The summer heat is here, and with some rain forecast for the next few weeks, it's a good idea to start your own vegetable garden this summer. With the increase in organic and fresh vegetables as Agri EC, we saw it best to share some tips and veggies to plant this summer. Before we look at the types of vegetables you can plant, let's take a quick look at some tips to increase your harvest in your small home garden
1. Plant your seeds in raised beds with fertile soil
2. Round out the soil in your beds.
How you shape your seedbeds can make a huge difference. Raised beds are more space-efficient, by gently rounding the soil to form an arc. A rounded bed that is 4 feet wide across its base, for instance, could give you a 5-foot-wide arc above it.
3. Plant crops in triangles instead of rows.
4. Grow climbing plants to capitalize on space.
No matter the size of your garden, you can grow more by going vertical. Be sure to plant your space-hungry crops such as tomatoes, pole beans, peas, and others straight up, supported by trellises, fences, cages, or stakes.
Now that we've got the tips out of the way let's look at which vegetables you should have in your garden this summer.
One of the best carrot seed variety to choose is 'Kuroda' (MayFord). It can withstand heat and resist the leaf diseases that come with the rainy season in the summer rainfall regions of the country. This carrot seed is known for its lovely dark colour, which means it contains a higher quantity of health-giving carotene. It is delicious and lasts well in the soil.
To ensure a good harvest of carrots, we advise you to thin out the plants that you have sown when they reach the four-leaf stage – allow about leave 50-80 plants per square metre. If you don't thin out the sowings, your carrots will not be as successful.
Make sure you only lift carrots when they are fully mature – this ensures a much better taste and longer shelf life. After harvesting carrots, remove the leafy tops immediately to prolong the quality.
Cabbages grow well in summer in areas that are not humid or extremely hot. Choose those varieties which cope best with rainy conditions such 'Hercules' and 'Conquistador' (MayFord) or 'Green Star' (Starke Ayres).
Broccoli is fast-growing and can be harvested about 60 days after sowing. Eat the side shoots after you have picked the main head. The leaves, especially the young ones, make marvellous spinach.
This relatively quick crop is straightforward to grow and is the most rewarding. 'Crimson Globe' (Starke Ayres) is the best variety for your garden as the leaves can also be eaten like spinach. As with carrots, it is important to thin out the plants that you have sown.
Baby marrow is very productive provided that you pick the marrows regularly. Give them a top-dressing of LAN to maintain vigorous growth and healthy green leaves.