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How to Start Your Own Vegetable Garden

Developing a vegetable garden for the first time is rather simple if you follow some basic steps. The information below will lead you through a few of the simple procedures of vegetable gardening so that you can have a successful experience.

It might be surprising to many, but there are several benefits of having a home vegetable garden.

BENEFITS OF GARDENING

  • Physical Exercise
  • Save On Your Food Bill
  • Better Nutrition
  • Tension Reliever
  • Creativity
  • Personal Recognition
  • Challenge

VEGETABLE GARDEN DEVELOPMENT - STEP BY STEP

SITE LOCATION

  • Your garden site should offer at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
  • Avoid placing your garden in a low spot in your landscape.
  • Locate your garden away from buildings and trees.

SOIL PREPARATION

  • Your garden soil should have lots of organic matter content.
  • Avoid areas of heavy clay content if possible.
  • Amend your garden soil with organic matter each year.

SOIL TESTING

  • Have your garden site tested every two years.
  • Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office for test kit
  • Add lime as indicated with the soil test.
  • Best time to lime is November/December if possible.
  • Add garden fertilizer in April with the amount indicated by the soil test.

SEEDING AND TRANSPLANTS

  • You can grow quality transplants indoors with proper temperature and light.
  • Keep the temperature 70-75 degrees
  • Use a commercial grow light or make your own from a shop light.
  • Use new seed unless you have heirloom varieties
  • Soil should be moist but not wet at seeding time.
  • Create a furrow or hole to drop seed in.
  • Cover seed and firm the soil.

WATERING

  • Vegetable gardens should receive at least 1 inch of water per week.
  • Don't water over top of the plants.
  • Avoid watering in the evening.
  • Use of soaker hoses or trickle irrigation is highly recommended.

MULCHING

  • Mulch to control weeds, retain soil moisture and make harvesting easier.
  • Best material to mulch with is clean straw or even newspapers.
  • Use of plastic mulch is questionable due to environmental concerns.

FERTILIZER

  • Fertilize according to soil test recommendations
  • 15 pounds per 10000 square feet is a general recommendation.
  • Additional side dressing is necessary for several fruits and vegetables.

WEED CONTROL

  • The use of chemical weed controls is NOT recommended.
  • Use clean mulch or hand weed to prevent weeds.
  • Don't let weeds go to seed.

HARVESTING

  • Harvest when fruits and vegetables are ripe.
  • Avoid over ripe fruits and vegetables like beans, corn, cauliflower, cucumbers and squash.


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