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Protect vegetables from the cold
This section is a compendium that contains all the information, news and secrets to become orthodox experts.
The history of the garden is almost as old as that of the man who is the source of livelihood for the poorest families but is desired and loved even by the richest who appreciate the unique quality of the very fresh product just picked.
The garden and the garden have similar stories and are constantly intertwined, there is no boundary that separates them clearly.
At the bottom of the garden is nothing more than a garden where we grow annual plants with edible fruits.
A recent survey shows that one of the most popular dreams of the average Italian is not having a nice sports car, but having a small vegetable garden.
Perhaps in the garden modern man hopes to find that simple and genuine contact with the earth, in a search for a serenity far from smog and frenetic rhythms: being able to spend carefree hours in the midst of nature and finally having as a reward delicious, genuine fruits , free from pesticides, hormones and dyes.
To create a good vegetable garden it is necessary to know the species to be cultivated and the ability to carry out a preliminary project at the beginning of the season.
Designing the garden simply means making a small sketch of the area used for cultivation and then dividing it into flower beds.
Considering the exposure and the intercropping, or rather the arrangement in neighboring areas of species that do not compete and that even draw mutual advantage from one another, choose where to transplant and sow any variety.
It is important to know the species, their growth characteristics, the time of sowing and harvesting, the parasites that can attack them and the nourishment they need.
Plants that produce many fruits, such as tomatoes or peppers, need a soil rich in nutrients to produce the starches needed for fruit ripening.
Fertilizers do not work miracles, exceeding doses can cause damage to plant health.
Fertilization is only a mechanism that is part of a very complex process that regulates the life cycle; it must be in synergy with irrigation and cultivation techniques.
Among the best fertilizers for vegetable garden you can use organic pellets, a fertilizer that can be considered the equivalent of manure, in a modern version and certainly less smelly. Organic fertilizers have a slow release of nutrients and improve the texture of the soil, and the risks of creating salinity imbalances are practically nil.
Even home compost with the addition of slow-release ternary mineral fertilizers is an excellent alternative.
Why consider the garden and the garden as two distinctly separate areas?
In both cases it is a matter of growing plants and many of the vegetable species have very ornamental flowers and fruits. The most experienced gardeners design real vegetable gardens in which the flower beds of peppers are surrounded by a rocket lawn and the pumpkins climb over the branches of a peach tree and hang from its branches in autumn. In this special garden the annual flower beds are surrounded by gravel, stone or turf trenches. There are vegetable gardens with circular geometries, some made of labyrinth or spiral, others that use terraces or wooden constructions and some cultivated entirely in vases and large tanks.
The garden can become an integral part of the garden and in some places the difference between the two will be so subtle that it is impossible to identify where one ends and the other begins.
Biodiversity reigns in a real vegetable garden. The coexistence in a limited space of different species of the animal and plant kingdom creates balance relations as in a real ecosystem.
An ecosystem is able to regulate these relationships even between pests and plants. The pathologies attack the weakened plants, the good vegetable grower takes care of his plants and makes them grow strong and healthy. During the season it can happen to discover phytopathogens and phytoparasites among the vegetable rows: to choose the right fighting strategy it is necessary to recognize the type of parasite very well, the damage it causes and to assess whether it is right to intervene with a product or not is necessary. Never use products lightly, always opt for an alternative choice when you can. Growing a vegetable garden also means cultivating food for you and your children.
In addition to taste, genuineness is also sought, a good vegetable gardener should avoid the use of chemical preparations and in any case opt for those allowed in organic farming.
Anyone can cultivate their own garden; abandon the concept of a classic vegetable garden and bring it into new spaces. Even a small terrace can become a wonderful vegetable garden. Use jars and boxes (you can coat them internally with a mulch sheet)
and plant cherry tomatoes, aubergines, salads, radishes, in compositions that respect their growing spaces. It is also possible to exploit vertical spaces, with special wall structures, equipped with pockets that contain soil: in the lower ones you can transplant strawberries and salads, while in the upper ones you can pepper or aubergine. Always plan to keep in mind the growth of different species: a marine pumpkin from Chioggia in a 2 square meter balcony is not the best choice you can make: it will soon take over all the space and leave no room for anything else, not even you.
In garden and nursery gardens there are more and more plants from vegetable gardens to be transplanted; transplanting plants that have well developed stems and roots is an advantage especially when combined with the use of mulching sheets.
In this way it is possible to cultivate all the fruit vegetables and also many types of salads.
You can prepare a seedbed yourself and create your own plants yourself.
Over the past 30 years, horticultural techniques have made great strides. New materials, new varieties and new knowledge.
The main innovations:
- Mulching sheets: synthetic or biodegradable, they cover the soil around the plants and prevent weeds from growing, they also maintain moisture and heat in the soil.
- Non-woven fabric: a useful material to protect young seedlings and to increase the temperature of the soil.
- Small greenhouses: light and cheap frames combined with plastic coverings, make their use quick and easy. They anticipate crops in spring and protect winter vegetables from frost.
- Dripping wing irrigation system: drip irrigation in the garden is a technology that gives incredible results. In addition to considerable water savings, the plants are evenly irrigated, without causing thermal shocks and water stagnation in the soil.
This also limits attacks by fungi and bacteria.
To make the most of this irrigation system, use it in combination with mulching.
Doing the vegetable garden is useful and fun, but what are the kitchen garden equipment essential for working the land and growing the plants? Let's see them together one by one. First of all, one of the garden tools that can never be missing is the spade. The spade must have a not too long handle and broad shoulders on the metal part to be able to dig more easily. The spade is different from the shovel because it has a straight metal part and is used for digging in the ground, so both the pointed and square-tipped spades are optimal. Another indispensable tool is the shovel, a spade with a 45 ° bent tip that serves to move the earth and clean the holes. Use both the shovel and the spade, taking care to help you with leg operations and not overloading your back.
Another very useful tool to make the vegetable garden is the rake, suitable for moving the earth, leveling it and eliminating stones on the surface. The hoe is useful for creating small holes especially where the earth is particularly hard.
These are the basic hand tools for the vegetable garden, to which they must then be added for the horticulturists who want to be more professional, the most specialized machines and tools.Watch the video