The best orientation for gardening is to the south. In this orientation, the garden will receive all the light and heat necessary for good growth.
The ideal to protect the orchards from the wind is to surround them with a hedge. We must control their height by pruning it and thus avoid shading the crops. Fruit shrubs like raspberries are magnificent hedges.
When we project the orchard, we will have to reserve a space for the access of forklifts, machinery, etc., as for example: for the transport of fertilizers. We will also provide some trails.
If we have a land of at least 100 m2, we can plant and collect food for two or three people. We must make partitions to grow different varieties of vegetables.
We will have to till the poor lands to a depth of 60 cm to renew and oxygenate the land. If we tilled to more depth we will only be able to place the infertile earth in the surface. Therefore, we will only work the fertile surface layer. A sloppy land will have lots of clods (blocks of land). We must work the surface breaking the lumps with a hoe, a tractor or a fork to favor the penetration of air and water.
Let’s see below how we should do the sowing …
The way to organize an orchard is to form bands of 3 to 4 meters long by 1.20 meters wide and 30 cm apart. These dimensions and the path left between the strips will allow us to pass comfortably with a wheelbarrow.
For the seeds to germinate, they must have heat, but the moisture would rot them. All seeds should be sown during the period indicated on their packaging but avoiding rainy days and preferring those of mild and gentle weather.
An early harvest
There are varieties of vegetables such as spring carrots, radishes or lettuces that are of early growth. This will allow us to take advantage of the garden and plant a second crop in autumn. But for this we must sow them before in glazed boxes to accelerate their growth.
To advance the process of growth of vegetables and plants, we will plant them in glazed boxes totally protected from the cold. The glazed box will be placed somewhere sunny and open to air with good weather. In this way, the plantings grow from 3 to 4 weeks faster than outdoors.
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In the middle of the earth
To know exactly the place of planting we will make a few rows in a straight line with the rake and mark them with a string. We will spread the seeds, the fattest 4 in 4, and then we will pass the rake to cover them. When the surface is dry we will water with a rain diffuser.
There are varieties of vegetables that are not planted directly in the ground, but are planted in a glazed box or on a plot very well oriented to the sun and then transplanted to the ground. The time of the transplant is when they are already grown and too close together. First we will replant the stronger ones and we will do the same with the others as they grow.
After a few days of the first leaves appear, we will spray a fungicide on the shoots. In case the soil is dry on the surface, we will water it with a spray, preferably in the morning or in the afternoon. Young plants need a frequent but moderate irrigation so they do not rot.
Eliminate weeds: about twice a month at least we will eliminate and clean weeds from the trails. Depending on the vegetables we grow, we will choose certain herbicides that are not harmful to our plantation. Another way to prevent weeds from growing is to cover the ground with a black plastic or a bed of straw.
Apart from weeds there are pests of animals very damaging to our crops like slugs or snails that we will eliminate using poison baits. There are also special products to combat parasites and cryptogams. But we must bear in mind that we will stop applying them 15 days before the harvest.
Methods of planting according to the species
Seedling and transplanting: Consists of sowing in a drawer or caterpillar and waiting until the plants are of adequate size to take them to a definite place.
This system is used for small seeds that are difficult to handle, but are capable of resisting transplantation. The use of seedlings has other advantages: it allows to treat the seedlings carefully in their early stages of development, we save seeds and it helps us to make an intensive use of the ground since hardly we harvest a vegetable we can replace it immediately by a plant.
Direct sowing, whose seeds are placed directly in the place where we want the plants to develop until harvest. This method is used for large seeds, easy to handle, such as melons, beans, Italian squash, corn, etc. Or for those vegetables whose edible part is the root and, therefore, are severely damaged if transplanted. In the latter case we have the carrots, radishes and others.
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