I'm an HR Practitioner and loves to travel and discover new places with my family and friends.
Why Grow a Vegetable Garden?
Gardening has always been my father's favorite hobby, and growing a vegetable garden is both fun and fulfilling, especially when we get to harvest and eat what we have sown.
Gardening also boosts our mood. Did you know that certain bacterium in the soil has been proven to increase serotonin, otherwise known as the "happy chemical"?
Steps to Start Your Vegetable Garden
1. Choose Your Seeds Wisely
At first, we were wondering how to use our time productively during the quarantine period. Luckily, my father had already asked for some seedlings from the Department of Agriculture in our area.
Some of the seedlings we used in planting are ampalaya (bitter melon), pechay (Chinese cabbage), pipino (cucumber), okra (ladies' fingers), kang kong (water spinach/swamp cabbage), alugbati (spinach), and a few others.
With so many options, it's a good thing our garden area can accommodate the seedlings that we decided to plant. We made sure that the area allotted for planting was already clean and the soil perfect for the plants to grow. I will discuss further the details of our gardening activity, from start-up to harvest.
2. Carefully Consider Plant Locations
We arranged the vegetable plants in a way that they will grow well without crossing each other. The proper distance was observed so that the plants could flourish and grow and develop properly.
We aligned the plants so as to provide enough space for us when we water them. Proper handling and caring of the plants is a must since the result of growing vigorous plants will always depend on having a favorable environment.
3. Create a Daily Routine for Maintaining Your Vegetable Garden
Here's a look at our daily routine:
- We make sure we water the plants to facilitate strong roots and produce fruit in the future.
- We cover those newly transferred seedlings to make sure they will receive just enough sunlight and won't be damaged.
- We use proper tools in handling the plants.
- We regularly clean the garden of weeds to prevent harm to the plants and provide enough space for their growth.
- My father uses fertilizers for the newly planted seedlings. Note, however, that you should be careful in spraying the fertilizer. One time, my father sprayed more than the amount needed, and all of our ampalaya (bitter melon) died. That made us realize how important research and reading were. We then began taking notes on how and when we fed fertilizer to each plant.
- We regularly remove dead parts of our plants. I could point out the okra (ladies' fingers) as one of those that will always have dead parts, especially its flowers when it's time for it to produce fruit. My mother always checks for those parts and removes them immediately. It will normally rot and stick to the leaves if not removed.
- Treatment of pests is a must, otherwise, it will affect the entire place. We knew we had pests because some of the leaves in our okra (ladies' fingers) plants started to have holes appearing on them. Spraying the right amount of treatment should be observed as well. Of course, we did some research so as not to repeat the same mistake we made before with the use of fertilizers.
- We harvest vegetables and fruits from time to time to give space for the new ones.
4. Harvest Time!
We continuously harvest in our vegetable garden. We know that each plant has a harvest window, during which it is ready for picking.
In our garden, the plant that has the most vegetable fruit is the okra (ladies' fingers) plant. You can just imagine us harvesting every other two days when we could get at least 15 ladies' fingers at a time. This vegetable is very delicious and full of nutrients, which is why we decided to plant it.
We also harvest cucumbers. We check the plant and make sure the fruits are firm and smooth and yellow in color yet when we pluck them.
Our ampalaya (bitter melon) also has fruits. We sometimes make an appetizer out of the cucumber and bitter melon by adding vinegar and salt for flavor.
What We've Learned Through Our Gardening
Within the three-month period of the enhanced community quarantine in our area, we gained a lot of knowledge in vegetable gardening. It is indeed true that when you put your heart into what you do, you will get the best and most satisfying results.
Failures and Research Resulted in Improvements
We really had a good time developing our vegetable garden. From starting off with seedlings up to the time of harvesting, it was an adventure for us all. We may have felt down during the times that some plants died due to us not doing the proper procedure of using fertilizers. But we learned through our failures and our research, and it helped us a lot afterward.
Gardening Made Us Feel Happy
Gardening did not just boost our mood and serve as an outlet for all the negative happenings right now, but we also considered the importance of adding fresh vegetables to your daily meals—as we know that this is one of the best ways to boost our health and immune system. We will continue to improve our vegetable garden and aim to harvest more.
Start Your Garden Today
I'm encouraging you as well to do the same if you have extra space at home. In this way, you can be more productive during idle times.
I assure you that gardening will give you a lot of benefits, and every effort made from the start will be fulfilling in the end!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Ron (author) from Cebu on July 28, 2020:
That sounds good. We'll wait for it to grow. Good luck SP Greaney!
Sp Greaney from Ireland on July 28, 2020:
@Ron, I've purchased some seeds for growing winter vegetables. So we will see how they survive the season. :)
Ron (author) from Cebu on July 28, 2020:
Hi Sp Greaney! Have you started your vegetable garden?
Ron (author) from Cebu on July 18, 2020:
Hi Sp Greaney! It's okay for a small space. You can still grow different kinds of vegetables like tomatoes for example. Update me if you already have one! Take care!
Sp Greaney from Ireland on July 18, 2020:
Having a vegetable garden is so rewarding. Your looks great. I have to grow vegetable in pots in my garden as I have a very small space.