a problem. As long as you have set your veggies off on the right foot, they will give you the bountiful crops in the most comfortable possible way.
Author: Tim Graham is the main writer at Yard and Garden Guru, he is passionate about getting outdoors and gardening.