What can be more rewarding than watching your vegetables grow and ripen on the vine. It’s especially gratifying when the vines are using less water than you do and the soil is never bone dry.
Many homeowners have success in keeping their vegetables growing and ripening in the same bed as their homes, reducing water consumption and also space needs.
The key to success is getting the right amount of sunlight for the plants. When growing lettuce, sunlight is important for ripening, but if you have room a greater importance is attached to avoiding bone dry soil.
The first rule in vegetable growing is to be able to recognize when the soil is bone dry. You’ll know when it’s time to water the soil because the soil will feel dry to the touch or seem to crumble apart when pinched.
The other tip is to water the soil thoroughly and frequently. The soil must never be waterlogged or drained dry.
A good example of when the soil is dry is if you’ve just plowed or mowed the garden plot or if you have recently had rain.
This type of soil lacks nutrients that are required for the plant to grow and form roots, so a good addition is nitrogen rich fertilizers, either fish emulsion or horticultural yeast. Your local nursery will be able to supply such fertilizer for such soil.
You may find, for example, the soil becomes very dry while you are harvesting carrots and onions. This is because when you harvest them, the roots are totally enclosed in the stem, and the stem dries out. This dry, bone dry condition is not conducive to the growth of vegetables and can be prevented by supplementing with a spading forkful of vegetable fertilizer.
The soil should be well supplemented with humus, or compost, before transplanting seedlings or seedlings after transplanting.