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Grow your own organic veges

Losalini Vuki
Thursday, March 08, 2018

A small garden doesn't mean that your vegetable output has to be small too.

Learn how to grow your own organic vegetables and keep your plants healthy and vigorous even if you don't have a lot of space.

Now you could save money growing vegetables yourself and also contribute to overall energy savings in reduced fuel consumption and transportation costs of market items.

Website reports one might think that you can't save much money building a vegetable garden - because of the expense of getting everything planted but that isn't necessarily the case.

Here's how to save money growing vegetables:

* Plant what you eat

This sounds like common sense, but more than one backyard gardener has been tempted to plant a variety of impressive-sounding foods they never actually use.

* Plan well to maximise your yield

Maximise the space you have available by planting high-yield crops - like tomatoes, onions, and leaf lettuce.

* Save your own seeds

It's not necessary to spend $10 or $15 (or even $30) each year on seeds. Saving vegetable seeds from your own garden and then planting them the following year can cut your annual seed bill in half.

Participate in a seed swap. A great idea if you've saved seeds from your garden produce, have more than you need, and you're willing to part with some of them to gain seeds of another variety.

* Sell or barter with your extra

Produce stands want to sell your stuff, they just don't know how to find you - because you're not a company and you don't advertise your garden obviously.

* Make your own compost

Composting is a simple way to add nutrient-rich humus - which fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil. It's also free, easy to make, and good for the environment.

* Plant your scraps

Organically bought "parent" vegetable scraps re-grow better than store-bought ones. Plus, organic food just tastes better and is better for you.

* Grow perennials

After the first year, you can begin planting the mulched area with perennial vegetables, fruiting shrubs, and vines. (Remember, you're looking for long-term savings too.)

Some tips to optimise your yield:

* Try trellising

Any time that you can grow a vegetable on a trellis, it increases your yield per square foot. Plants that trellis well include cucumber, cantaloupe, tomato, and sweet peas.

* Plant wide rows

Growing small, leafy plants - such as leaf lettuce, spinach, and arugula - 3 or 4 rows abreast (without walking aisles in between) gives you more food per square foot.

* Use raised beds

Raised beds organise the garden, letting you concentrate on the most productive items.

* Start with transplants

Plants are several weeks old when you put them into the ground - which gives you a head start to harvest time for most plants, compared to starting from seed.

Don't underestimate your vertical space. Use whatever you have to allow climbing plants to grow up and save precious garden space.

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