With the cost of living soaring ever higher and all the crises that we encounter it has become increasingly difficult to make ends meet for most people. Fruits and vegetables is an essential daily need and herbs are essential for both cosmetic and medicinal value. Apart from the economic value to be gained from vegetable gardening in your own yard, it does not hurt to be able to pick fresh produce for the table and have a home pharmacy to boot.
Furthermore a vegetable garden can also double up as a children’s garden, a great way to introduce the value of gardening and vegetables to your young ones. One packet of seed will cost you less than a Sunday newspaper, and by using kitchen throwaways (for making compost), excess water from rinsing fruit and vegetables in the preparation of food (for irrigation purposes), and free sunlight, you can create your own vegetable garden and ensure that you and your family have a nutritious plate of food that is crammed with vitamins, proteins and minerals throughout the year. You do not need great expanses of space either.
With a little skill you can use a section of your back yard for your vegetable garden, preferably 4m by 4m (160 by 160 inches), however it is best to start with a small area such as 1m by 3m (30 by 120 inches) which would be able to sustain a family of four. If you live in an apartment or flat, you can even make use of containers on your balcony to grow your own vegetables. All that is required would be two troughs that measures about 25 cm by 100 cm (10 by 40 inches) each. Even an old wheelbarrow with a few drainage holes can work as the perfect portable container for a vegetable garden.
It would have the added advantage that you will be able to wheel your vegetable garden out of harm’s way and to the most optimum spots on your yard for maximum results. There is nothing like the taste of a cherry tomato, freshly picked off the vine and still warm from the sun. Just imagine the pleasure of picking your own leaves from your home vegetable garden to make a salad. Organic homegrown vegetables not only taste better, but it is also much more nutritious than those that are readily available from supermarket shelves. Often one hears from nutritionists that vegetables start losing their nutritional value the moment they are picked.
Thus fresh is best, hence homegrown vegetables is best. If you get the basics right, then cultivating and maintaining a vegetable home garden is a sheer pleasure.
Vegetables such as potato, artichokes; both the genuine and the Jerusalem Artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, lettuce, endive, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, cucumbers, cabbage, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, radish, celery, sweet peppers, spinach, corn (mealies) and sweet corn, spinach beet, brinjals, tomatoes, garlic, broad beans, onions, leeks, shallots, runner beans; do not always have to be bought from the supermarket. The aim here will be to cover all these vegetables over a period of time so that although a small start is recommended for the home vegetable garden, in time one can develop a vegetable patch for fully sustainable vegetable gardening that can fulfill all the vegetable needs of the average family.
This section will look in depth at vegetable gardening and vegetable cultivation, from winter vegetables and summer vegetables to perennial vegetables as listed below.