Garden Preparation

Preparing soil prior to planting a garden is vital. The garden soil contains the nutrients for a plant to grow. It also needs sunlight and water for the photosynthesis process to occur and a plant to grow.

The nutrients in the soil are carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and many other elements. The soil particles need the air between cells if it not present, the soil is considered to be a heavy soil. For example, clay is a heavy soil that includes nutrients but lacks the air spaces. Gypsum is a white powder that gardeners can buy from the hardware store and add to the soil to condition it. They gypsum helps to break up the clay, allowing the nutrients to be taken up by the plant.

The location of the garden site is very important. Plants like vegetables need at least 6 hours of sunlight to grow into healthy plants. The sunlight also warms up the soil and makes growing conditions favourable for the plant to grow. The site location is favourable to be near a path or house to allow for easy access, particularly when picking vegetables in the rain or dark.

The vegetable garden site can be broken into beds of a practical size, for example a garden bed which is 1.0 to 1.5 metres wide will allow easy access for weeding of harvesting of vegetables. The length of the bed is dependent on the total area available. If you plan to make a raised bed, the size may be 2 x 1m. This allows for size of timber that is available.

If planning a raised bed in the garden for vegetables or herbs, or using timber for a compost container, ensure the timber is not treated as chemicals can leach out and into your food which may be detrimental to the health of those who consume it.

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