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Growing a Great Vegetable Garden

Published online: May 01, 2024 Home And Garden
Viewed 818 time(s)

It is so rewarding to bite into crisp, fresh from the garden produce knowing that you’ve grown it yourself. Make this the year that you grow your own vegetables. Here are a few tips and tricks for planning, planting, and caring for a garden. If you are a beginning vegetable gardener you should start with an area that can be managed easily. Then, once you are familiar with gardening, expand your garden as you wish.

Location

Where should a garden be located? First, find a spot located on a fairly level plot of ground. This ensures proper drainage and is typically easier to maintain. You don’t want to choose a low spot where the soil is too moist or a high spot that water will drain away from. Also, make sure your garden plot isn’t too close to large mature trees. The roots will be difficult to deal with, along with the shade.

Check to see how much sunlight the area will get. Most veggies love 6-8 hours of direct sun. Look around to see if there are any nearby structures, fences, or trees that will shade the area. Also, take note of shade and sunlight patterns and remember they change throughout the year.

It’s also important to choose a location that is somewhat protected from wind. Remember winds typically come from a southwest or western direction in summertime. From Plot to Pot A game plan for growing your own vegetables

Layout

First, decide how much space you can dedicate to a garden and then choose a garden type. The most widely used vegetable garden design is a traditional row garden. It consists of vegetables planted in rows. It’s great for large families or for those who wish to produce large quantities and can be easily adapted to any size.

Another gardening method that is popular is called Square Foot Gardening. Square Foot Gardening consists of raised garden boxes that are partitioned into 12” squares and filled with a nutrient-rich soilless mix. It utilizes vertical space, crop rotation, and makes a very productive garden in a smaller space. Best of all, it reduces the time you’ll need to tend to it and there are virtually no weeds.

If you don’t have space to dedicate to a garden, you can still grow vegetables in pots or add them to your landscaping. Peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, herbs, or strawberries (just to name a few) can all be grown in pots. Local community gardens are also a great place to grow your own.

Preparation

In the springtime, begin working the soil once it's dry enough. Simply take a handful of soil, pack it together, and see if it crumbles easily. If it crumbles, it’s ready to rototill or spade, if it is overly sticky, wait until it dries out more. No matter what your soil is like, it will benefit from adding organic material such as a high quality weed-free blended compost. Adding organic material on a yearly basis gives nutrients and improves soil texture. Rototill composted organic matter into your soil 8-12” deep. Soil Activator Humate granules should also be mixed into the garden before planting to increase soil fertility.

Planting

Most vegetable seeds and plants can be planted in April and May. You’ll have to pay attention to frost dates for your area. However, there are many vegetables that can be started now. Make it easy by visiting a local garden center for information on when to plant seeds and plants in our climate.

Care

When watering the garden, it's best to water from the bottom. Overhead sprinklers leave water on the leaves which can lead to fungus or the spread of disease. For best results leave a hose slowly running under plants and soak them or use drip hoses that slowly soak the soil. Watering early in the day is the most effective.

You’ll need to fertilize periodically throughout the summer. Consult with a local garden center to find the best fertilizer for your needs. A local garden center can also give you tips for managing bugs and weeds.

These are just a few tips for creating a great garden. Try growing a few plants and seeds this year and you’ll see how rewarding growing your own food can be.

Find more information at www.eaglerocknursery.com

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