Fruit and Vegetables

Vegetable garden on the terrace

Vegetable garden on the terrace

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Vegetable garden on the terrace

Not all vegetables obviously lend themselves to being grown in pots, while aromatic plants generally give excellent results. So you can't forgo the aromas of basil, parsley and sage that will transform your terrace from a simple external decorative element into a very useful complement. Among the vegetables that are most suitable for this type of cultivation we find salads, tomatoes, radishes and others. The desire to eat healthy and natural and the considerable savings on the purchase of fruit and vegetables that do-it-yourself cultivation entails, have encouraged the spread of this practice almost everywhere. Among other things, the vegetable garden on the balcony is certainly less subject to attack by parasites than a garden in full earth and therefore will certainly require fewer interventions to combat them. However, it is always better to prevent than cure, an excellent way to limit attacks by parasites, is to treat crops with a decoction of otic and horsetail, a completely natural and highly effective method.

Space organization

The first thing to do is to choose the pots that will host the different crops. Given that the terracotta vases are to be considered the best since they allow perspiration, if we had the need to move them it would often be better to opt for the plastic ones, less elegant, but certainly lighter. Small-diameter pots will go very well to grow single plants such as Thyme or Mint, while for vegetables it will always be better to prepare rectangular pots, sufficiently large. After that it will be necessary to prepare the bottom with expanded clay above which we will put a mixture of earth and sand to give a greater drainage capacity to the substrate. The larger the size of your terrace, the wider the variety of crops you can place, but in any case, to better manage your garden, you will have to organize the space very well. There are two things you absolutely must not miss for your plants, light and water. The exposure must therefore necessarily be sunny for most of the day and for no reason you will have to forget to regularly water all the pots. If you want you can set up a drip irrigation system to make the task easier if you have a rather large terrace. You will have to make sure that all the plants enjoy the necessary light and therefore, placing special ladder structures close to the wall, could prove very useful for the purpose.

Seeds or seedlings

Once the pots have been arranged, you will have to choose whether to start cultivation from the seeds or by purchasing seedlings. In the first case, you will certainly have more work to undertake and, often, even less chance of success. However, in the case of aromatic herbs such as basil and parsley, sowing appears to be rather simple and more economical than buying seedlings. For vegetables, instead, the purchase of the plants already ready, increases the probability of obtaining good results and therefore it is advisable with respect to sowing, especially if you are a beginner. The seedlings, which are generally sold in special trays, should be planted in the pots as soon as possible after the purchase, and for the first few days they should not be exposed in full sun because, in the delicate phase following the transplant, they are strongly risk of dehydration.

Choice of aromatic plants

Surely in your terrace garden you will not be able to miss the aromas, easy to cultivate and creators of great satisfactions. Basil (Ocinum basilicum) should be sown in the sun towards the end of winter or the beginning of spring and then thinned out. The different plants, which must be spaced about 20 centimeters apart, will grow well if they have abundant light and a temperature of 20 ° C to 25 ° C. There are about sixty varieties of this fragrant seedling on the market, so you will be spoiled for choice. The second aromatic plant that you can easily cultivate is parsley (Petroselinum hortense) whose sowing must take place directly outdoors from the end of March to the end of summer. Sage (Salvia officinalis) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) will need, for the plant to develop strong and luxuriant, a rather large vase. For both it will be much easier and safer to opt for the purchase of plants ready in a nursery that will have to look healthy and strong. To these four "classic" aromatic you can add thyme (Thymus vulgaris), peppermint (Mentha piperita), oregano (Origanum vulgare) also very easy and useful in the kitchen.

Choice of vegetables

The choice of vegetables requires a greater reflection since the needs, above all of a nutritional nature, with respect to aromatic plants are definitely superior. It will therefore be necessary to carefully evaluate the commitment that each species will have and the probability of success in its cultivation in pots. However, it should be borne in mind that it will be necessary to administer specific fertilizers fairly frequently for each crop, in quantities that are correctly calculated to ensure optimal growth. For those new to the garden, the tomato (Solanum sp.) Is certainly a good choice as it is relatively easy to grow. Furthermore, a wide range of varieties is available on the market able to satisfy all tastes and needs. The earth will be well fertilized, however, and the space available will have to be adequate. If you use individual pots for each plant, they must have a diameter of at least 35 centimeters and you will need to provide a special support to prevent the plant from breaking below the weight of the fruit. If you have the foresight to never let the earth dry, in the middle of summer you can get a great harvest. The Pepper (Capsicum sp.) Requires a lot of light, a well-drained soil and enough water. Therefore having characteristics not very dissimilar from the tomato it can be positioned without problems near it. If you like fresh and crisp summer salads, lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and radishes (Rephanus sativus) are just the thing for you. The first will be sown towards the end of winter in a large vase at least 40 centimeters long, while the latter will be sown on a sieve from March to October and will be ready to be enjoyed within a few weeks. Even the courgette (Cucurbita sp.) Could give good results, but remember that it is a rather bulky plant. Exclude instead of being able to grow cabbage, cauliflower that would have little chance of success.
Well, now you just have to enjoy the fruits of your work and there is nothing more satisfying. Seeing is believing!