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Winter Gardening – How to Grow Vegetables in Winter

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Most people believe that the vegetable gardening season ends in September and starts all over in April or May. While this may certainly be the time with the most agreeable temperatures – where you will spend more time outside – it isn’t true that winter is a “dead season”.

Besides preparing your soil for the coming spring (what we described in this article) you can, in fact, practice winter gardening and continue to grow vegetables. In this article, I will write mainly about two points: To use season extenders for extending the “warmer” season; and which crops you can grow now (in winter) to generate yields in spring.

How can I continue to grow plants even though it gets cold?

You can use so-called “season extenders” for winter gardening to retain some level of warmness for your plants and to protect them from wind and snow damage. This can be:

With this later system, you’re flexible when it comes to size. You can create small row covers just large enough to cover your plants; or you can create a kind of greenhouses, that you’re able to enter and work inside.

The benefits of these systems are, of course, that you use the greenhouse effect to heat up the air under the respective cover. As it will get cold at night nevertheless, best grow cold-resistant plants.

How to grow vegetables in winter?

There are winter gardening vegetables that can be planted even in late fall or in the winter months (also when the ground is frozen). In fact, some plants (so-called cold season plants) are meant to be planted rather and will not grow as well if planted late in the year.

The benefit of planting early is that a.) You get healthy, resistant plants and b.) You get your vegetable yields much more early (in spring instead of in summer).

Before planting any seeds, you should always clear your beds of all dead plant material (also autumn foliage), crack the ground open, add compost and till it in. You can use organic fertilizers if your soil has been grown heavily during the preceding year.

Typical cold-hardy plants are the following:

You should not grow tubers and roots this early during the year, as they will easily rot from wetness. If, however, you combine the two tips I gave you in this article (cold covers & cold season plants), you can even grow potatoes before their time is due and transplant them into your “normal” beds once the weather gets warm again.

I hope this post motivates you to try winter gardening yourself. I recommend taking a bottle of warm tea along if you’re feeling cold icon wink winter gardening – How to grow vegetables in winter?

If you want to be good gardener then you’ve to well-informed on different gardening tools idea. Happy gardening.

Thank You



Source by Sumon Khan

Practical Backyard Landscaping Tips

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Envision a serene sanctuary in your very own backyard. Having difficulty? In just four easy steps, you can transform your dull deck and boring backyard into a place of peaceful seclusion. With backyard landscaping ideas that are simple enough for beginners, your backyard can convert into an area where you can relax and unwind. With a little free time to spare and a lot of determination, your landscape will soon be envied by all.

  1. Scheme a Theme

    If you’re ready to take the plunge and transform your backyard into a tranquil retreat, choose a theme first and foremost. Search the Internet for various backyard landscaping ideas-chances are, you’ll gather more than enough information. When you think of the perfect getaway, do you picture a cabin in the mountains or a lounge chair on the beach? Good backyard landscaping starts with a strategy. Don’t begin the landscaping process until you’ve decided what your theme will be.

  2. Make It Cozy

    Contrary to what you might think, cozy patio living can be achieved on a dime. While you can certainly spend a lot of time and money on improving the look of your patio, it’s just as easy to find charming accessories and furniture at a fraction of the cost. Be attentive when it comes to your budget and look for great buys. A significant part of backyard landscaping is enhancing your patio, as it’s the first thing guests will notice when stepping outside your back door.

    There are plenty of discount design stores that offer outdoor furnishings and appealing accessories. If you find yourself in a store that’s more expensive, then head straight for the clearance section. Candles, pillows and rugs can spruce up your patio without breaking the bank.

  3. Garden Zen

    Backyard landscaping can be a relatively simple and fun experience; however, if you choose to grow a garden, you’ll need to put additional thought into what you’d like. (In fact, you can benefit from seeking the advice of a professional.) Additionally, there are several books available on how to grow a garden. Don’t feel overwhelmed-gardening can be an enjoyable and ongoing task.

    The plants, flowers and vegetables you select for your garden are contingent on factors like the time of year, climate conditions, and personal preference. If you need professional help, drop by the nearest garden store and ask an expert for his or her advice and suggestions.

  4. Keep It Alive & Well

    Attracting wildlife is an excellent way to achieve vitality in your backyard. Butterflies, birds, bees, squirrels and chipmunks, rabbits-your backyard landscape should not only be a retreat for you, but also a safe haven for wildlife. Liven up your backyard… literally. Make it an inviting place for all sorts of species; for example, set up backyard accessories like bird baths, bird feeders and bug boxes. 

Backyard landscaping can be a fun project, and seeing the end result makes it worthwhile. As the economy weakens, why not invest back into your home by enhancing your backyard? Instead of going out for dinner, you’ll find that you’d rather hang back at home and grill out. With so many great backyard landscaping ideas, you can enjoy peace and quiet in your own backyard.  



Source by Alex G. Rogers

Aquaponics – How to Grow Vegetables Quickly

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Aquaponics – how to get a setup running and producing. This is probably the most pertinent question raised when we think of growing fish and vegetables side by side. Aquaponics is indeed the art of growing vegetables as well as fish with the use of very few resources – mainly water that is already available in your fish tank. In short, it is the practice of utilizing the waste coming from your fish tanks to provide nutrients for your vegetables.

It is a fairly simple as well as a completely organic way of growing your favorite vegetables without having to worry about soil cultivation or fertilization, not to mention the use of harmful synthetic fertilizers. In an aquaponics system you only need to feed the fish and you could even make up your own fish food.

Aquaponics – How to make use of your existing fish tank?

Before delving into the details of Aquaponics, let us see how the water from your fish tank comes in handy for growing vegetables. We all know that fish produce a lot of waste, which creates ammonia, which is harmful to the fish if allowed to build up, (a major reason why we need to replace the water at regular intervals in a normal setup unless there is an effective filter system in place) In an aquaponics system the plants do the filtering. However the plants cannot make use of ammonia. What happens is that bacteria will grow naturally in the tank water and they change the ammonia into nitrates. The nitrates work as a natural fertilizer for all types of vegetables thus providing a unique opportunity to grow fresh vegetables with the help of the natural waste produced by the fish.

Research has revealed that the process of growing plants with the help of water from fish tanks helps the vegetables grow at a 50% faster rate than normal. Thus you get the opportunity to see your favorite vegetables grow within a very short period of time. This is not all – now the same water can be recycled back to the fish tank filtered and so keep a clean environment for the fish to live in. .

Aquaponics – How to get started with:

The fundamental practice of starting off with Aquaponics is pretty simple. You need fish tanks and tanks for plants to grow in. There are ready made kits available in the market, though you can easily design and make your own system. Whatever you do, the basic answer to the question of how to get started with aquaponics is that you need to know

1. What you hope to achieve,

2. The available space,

3. The type of system you want to build.

Aquaponics once established do not take much of your time to look after. Whatever system you opt for, the fish tanks are always at a lower level than the grow beds as then the water from the beds can naturally flow back into the fish tanks. Remember that the water is recycled and because of that aquaponics uses only about 2% of the volume of water that would be used in your home garden.

You will need a pump to put a fixed amount of water into the beds so that the plants always get an adequate amount of water with their required nutrients and to send it filtered back to the tank. In some systems the roots of the plants remain submerged in the water, while in another the water is pumped to the plants and allowed to drain.

Aquaponics is beneficial in three ways

  1. You get fresh vegetables,
  2. You get fresh fish and
  3. It will save you quite a bit of money.



Source by Johan Snijder

How To Garden Without A Garden

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There are many of us who would love to try out our gardening skills but we don’t have access to a garden. Never fear, because there are other options we may wish to consider.

If you live in an apartment building, how about window boxes? If your building has a courtyard area, contact the person in charge and see if you might be able to plan and take care of a portion of the courtyard. You may want to scout the surroundings first and see what is available. If you have a plan in mind before you talk to someone about creating a garden space or a beautifully crafted flower display, then you may have a better chance of success.

If you share a house or flat with other renters, you may want to see what yard space is available for your use. Many times owners will jump at the chance to have the occupants take care of the yard work, as that saves time and money for them. If space allows, you may be able to grow some food as well as a variety of eye-catching flowers and foliage.

Rocks, bricks and pebbles can be used to contain and highlight small spaces used for planting. These look good left in their natural colors or you can try adding contrast by painting them in coordinating colors to show off your gardening space. Be creative here; you are only limited by your own imagination.

Small spaces can also be conducive to hanging baskets. Look for places where a hanging basket could be very appealing visually and yet not in the way of walking spaces.

When planning the variety of plants you would like to plant, make sure you do your research as to what grows well in your climate, when the flowering times or harvest times are, and how much water and tending they will require. If you have acquired special permission to use apartment-owned space, make sure that you keep your spot tended, well-kept and looking magnificent. This will create the biggest impression. Remember, this is likely a very public place which will be seen by many people. It is the perfect way to show off your gardening skills.

Don’t forget about using your indoor living space as well. There are many plants, ferns, flowers and even herbs which grow well indoors, in full natural light from a window. If you have a balcony, they can be set outside on nice days. Keep in mind that pots dry out quickly so don’t set them out in the hot sun without checking their water level periodically.

Even without your own garden, there are ways to be a gardener and hone your gardening skills by growing plants, vegetables, flowers and foliage for all to enjoy.



Source by Ryan Traenor

How to Grow Vegetables in Containers

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 Growing  fruits and  vegetables  in containers is easy, even for  a  beginner, and can be  a  good idea if you don’t have  a  large  garden . There are many types of  vegetables  suitable  to   grow  in this way including green onions, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, green beans and, probably the most often  grown  like this, tomatoes. Some of these are climbing  plants  so will need some support such as wooden posts, trellis or wire cages. You can place containers on patios, balconies or anywhere you have  a  warm, suitable space.

Which  vegetable  varieties are suitable  to   grow  in containers?

Not all varieties of these  vegetables  can be  grown  in containers, you will generally have to choose dwarf varieties, sometimes called ‘mini veg’ or described as ‘suitable for close spacing’. For beans choose  a  variety such as Hestia or the Sutton, for tomatoes Balconi, Patio, Sweet 1000 or Tiny Tim. California Wonder Peppers and Minnesota Midget Melons are also suitable. For lettuces try Little Gem or Tom Thumb. All of these varieties take up less space than the regular varieties and have been specially adapted  to   grow  in confined spaces.

What type of containers should you choose?

Almost any type of container can be used, just make sure it is big enough and has plenty of drainage holes. Some types of tomatoes  grow  very well in hanging baskets. Pots made from terracotta are attractive but require more looking after than plastic pots as they tend to dry out much faster. If possible choose  a  light coloured pot as they are cooler in the hotter months and conserve heat less than darker colored pots so won’t cause the soil to overheat as readily. Use  a  drip tray under the pots to help conserve water.

What are suitable locations for  vegetable  containers?

You can place your pots on  a  balcony or patio but make sure they will be in the sunshine for most of the day.  Vegetables  will need  a  minimum of 6 hours of sunlight  a  day  to   grow  well. In colder climates it’s  a  good idea to place them against  a  wall that faces south. You could also put the pots on  a  movable platform so that you can move them around to get sunlight from every direction which will result in more even growth and allows you to move them out of the sun in the hottest part of the day.

 How  should you  plant  your  vegetable  container?

You will need to use  a  good quality potting compost. Ordinary  garden  soil is not recommended for container  gardening  as it may not have the right balance of nutrients and may contain pests and weed seed. The  vegetables  can be bought as young transplants or you could  grow  them indoors or in  a  greenhouse from seed. Once they are transplanted to your pots place some mulch on the top of the soil to help conserve moisture. You could use leaf mold or straw. Don’t crowd the seedlings, give them plenty of space  to   grow  and insert  a  framework for them to climb if needed.

 How  often should you water your  vegetable  containers?

Most containers will need daily watering and you could add  a  weak nutrient solution three or four times  a  week. Don’t water directly on the  plants  but around their bases as water on the leaves can encourage mold and fungus. Don’t allow the pots to become waterlogged but make sure the drainage is adequate.

Conclusion

It’s fun  growing   growing   vegetables  in containers and easy enough even for  a  beginner gardener. You will be well rewarded when you harvest your crop of fresh  vegetables , ready for the cooking or adding to your salad.



Source by Janet Ashby

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden Easily

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The first thing you need to know is to identify what  vegetables  you want  to   plant . It is recommended to choose  vegetables  that are easier  to   grow . Once you have your selected  vegetables   to   plant , look for  an  appropriate location for  planting  your  garden . Make sure that there are no trees or other  plants  around your  garden  location. This is because when trees or other  plants  are around, they will suck all the nutrients away from your  vegetables . Furthermore, make sure that your location has enough sunshine for your veggies.

After choosing the appropriate location, make sure to examine the quality of the soil. Be sure to test the pH level of the soil. The ideal pH level of  a  soil is 6.5. This means that the soil can give enough nutrients to your  vegetables . If the pH level is low or high, the soil will give insufficient nutrients to your  vegetables . The secret of having  a  good  garden  is having quality of the soil. Moreover, if you want to make the soil fertile, there are organic fertilizers such as animal manures are great for providing additional nutrients to the  vegetables . These fertilizers maintain moisture to the  garden . On top of that, make sure that there is enough water to keep your  vegetables  re-hydrated since  vegetables  need  a  constant supply of water. Research shows that morning is the best time to water the  plants  because they dry off quickly.

Once you  planted  your  vegetables , all you have to do is wait for the harvest season. To get the best harvest and flavor, make sure that  vegetables  are picked in their peak of maturity. Do not wait for the  vegetables  to become overripe. Furthermore, make sure to harvest frequently in order to encourage production. Once you harvested your  vegetables , you can now enjoy your new found success as  a  gardener.



Source by Jenny R Wright

How to Grow Vegetables and Herbs in 7 Easy Steps

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Growing fresh vegetables and herbs year round for your salads or cooked in the steamer or the oven is a form of intensive cultivation as the best vegetables are sowing, cultivated and harvested in short time spans. Successive plantings mean that you produce young growing tissue and this is always found in the crunchiest, tastiest vegetables. This is how I harvest quality vegetables and herbs year round.

Step 1 – Grouping

Vegetables can be grown in pretty much the same soil. The best vegetable soil is loose, crumby and able to hold water and nutrients. It needs to be fertilized and aerated but the same soil will grow a variety of vegetables. Vegetables are generally grouped into 3 main types-seed vegetables, leaf and stem vegetables and root and bulb vegetables. Group these together because each of these vegetable types require different types and amounts of fertilizer.

Step 2 – Seasonal Planting

Determine whether your vegetables are cool or warm season plants and plant them in season. Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and beans grow well during cooler months while capsicum, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and corn all enjoy warmer growing conditions. Vegetables like cabbage, lettuce and carrots grow in temperatures between warm and cool plantings. Plants these at the correct time of the year as they will ‘go to seed’ if sown when it is too warm or too cool.

Step 3 – Correct Sunlight

For quick growing vegetables select a garden area that is exposed to at least 4-5 hours of sunlight each day. Have part of this garden face the south for the best exposure to sunlight, especially in winter. Avoid shade from other plants or buildings.

Step 4 – Garden Layout

This will depend on your time and interest in gardening vegetables and herbs. Start small and extend after success and follow this. A popular size vegetable garden is about 10 square feet. Plant the vegetables you enjoy but remember that climbing beans and cucumbers grow on a trellis and need little space. Tomatoes and capsicum have high yield crops. Silver beet and broccoli and lettuce are good for continuous harvesting.

Step 5 – Fertilizing

Use a pre-planting fertilizer containing phosphorous before each crop to assist with healthy seedlings and roots. Then root and bulb vegetables require no further fertilizing but leaf vegetables need more nitrogen and seed vegetables need additional mixed fertilizing. Most vegetables and herbs need a lightly acidic soil so fertilize with lime after summer crops and before cool season crops.

Step 6 – Watering

Water well across each season to produce quick-growing vegetables. Vegetables can lose large amounts of water during dry hot seasons. Good soakings in hot weather assist keep them in an exclusive herb garden or use them as borders in your vegetable or flower garden. They also grow well in pots but these will need a liquid fertilizer. Harvest when you need them fresh or if you wish to dry them instead, hang upside down in a shady spot.

Step 7 – What About the Herbs?

A wonderful addition to many vegetable and meat dishes, herbs generally need well drained soil and vary in the amount of sunlight they require.  Easy to grow, often from seedlings, they can be grown in an exclusive herb garden or be used as borders in your vegetable or flower garden.  They also grow well in pots but these will need a liquid fertilizer.  Harvest when you need them fresh or if you wish to dry them instead, hang upside down in a shady spot.

Remember also the benefit of crop rotation to reduce the impact of disease in each vegetable family.



Source by Antonio Fontanes

How to Grow a Garden in Greenhouse

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Simple Tips to Grow Flowers and Vegetables Organically

Do gardening using greenhouse techniques and grow vegetables and flowers in an environment-friendly way.

Have you ever enjoyed your annuals in the summer time, but then were sad when the freezing temperatures of October and November killed those plants? Perhaps you had a beautiful large coleus one year and left it outside during the winter and could never find that variety again.

Others may like to have fresh summer vegetables in the winter time. Whatever the reason, many of you would like to have a greenhouse to grow a garden in the winter.

What do you need to build a greenhouse?

To build a greenhouse, you need:

1. Greenhouse kits are great for the beginner. There are many greenhouse kits available which you can get from some of the bigger garden centers or off of the internet. These centers offer a whole array of greenhouse kits and materials to build your own greenhouse from scratch.

Depending on how many plants you want to grow, you need to choose a greenhouse kit. If you are only beginning, you should probably consider buying a smaller greenhouse that will consume less energy and warm up faster.

2. A heater is required for people further north and in cold climates. This is especially the case if you want to propagate annuals or grow tomatoes during the winter time. Annuals and tomatoes cannot handle freezing temperatures, so if you want to successfully propagate annuals such as impatients and coleus, you should have the temperature in your greenhouse set at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Most greenhouse heaters of good quality come with thermostatic control.

3. Growth lamps might be necessary in the more northern regions of the world to successfully grow and propagate some annuals which are of tropical or subtropical origin. They are required because during winter time, the days are much shorter than closer to the equator.

Furthermore, in many northern regions, the majority of days are overcast, severely limiting the sun’s light from feeding your plants. This is where the growth lamps can come in handy. Growth lamps should be suspended from the ceiling.

4. Solar heat trapping glass or plastic is a must for building a greenhouse from scratch. Greenhouses keep a good percentage of their heat by the sun. The greenhouse materials let the sun’s heat come in but do not let it out.

The northern side of the greenhouse

You need to remember that the northern side of your greenhouse is the coldest area and exposed to the coldest temperatures. In many regions in the northern United States and Canada, the cold winter winds come from the North. How the north wall of your greenhouse is insulated is critical to be able to successfully raise your plants during the winter.

Have the glass or plastic walls of your greenhouse on the west, east, south walls. Furthermore, the entrance of your greenhouse should be best placed on the southern side of the greenhouse. The north wall should be solid and heavily insulated. Along the northern wall of the greenhouse is the best place to install the heater.

Setting the temperature of your greenhouse

Depending on the time of year, the temperature of your greenhouse should be regulated accordingly by the three seasons excluding summer.

1. Fall is a time of year where some days towards the beginning of the season can be rather warm and summer like whereas other days can be cold. Fall is usually the time of year when the first frost and freezing temperatures arrive in the northern climates.

Unless you get into late fall such as the end of October into November when winter begins to set in, you should not turn on the heater. In the fall up to mid October, the sun is still rather strong. Furthermore, bugs and other garden pests have a natural instinct to go where it is warmer in the fall.

For example, Chinese beetles, which are orange lady bugs congregate around your windows and screen doors when it is warm in late September or early October. They do this because they know that in your home the heat will be running and it will be decidedly warmer than the freezing temperatures of the coming winter.

Though Chinese beetles are not a problem for your plants, but other bugs, such as aphids and other beetles can be devastating in your greenhouse if they come in and survive the winter. During the early fall and during Indian summers, have netting on all the open windows to keep the bugs from coming in and have the windows open to keep the temperature in the greenhouse the same as outside.

Only when it is cold outside and freezes during the night time, have the windows closed and allow the sun’s heat to warm the greenhouse. Even though it may freeze in October, the frosts are usually during the night and fade away as the morning sun comes up.

Though the fall sees hard freezes, if your greenhouse is closed up at night and the windows are open on warm days, it will not be freezing cold inside the greenhouse. This is because the glass or plastic panels of your greenhouse are designed to let the sun’s heat come in, but not let it go out.

2. Winter is the season that is the toughest on your plants. As winter weather sets in mid to late November, the heater in your greenhouse should be turned on. Never let your greenhouse get any hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures can be damaging to tomatoes and peppers.

Furthermore, in the cold dark days of winter, from late November to March, you should have the growth lamps on. In this time of year, try to simulate the same kind of conditions during the summer months. Your plants will be much healthier and more beautiful by spring.

3. Spring is the time of year where the days get much longer and the temperature slowly gets warmer. This is a time of year that sees some freezing temperatures and warmer days. The sun also becomes stronger in spring and this is a time to slowly acclimate the plants to be outside for the summer.

Do not put your annuals out early. Do not plant any of your newly propagated annuals until after Memorial Day, unless you live in USDA zone 6a or warmer. Zone 6a covers Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, northern Texas, etc. In those areas, it gets warmer and the likelihood of late hard frosts is lesser than in the more northern states or Canada.

Sprinkler systems for your greenhouse

Every greenhouse should have its own sprinkler system. Like when outside, the plants in the greenhouse also need water. Technically, in most professional greenhouses, the sprinkler system works by a hose that is suspended from the ceiling and has shower heads that rain of the plants, like a light summer rain. You should have the same type of watering system. Furthermore, your watering system should be set on a timer to rain on your plants every two or three days.

Potting and drainage

Plants should be potted in pots that have drain holes and the water should be drained away from the plant. Make sure that the soil drains well and the plants only get the water they need, otherwise the roots can drown…



Source by Shivraj Ghorpade

Tips For How to Garden Vegetables

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If you are new to  vegetable   gardening , there are certain things you must know before you start out.  Vegetable   gardening  is not rocket science, and once you have got the basics right it is extremely simple to do. So what are some of the best tips for  how   to   garden   vegetables ?

The first decision that you must make is  how  large your  garden  should be. For  a  family of four,  a  standard sized 20X20 foot plot should suffice. Starting off big is actually not  a  very good idea, since you are likely to become overwhelmed.

Next you need to decide which crops you want  to   grow  in your  garden . In the initial stages, you may want to try some of the more easy  to   grow   vegetables  such as beets, lettuces, carrots, and radishes. However, one key to successful  gardening  is to know your  vegetables  requirements and to do so, proper research is  a  must. Read the best  gardening  information you can find in order to develop  a  good understanding of  how   to   grow  different crops. Some factors you need to consider include whether the crops are best  grown  during the cooler spring and fall months, or warmer summer one, water and light requirements, and  how  much compost or other nutritional additives they may need.

The next step that you must take is select  a  good location for your  vegetable   garden . Your  garden  must receive proper sunlight, preferably at least eight hours  a  day. You also want to make sure it is somewhat sheltered from the wind. Selecting the right spot is crucial to your  gardening  success, so choose wisely. You also need to make sure you have easy access to water as well for your  garden’s  needs.

The next thing that you must do is to prepare your soil for the plantation. If your soil is not prepared well, even the easiest crops will not  grow  well. The best time to prepare your soil is during the fall the year prior  to   planting , but you can also do this early in the spring season as well, as long as the soil is not too wet. First you must clear the selected spot and make it free from weeds and debris. Next you must make the surface smooth. Till the soil with the proper  garden  tool and prepare the soil for the plantation. You can use some compost or manure to add required organic matter to your soil. The organic matter is meant to improve the fertility of the soil.

After you are done with the soil preparation,  plant  the crops you have chosen  to   garden . Some additional tips on  how   to   garden   vegetables  that should help: the tallest crops are always to be  planted  at the furthest point of your  garden , so as not to shade other crops. Rows should be  planted  north to south, and there needs to be spacing of at least two feet between each  garden  row.



Source by Bill Boor

Learning How to Plant a Vegetable Garden Can be Fun

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Learning  how   to   plant   a   vegetable   garden  is not hard, but without careful planning and proper follow through, your  garden  may perform poorly. If done correctly it pays off with big benefits in so many ways. Before you know it you will be picking perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious tomatoes without having to wonder what chemicals went into  growing  them.

The most important part of successful  gardening  is to properly prepare the soil.  A  routine soil test gives information on any lime requirement, phosphorous and potassium needs and estimated nitrogen requirements.  A  good soil mixture contains two parts loam, one parts and, and one part organic matter and many pre-mixed soil mixtures are available at  garden  centers. When manure is added to the soil, it must be composted prior  to   planting , because fresh, hot manure will also burn your  plants .  Vegetables  need  a  lot of nutrition  to   grow  well, so the better you prepare the soil before  planting , the better chances you have of producing  a  bountiful crop. For information on soil testing, call your local county extension educator or the local university soil testing laboratory.

 Planting   a   vegetable   garden  is not hard, but without careful planning and proper follow through, your  garden  may perform poorly. Tilling the soil in late fall facilitates earlier spring  planting . Cool versus warm  planting  periods are determined by your choice of cool-season  vegetables  and warm-season  vegetables .

Successful  vegetable   gardening  involves far more than just popping  a  few seeds into the ground and waiting for  a  tomato to appear. When sowing your seeds stretch  a  string between the two stakes you set to mark the row, or use  a  straight piece of lumber, and use it as  a  guide to open  a  ‘V’ shaped furrow with the corner of your hoe. Tear the corner of the seed package off and use your finger to tap the package lightly as you move down the row, carefully distributing the seeds evenly. Larger type seeds may be placed individually in the row. You will want  to   plant  extra seeds in each row to allow for failed germination, and for thinning. Cover the seeds with fine soil (no clods or rocks). After the seeds sprout, the weaker seedlings should be pinched off to give the rest enough room  to   grow .

 Vegetables  that are leaves or stems, such as cabbages and onions, can usually be harvested over  a  long period as they are needed.  Vegetables  that are the fruit of the  plant , such as peas, beans and tomatoes, should be picked every two or three days to get them when they are first ripe. Any  vegetable   garden  should receive  a  minimum of six hours of direct sunlight during the day and  grow  best on soil that is well drained.  Vegetable   gardens  do not always have to be laid out in large plots in the backyard; you can  grow  them nearly anywhere as long as all their  growing  conditions are met and your choice of  plants  will be largely determined by the likes and dislikes of your family. If the same  garden  plot is used for  vegetables  for many years, your crops should be rotated, so that each type of  vegetable  is in  a  different position during the following season.

 Planting   a   vegetable   garden  is hard work but for both the beginner and experienced gardener the rewards can be delicious.



Source by Andrew Bicknell

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