They say “the food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.” It is true that you are what you eat, and the thing about eating healthy is that it can only make you feel good. For that matter, growing your own fruits and veggies is nothing less than beneficial. Besides giving you the chance to know exactly what you’re feeding your body with, you will also save money. Moreover, gardening is a great outdoor activity that helps you be more physically active while also acquiring new skills and knowledge in the area. There are various ways of gardening, but my personal favourite is gardening in raised beds. Why? Well, growing your vegetables in garden beds will give them good aeration, good drainage, root spreading, less risk of soil compaction, better weed control and the list of benefits goes on and on.
Speaking of raised beds, you have two options. You can build them on your own, or you can go the easier way and buy them from a gardening supplier. When looking for raised garden bed Australia gardening centers have a lot to offer. Depending on your gardening skills level, you can buy raised beds and plant the seeds on your own, buy a complete DIY pack, or you can get already planted beds with your selection of seasonal seeds. The option that raised garden bed Australia inexperienced gardeners prefer most is the already planted one as this way they do not have to deal with all the preparations planting requires. With all these options available, gardening is a piece of cake. Nevertheless, choosing your raised bed is not the only thing you’d need to do, you’ll also need to prepare everything and create the right, healthy environment for your vegetable seeds.
Build and Test Your Soil
Your gardening project should start with a simple testing of the soil. This way you can figure out what your soil lacks and what it already has. Knowing this will help you create the perfect environment for your seeds. You can start with buying a planting mix. Most of these are a mix of bark, peat moss, and/or compost and they provide the crops with some but not with all the needed nutrients. Without a strong mineral and organic structure, these nutrients will leach through the soil and your plants won’t be able to use them. You can avoid this from happening by simply adding compost in the soil.
Solarization will help you get rid of all the pests that might be growing in your soil. By spreading a large sheet of clear plastic you can increase the temperature of the soil on a level that is high enough to kill all the soil pathogens, weeds, insects and their eggs. Yes, preparing the soil requires more time but this method can save you a lot of trouble, time and expenses later in the growing season because you will not have to deal with insects and infected plants.
Years ago, cultivation was considered the best way to keep weeds out of the soil. But not today. Nowadays you can make use of plasticulture which is an easier and more effective method of placing black plastic over the soil and planting your crops through it. This method provides proper moisture, reduces the need for soil cultivation and increases the temperature of the soil in the months when you want to extend the season for your crops. If you do not want to use plastic, you can also use wooden planks, an old carpet, leaf mulch or bark mulch. They will all help you to discourage weeds from growing.
Plant Cover Crops
Planting cover crops is a good idea as it helps keep the soil’s vital nutrients during the off-season. These crops add important organic benefit and future planting advantages. They also improve the entire structure of the soil reducing the compaction while opening soil pores to store oxygen and water. Some of the most common cover crops are rye, clover, oats and buckwheat.