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Tips For A Great Vegetable Garden

How to have the best vegetable garden on the block!

Here are some tips that can help you create a great vegetable garden:

  • Your vegetable garden should be near your house and away from trees. If it's some distance away from your house, it will not be as well looked after, nor will most use be made of vegetables grown.

    Vegetables near trees cannot get full sunshine; even more important, tree roots will rob them of water and fertilizer they need to do their best.
  • If you can, move the garden spot every 10 years or so to help keep down diseases. Proper rotation and use of disease-resistant varieties will help, but sooner or later the old garden spot becomes so full of various disease spores and nematodes that you cannot grow a good crop of many vegetables without use of special soil fumigants.
  • The soil should be well drained. Few vegetables can stand "wet feet." A sandy loam with a clay subsoil is best.

    Heavy clay soils may be made quite suitable by adding heavy quantities of stable manure or compost, or by turning under cover crops, preferably legumes such as vetch and clover soybeans.
  • Since top quality vegetables cannot be produced on anything but fertile soil, do whatever is needed to make it fertile.
Requirements for growth include:
  1. Proper degree of heat
  2. Moisture
  3. Oxygen in the air is essential for seed germination and good growth
English peas, for example, will sprout when the soil temperature is only a few degrees above freezing, while seeds such as tomatoes will not germinate at all.

To start these tender vegetables for early crops, artificial heat, as in hotbeds, is needed. Otherwise, for early crops, buy plants from commercial growers, or from local growers who produce them with artificial heat.

Tender vegetables that do not transplant like melons, cucumbers, cantaloupes and squash, should not be planted outdoors until the soil has warmed up. These may, however, be started earlier in small pots in a hotbed.

To make the most of your gardening efforts, take some time to do some planning. Also keep a record of whether you had too much or too few of certain vegetables at any time during the season for a continuous supply. Don't trust it all to memory.

Here are a few things to consider when planting your vegetable garden:
  1. How much of each vegetable to grow to supply your family's needs
  2. Which vegetables are most needed for good health
  3. How much extra to plant for storage
  4. Which varieties are best to plant
  5. When to plant for continuous growth and supply
  6. Which pesticides are best for the control of insects and diseases
  7. Supplies needed such as, sprayers, dusters, tools, fertilizer or mulching materials
Jotting this down on paper, plus any notes made during the season about special pest problems or how a new variety or practice turned out will be valuable the next season when planning and planting time rolls around.

Article courtesy of Decorating Country Home.

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