When To Plant Summer Vegetable Garden

When To Plant Summer Vegetable Garden

It’s late March and I have yet to harvest a single spring pea or leaf of spinach, but it’s already time to start planning for the summer kitchen garden.Unlike spring varieties such as lettuce and broccoli, warm season vegetables sulk in cold soil and can’t tolerate a frost.Warm season vegetables should be planted in the garden after the last frost date in your area.It’s also important to know the FIRST frost date in your area so you can determine if your growing season is long enough for plants to mature and bear fruit.Bush varieties can be planted in smaller gardens and only require 3 to 5 feet of room.Allow them to ripen on the vine before harvesting at the end of the growing season before the first frost.Corn relies on wind to carry pollen from the tassels to the silks on immature ears.Bush varieties are suitable for containers, but if you have the space try vining types because they will produce more fruit.In spite of their love of heat, once in the garden, eggplants like cool, moist roots.Seeds should be started indoors and moved out into the garden after the summer equinox in late June.The over-ripe, tough pods are great for adding interest to cut flower arrangements.Prepare your beds before planting with a generous amount of compost or well-rotted manure and an application of an all-purpose fertilizer such as 13-13-13.Set the plants out when the soil has warmed and night temperatures stay above 50 degrees F

Should I Water My Vegetable Garden Every Day

Should I Water My Vegetable Garden Every Day

In areas without drought, a common mistake new gardeners make is watering too much!Regular applications of modest amounts of compost—one-quarter inch per season—will dramatically improve your soil’s water retention and help suppress disease.But, if it barely holds together in the palm of your hand, or if the surface looks hard, baked, or cracked, it is probably dry and it’s time to water.See if the soil is dry an inch below the surface; that suggests it needs water.It’s best to water early in the day while dew is still on the leaves so the foliage dries off by evening.The reason for this is that you want to add sufficient water at the same time to ensure penetration down to 5 or 6 inches.Light rain showers do not build up a reserve of water in the soil.Visit your garden again in the early evening and see if the wilted plants have regained some turgidity.If the soil is dry an inch beneath the surface, your garden probably needs watering.Start at the very beginning: Saturate each plant hole when you transplant seedlings.When you do water, make sure that you get the soil saturated enough that the moisture percolates at least several inches down.The disadvantage of using a sprinkler is that foliage is wetted by water dispersed via overhead application.This could lead to foliar diseases since the foliage remains wet for extended periods of time.If you have a larger garden with plants spaced one foot or more apart, consider investing in “drip irrigation.” This is is done mainly with hoses or plastic tubes with small holes in them that deliver a relatively small amount of water directly to the root zone; by supplying optimum moisture, periods of water stress can be avoided.Mulching is perhaps the #1 water-conserving technique for areas that receive less than 40 inches of rainfall annually.Here’s a guide to help you estimate when and how much to water, assuming rich, well-balanced soil and little to no rainfall.6 per week Dry soil when pods are forming will adversely affect quantity and quality.6 per week Cob size will be smaller if plants do not receive water when ears are forming.3 per week To reduce excess foliage and stem growth, do not water young seedlings unless wilting.3–6 per week In dry weather, give 6 gallons throughout the growing season every 10 days.Swings from very dry to very wet produce oddly shaped and cracked tubers.6 per week Frequent watering may increase yield but adversely affect flavor.Periodically, take a trowel and dig down several inches into the zone where the roots are most active.See our video in which we will demonstrate the 10 smart watering tips for a healthier garden.Visit our complete Gardening for Everyone hub, where you’ll find a series of guides—all free!

When To Start Vegetable Garden Seeds

When To Start Vegetable Garden Seeds

Our planting tool is personalized down to your zip code, pulling from a database of thousands of weather station reports, and using the "days until harvest" for the most popular vegetables grown in the home garden.(Note: Our chart takes into account the average "days until harvest" for the most common varieties of each vegetable.Our fall planting dates consider which crops are more hardy versus tender, and we've also made adjustments for the harvesting period.In case you missed it, look at the top of this page and enter your "City, State" or Zip Code in the field

When Is Best Time To Water Your Vegetable Garden

When Is Best Time To Water Your Vegetable Garden

Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and other garden delights need the right amount of water to mature into tasty treats.Here are some top tips that will keep your garden producing and looking great all season.Some varieties, such as broccoli, lettuce and celery, exceed 90 percent in their water content.The obvious takeaway here is that a lack of water is the number one reason vegetable gardens fail to thrive.Also remember that gardens kept in the fall and winter require adequate watering, too.A deeper, vaster root system means better conveyance of water to the uppermost parts of the vegetable.A soaker hose will do a far better job of keeping the soil moist and letting water seep beneath.These issues can include diseases and fungus which will drastically affect the production of your garden.The best practice for watering a vegetable garden is to go about the work early in the day.You should strive for placing about an inch of water once each week on your vegetable garden.Taking care of your garden and raising healthy vegetables should be a fun endeavor

What To Do With My Garden At The End Of The Season

What To Do With My Garden At The End Of The Season

Annual vegetables are nearing the end of their lifespan and are starting to succumb to the nip of successively heavier frosts.If you would like to reduce the amount of work facing you during next year’s spring frenzy, consider some of these suggestions for putting your garden to bed

What Is The Best Manure To Use In A Vegetable Garden

What Is The Best Manure To Use In A Vegetable Garden

Animal manure has long been used as a fertilizer in gardens and on farm fields, creating nutrient-rich, moisture-retaining soil for your plants.Fresh cow manure , sometimes called moo doo, is about 17% organic matter, offers .3% nitrogen, .2% phosphorus, .4% potassium, and is 83% moisture.Dried cow manure has much higher nutrient levels - 2% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus, and 2.4% potassium—so you could use much less, roughly 10 pounds per 100 square feet.Dried cow manure has much higher nutrient levels - 2% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus, and 2.4% potassium—so you could use much less, roughly 10 pounds per 100 square feet.Fresh chicken manure, sometimes called hen dressing, is 25-45% organic matter, has 1.1% nitrogen, .8% phosphorus, and .5% potassium, and is 55-75% moisture.Because of its tendency towards alkalinity, poultry manure is unsuitable for lime-hating (ericaceous) plants, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, blueberries and heathers.Fresh horse manure , sometimes called road apples, is 24% organic matter, has .7% nitrogen, .3% phosphorus, and .6% potassium, and is about 75% moisture.Fresh rabbit droppings , AKA bunny honey, are 33% organic matter, offer 2.4% nitrogen, 1.4%phosphorus, .6% potassium, and only 43% moisture.Raw manure must be applied no less than 120 days prior to harvesting leafy crops or those that come in contact with the soil such as lettuce, beets, carrots, and potatoes.Fresh manure also can contain harmful pathogens including E

How To Grow Vegetables In Your Garden Uk

How To Grow Vegetables In Your Garden Uk

Another bonus is that you can choose organic produce and won’t have to rely on supermarkets and shops to get your veg intake.Anglian Home Improvements has created a handy A-Z Vegetable Cheat Sheet all about the best ways to grow your own veggies.Taking the top spot is curly kale, which is healthy, low in calories and a versatile cooking ingredient.On top of this relatively quick growing period, the plant can produce fresh tomatoes every day for up to six years.Grow your own and save money – one seed packet will provide five months' worth of the vegetable.Enjoy Country Living magazine delivered straight to your door every month with Free UK delivery.Subscribe now to save on the shop price + get instant digital access to the latest issue!This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses

When Should I Plant My Garden In Kentucky

When Should I Plant My Garden In Kentucky

City Last Frost Date First Frost Date Bowling Green 4/28 10/7 Danville 5/1 10/10 Frankfort 5/5 10/10 Henderson 4/21 10/8 Lexington 5/3 10/10 Louisville 4/19 10/20 Manchester 5/18 10/3 Middlesboro 5/15 10/5 Murray 4/17 10/10 Princeton 5/4 10/4 Scottsville 5/4 10/9 Williamsburg 5/11 10/6

Where Can I Buy Vegetable Soil

Where Can I Buy Vegetable Soil

This is especially advantageous for those whose property has hard-packed or clay soil, issues with tree roots, or concerns about pollutants.And since good soil is the foundation of a healthy garden, you want to make sure you’re setting your veggies up for success.The soil in a raised bed will remain loose and friable, rather than being hard-packed over time by footsteps.When I built my raised beds, I called around and ordered what I thought would be a good-quality triple mix.In Ontario where I live, triple mix is generally top soil, compost, and peat moss or black loam.All that rich organic matter is an important component that will hold moisture and provide nutrients to your plants.Topping up your beds with compost will add nutrients back into the soil to prepare it for whatever you plant next.To maintain the health of even the best soil for a raised garden bed, adding organic matter every year is essential.I find the soil levels in my raised beds are usually lower from the weight of the snow.If you have smaller containers to fill, check out Jessica’s recipes in her DIY potting soil article

When To Plant Fall Garden In Zone 7

When To Plant Fall Garden In Zone 7

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How To Start A Vegetable Garden In Ohio

How To Start A Vegetable Garden In Ohio

Ohioans enjoy a reasonably long vegetable-gardening season, starting as early as March and stretching on through late November.He says to start with cool-season vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and peas, that can tolerate lower soil and air temperatures, even a frost.Bergefurd also suggests beginning with transplants for broccoli and cabbage, either grown from seeds indoors or purchased at a garden center.Warmer-season crops — squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and beans — should be planted once soil temperatures reach 55 degrees or higher and the threat of frost has passed, typically in May.(Local soil temperatures can be found on the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center’s website, oardc.ohio-state.edu/weather1.).When Pam Bennett, horticulture educator and master garden volunteer program director at the Ohio State University Extension office in Clark County, teaches vegetable-gardening classes, she advises her students to always start with a plan.“If not, it’s way too easy to overplant when you go to the garden store and are tempted to buy the bargain four-pack of tomatoes for $1.99 versus the larger, single one for $1.29,” she says.The ideal location has six or more hours of sunlight, good drainage and easy access to a water source.Simply choose a place that gets the most sun or grow plants in containers on a sunny patio.Finally, sketch your garden layout in a loose-leaf notebook with page protectors for storing seed packets.Traditional wide rows are easy to weed and mulch, while hill planting warms the ground temperature for heat-loving squash and melon vines.Another option is planting varieties of the same vegetable that have different maturity dates (found on the back of the seed packets).Look for plants and seeds with names that include words such as patio, pixie, tiny, baby or dwarf.Amy Stone, educator at the Ohio State University Extension office in Lucas County, has plenty of experience growing food at her family’s farm and at several community plots, including one where she worked with volunteer youth to build a series of raised-bed vegetable gardens.These large wooden frames sit atop the ground and are filled with soil and plants.Stone says they tend to warm and drain quicker, making them easier to start in early spring.Next, line the underside with cloth or newspapers to keep grass or weeds from entering the raised bed garden.”.Soil: Fill the frame with a mix of topsoil and compost (leaf, mushroom or manure).Supports: Train sprawling plants like cucumbers to grow up wooden stakes or old tool handles by tying them with string, twine or stockings.Check the top and undersides of leaves for eggs, frass (insect excrement) and other clues.“Directly sow seeds in the garden as early as March or April to ensure a sweet, productive crop,” says Hogan.“Plant the seeds early in March or April, and give the vines a trellis to climb,” he says.“Avoid insect problems by using transplants and delay planting until a little later in the season, ideally mid-June,” says Hogan.Start with transplants, wait to plant them in warm weather, stake them and evenly water them throughout the season

Is Wood Chip Mulch Good For Garden

Is Wood Chip Mulch Good For Garden

Using wood chip mulch produces rich soil, as the Back to Eden method touts proudly.So in this article, we’ll break down the benefits wood chip mulch provides to gardeners.With the right information and the right action, you can incorporate this incredibly useful material into your landscape and boost the growth of your garden.It’s important to know which mulch is available to you and apply the appropriate materials to provide proper nutrients to your garden of choice.This material is a source of chips that come from the byproduct of your local tree service or work done by arborists.It can include any part of a tree removed by an arborist or service: berries, branches, leaves, blooms, and even roots.They may be treated with pesticides and herbicides which prevent weeds and insects from taking over your garden.This material is often used in situations where a homeowners association has designated a preferred color of mulch.Think of any wood chip that has been introduced to some form of additive to prevent disease, weeds, fire, or to colorize it.It’s generally a byproduct of lumber and paper manufacturing, and it’s spread to provide an aesthetic uniformity by retaining moisture and blocking out weeds.In general, wood chip mulch, when applied correctly, can be an excellent source of nutrients for your soil or compost pile.Wood chips also retain water in the soil, reduce weeds, and remedy topsoil erosion.Ask any regenerative agriculture nut, and they’ll tell you wood chips simulate the same process that occurs on the forest floor, one of the richest environments around.Wood chip mulch is a great way to prevent mud development in your garden because of its water retention properties.Adding a layer of wood chips to the ground to cover the soil surface, to reduce grass growth around trees, or to fill a muddy patch is a great way to carry out mulching in a natural way.Some modified wood chips keep pests out of the garden, allowing regular healthy growth to occur.Shrubs surrounded by a layer of red material can offset grass rather nicely.Throughout the winter months, mulched plants often have warmer root systems, enabling them to withstand colder conditions much more readily.A thick layer of wood chip applied in the fall can be the factor that keeps your plants from severe weather damage.If you’ve ever spread wood mulch you know it’s a great way to add a dash of pizazz to your landscape that will last for more than just one season.Don’t mix mulch into the soil, as that puts the decomposing material closer to your plant roots.Compost and wood mulch together can make water retention too high for some plants and trees.Covering the soil surface with sharp material like arborist wood chips or shredded bark mulch may not be preferable to homeowners for this reason.Termites may find fresh wood chips and want to make their way from that pile to your home.For a lot of people, this isn’t an option as garden beds are placed right near foundations, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it!Treated or modified mulch may not be the best option for your garden, especially where vegetable production is taking place.Many tree services want to just drop off a 10 to 20 cubic yard truckload all at once, and if you’re in a suburban area, you may find it difficult to handle that sort of quantity.This goes for transplants too… make sure roots are significantly developed before you add fresh mulch to the soil.This not only allows tree, plant, and shrub respiration, but it also gives them a little moat where moisture can collect and be used slowly and gradually.Most vegetable gardeners prefer softwoods like pine that breaks down easily so they don’t have to worry about improper plant growth.Typically, material from a garden center has been steam-sterilized, giving it an extra measure of protection from pest or disease transmission.Organic options like arborist chips are often considered to be safest for the surrounding ecosystem.But mulch too close to your home can encourage termites to move into the structure of your foundation

When Should I Plant My Vegetables Outside

When Should I Plant My Vegetables Outside

Growing your own vegetables from seed is a great way to give a supply of fresh organic produce as part of a healthy diet, but it is also highly rewarding and good for wellbeing.Throughout the gardening year it's a good idea to note down key information on weather conditions to help build your own personal vegetable planting calendar.Different varieties of the same type of vegetable can have different sowing and planting times, so always refer to the instructions on the seed packet.With the ground still very cold, January is a quiet time for sowing and planting vegetables, so this is the perfect opportunity to plan for the year ahead.Lay seed potatoes in a tray – egg boxes are often used – with their eyes point up and leave in a light, cool, frost-free place.'In February, you can start sowing choices such as broad beans, peas, carrots, onions, the first potatoes and salad crops under cloches,' explains gardening expert Leigh Clapp.Edibles that need warmth and are suited to growing in a greenhouse can also be planted under cover in February including tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and eggplant.With spring around the corner, February is a good time to prepare your beds for the growing season.Alternatively sow directly from March to May or in October to November for an early spring crop.If transplanting outside, sow seeds undercover in March and plant out once the risk of frost has past in later May.Radish – sow seeds direct where they are to grow in short drills 12 inches (30cm) apart from February until August.In milder regions and areas with light, sandy soil, March is the time when you can begin to sow some vegetable seeds outside.Sandy beds will benefit from the addition of organic matter to help the soil retain moisture.In cooler regions, and areas with heavy clay soil, outdoor sowing may be a little later, explains gardening expert Leigh Clapp.The ideal is loose, crumbly loam, which absorbs and holds water and nutrients, is well aerated and drains freely.'.If you live in a cooler region you may want to wait until April to begin direct sowing some of the vegetables on this list, however there are vegetable varieties that can be started off in the greenhouse in March, too, including: sweetcorn, spinach, parsnips, leek, kale, cauliflower, beetroot.Beetroot – direct sow in rows 12 inches (30cm) apart from March to July for harvesting in as little as 7 weeks.Broad beans – sow seeds direct outside into rich fertile soil enriched with manure or organic matter.Alternatively they can be sown under cover from January to March in modules and placed in a propagator ready for planting out later.April is a busy month in the vegetable garden as it is when the outdoor sowing season gets into full swing.If sowing direct avoid treading on freshly dug soil, instead use boards to stand on.Ensure the soil is well dug over and raked to a fine tilth – it needs to be free from stones as this can result in forked carrots.‘For sweet, small carrots, sow every few weeks from early spring to late summer for a successional harvest from June to November,’ says gardening expert Leigh Clapp.Alternatively, for an early crop, sow varieties such as 'Nantes' under cloches or in the greenhouse in February and March.Transplant seedlings to their final position in late June to July and when the plants have 5-6 true leaves.'For great-value yielders you can’t beat Swiss chard and perpetual spinach that will crop for a whole year and throughout winter,' says gardening expert Leigh Clapp.From mid-May the risk of frost in the UK has usually passed, meaning you can begin to direct sow half-hardy annuals and begin to harden off tender vegetables grown under cover ready for planting outside including courgettes, pumpkin and French beans.If you do not have a greenhouse or cold frame then move the plants outside into the sun for a couple of hours a during the day and slowly increase the time period.You can continue to direct sow broccoli, cabbage, carrot, parsnip, peas and spinach.Fennel – Sow seeds direct in late June in fertile, moist soil.July is the last chance to sow French beans and you can also plant out winter winer leeks into their final position.There is plenty of harvesting to be done in July which will keep you busy including, carrots, radish, beetroot, chard, peas, salad leaves, broad beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and more!Pak choi – great in soups and salads and easy to grow from seed, pak choi can be harvested in as early as 30 days in baby leaf form or in 45-70 days as semi-mature to full size heads.Garlic is often grown from sets rather than seed and is best planted in autumn as it needs a cold spell to stimulate growth.Sets should be purchased from garden centres or specialist mail order supplier and not from the supermarket.As the temperature drops there are little sowings that can be made in November, but there is still plenty of edibles to harvest including brassicas such as kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and kalettes.Root vegetables can be lifted including the last of the carrots, parsnip, beetroot and celeriac, plus hardy salad leaves can be picked.If you live in a mild area you can grow them in the ground and use cloches to protect them if temperatures dip dramatically.From March, frost-tender, half-hardy vegetables can be started off under cover ready for transplanting once the risk of frost has passed including zucchini, pumpkin, sweetcorn and aubergine.After this time, generally from late May and June, frost tender half-hardy annual vegetables can then be planted out into their final position or sown directly outside.Successive sowings of many fast maturing vegetables can be sown from March up until July including radish, beetroot and spring onions.The growing season slows from October when temperatures begin to dip but this is the prime time to plant garlic.winter salads can continue to be planted and broad beans can be sown for an early spring crop

How To Test Your Garden Soil

How To Test Your Garden Soil

A good soil test will evaluate the basic texture of your soil—sand, silt, or clay—and determine its acidity—the pH level.The available amounts of nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, will be calculated and recommendations will be made for raising each to the correct levels for optimum plant growth.For optimum plant growth, it is recommended to test your soil pH and nutrient status every 3 to 5 years.And the good news is that your county extension soil test is usually free or low cost.To take a representative sample, scrape away any surface litter, plant residues, leaves, etc.Avoid sampling in a spot where ashes have been dumped, manure or compost stored, or brush burned.Cut straight into the soil with a shovel or trowel 6 to 8 inches deep making a V-shaped hole.Measure out a cupful of soil, dry it indoors for a few days, and seal in a plastic bag with your information on it.When you get your test results, the fertilizer recommendations will be quite specific, and speak to three elements: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.If you are using fresh manure, spread it on in the fall so it can break down over the winter and be safe for spring planting.If you prefer, dried blood, alfalfa, soybean, or cottonseed meals can be substituted.It helps plants absorb minerals, grow strong stems, and withstand disease.It regulates the flow of water in plant cells and is necessary for flowering, fruiting, and disease resistance.Dig down to root level—about 6 inches—in the area that you want to test and remove enough soil to fill the the jar to between one-third and one-half full.This simple test can help you to decide what to grow: If your soil is high in sand, it will be well-draining.If you have sandy soil, add humus or aged manure, peat moss, or sawdust with some extra nitrogen.add humus or aged manure, peat moss, or sawdust with some extra nitrogen.A very high or very low soil pH may result in plant nutrient deficiency or toxicity.The best time to check for earthworms is in the spring when the soil’s temperature has reached 50°F and its surface is moist.If your soil has fewer than 10 worms, add more organic matter—compost, aged manure, leaf mold.Organic matter improves structure, slowly releases nutrients, and increases beneficial microbial activity

How To Make A Vegetable Garden In Clay Soil

How To Make A Vegetable Garden In Clay Soil

Clay soil is quite challenging and might need some special amendments before you can start a vegetable garden.Learn about amending and mulching from Ann Sanders, a veteran gardener and blogging enthusiast who has agreed to share her wisdom with us.Many people, who like gardening, feel that with proper care and nourishment, what you grow rewards you with handsome flora, feed, and foliage.I have been working with clay soil for a long time by converting it into a medium, rich in nutrients.This is why, I am providing you with some fantastic tips for starting a vegetable garden in clay soil, like a pro.There are numerous approaches for boosting the tilth of clay filled beds, let’s look at three of the most common.Hard clay soil is tough to till and difficult for delicate roots to penetrate.If the gardening area is big, a tiller works well and can mix the compost with the clay soil, even up to 12 inches deep.The compost and clay once mixed, will resolve the issue of flooding in the garden on being watered.Mixing can be done using a garden tiller, over and over, for at least 4-5 times, till the blades run in, smooth.Be sure to add a thick layer of cardboard to the soil before laying the mulch over the corrected clay.If just a small part of your garden has the clay makeup and it is hard for a shovel to get through it, then a different method can be used.Veggies like tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, radish, corn, green beans, and beets are easy to grow in tempered clay soil.Starting a vegetable garden in clay soil is possible if you have patience and stick to the rules.I hope this article has cleared most of your doubts regarding vegetable gardening in clay soil

Best Soil Mix For Vegetable Garden

Best Soil Mix For Vegetable Garden

Popular vegetable plants like cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are heavy feeders from the soil.Unfortunately, when these vegetables are planted into poor or tired soil, they end up with weak roots, stems and foliage.In fertile soil that is full of organic matter, the roots are able to soak in the nutrients they need with ease.Potting soil filled with humus, compost and rich organic matter allows roots to establish quickly.In fact, sadly, many cost more than it would to simply purchase your fresh organic vegetables at a farmer’s market!But not only are commercial potting soils costly, many also contain a myriad of artificial fertilizers and additives.Here is a look at the ingredients needed to create a great homemade potting mix for growing vegetables.We have also included a ratio chart at the end of the article for creating a great mix for growing.Nearly all vegetables, and annual and perennial flowers for that matter, flourish in rich, fertile soil.And by using the all-natural ingredients listed below, you can easily create an amazingly rich and fertile soil to power your plants all season long.Compost is teaming with life, and is a must-have ingredient for creating the best organic potting soil for vegetables.Two of the most important ingredients of all in a great homemade potting soil for vegetables are compost and perlite.From calcium to phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium and more, compost charges up your potting soil with energy.Worm castings are lightweight and work as the ultimate low and slow release fertilizer for vegetable plants.Plants that receive nutrients too quickly can overgrow their containers, and create more foliage than blooms and vegetables.Worm castings are the ultimate secret weapon in creating the best potting soil mix for vegetables.But worm castings release their energy and power slowly and help plants develop strong roots in the process.Egg shells add vital nutrients like calcium and other trace minerals to the soil.The calcium is important because it can help prevent blossom end rot on tomato and pepper plants.A few inches of gravel, wood chips or even a few larger rocks and stones placed in the bottom of each container can help excess water drain away from plants

How To Keep Your Vegetable Garden Healthy

How To Keep Your Vegetable Garden Healthy

If any one of these things is not present, the disease will not happen, so prevention involves knocking out at least one side of the triangle.It is a good idea to collect a few books, magazines, and catalogs that show what a healthy specimen looks like.Even when the tops appear healthy, it’s just a matter of time before a rotted root system kills a plant.Thorough composting generates high temperatures for extended lengths of time, which actually kill any pathogens in the material.Infected plant debris that has not undergone this process will reintroduce potential diseases into your garden.Viruses and bacteria often can only enter a plant through some sort of opening, and bug damage provides that.Aphids are one of the most common carriers, and thrips spread impatiens necrotic spot virus, which has become a serious problem for commercial producers over the past 10 years.Aster yellows (photo, right) is a disease carried by leaf­hoppers and has a huge range of host plants.Insect attacks are another way to put a plant under stress, rendering it less likely to fend off disease.If you are leaving stems and foliage to create winter interest, be sure to remove them before new growth starts in spring.Many rose companies offer plants that are resistant to diseases like powdery mildew and black spot.Prune damaged limbs at the right time Trimming trees and shrubs in late winter is better than waiting until spring.Wounded limbs can become infected over the winter, allowing disease to become established when the plant is dormant.Although late-winter storms can cause new damage, it is still better to trim back a broken limb than ignore it until spring is underway.If you set a shade-loving plant, like an azalea, in full sun, it will grow poorly and be easily attacked by diseases and insects.To avoid giving these diseases an environment they love, choose watering methods that limit moisture on a plant’s foliage.The most common leaf problems are exacerbated when leaves are wet, so overhead sprinkling is the least desirable option.Improving airflow around your plants reduces this high relative humidity and allows foliage to dry more quickly

The Best Vegetable Garden Soil Mix

The Best Vegetable Garden Soil Mix

In case you missed it: I had invited my email group to send me any questions they hoped I would answer on the topic of raised bed gardening.I received a huge response, many from folks who plan to start raised bed gardening for the first time this season.If you would like to join the conversation and contribute to future topics, click the red “Get Free Updates” button at the top of this page.It was rich with information learned through my many years of raised bed garden experience (also detailed last week) and a lot of research.Concrete blocks, for instance, are pretty unforgiving in structural soundness on uneven surfaces.The moist soil and plant material being held will put pressure on your bed side walls.Depending on bed length and the material you are using, it may be wise to add some wall support.(It helps to cut the bottom end of the 2”x4” stake into a point to make it easier to drive it into the ground).Since wood has the potential to bow or warp, note the direction of the grain at the end of each board.If you don’t use mortar to adhere your concrete blocks together, I recommend using rebar, which can be driven down through the hollow cores or using some other method of staking to better hold up to the bed pressure.The healthy raised bed soil will infiltrate and improve the health of that subsurface over time, and regardless of how high you are building, it doesn’t hurt to offer your plant’s roots the opportunity to reach down even deeper.For those of you building on hardscape or over contaminated soil, don’t feel like you are missing out on not being able to break up the surface.Additional Structure Considerations: If you are dealing with gophers or other subterranean root-chompers, these burrowing pests are best prevented during the raised bed construction phase.Consider adding a layer of chicken wire or other metal mesh to the bottom of your raised beds.Stainless steel hardware cloth reportedly lasts even longer than galvanized.Burrowing rodents are crafty creatures, so extend your mesh barrier up, alongside the sidewalls of your bed structure.Yes, this can be a lot of work, but you’ll only get one shot at this preventative measure, without having to deconstruct your raised beds down the road.Regardless of the size you are building, the depth you are creating, or the material you are using; I don’t recommend weed cloth.You might think it’s a neat and tidy improvement to place that clean, black weed cloth at the base of your garden bed.Weed mat – regardless of material – provides no benefit and will hamper drainage as the pores eventually clog.The only time I would consider an exception to this rule and risk drainage loss is when fighting Bermuda grass.Instead, the soil is the environment that promotes a healthy ecosystem below the surface – that can facilitate (or hinder) the ability for air, water and nutrients to be utilized by plants and their roots at an optimal level.A healthy soil food web is busy with billions of microscopic organisms as well as larger creatures, like earthworms, all working together.A soil food web is complex, so building that healthy ecosystem doesn’t mean a trip to the home improvement store, buying lots of bags of garden soil to fill up all your raised bed space.Over the years, I’ve developed a mixture of elements that has brought me abundant gardening success.As mentioned earlier in this series, your soil is not the area in which I recommend cutting corners cost-wise.The U.S Composting Council encourages all gardeners and growers to “strive for five.” This refers to the goal of making the organic matter in your soil 5% of the total (by weight).The rough estimate to make that 5% happen is to include organic material of about 30% by volume to the total.It should tend towards the darker side of brown vs

Best All Purpose Organic Fertilizer For Vegetable Garden

Best All Purpose Organic Fertilizer For Vegetable Garden

Our top pick, Jobe's Organics All Purpose Fertilizer , contains a balanced blend that promotes growth, improves soil conditions, and protects against drought and disease.Just as we use vitamins to supplement our diet, flowers, trees, and garden plants need fertilizer to get the nutrients missing from unhealthy soil .Over the last four years, we've spent hours researching and testing the best fertilizers on the market, evaluating formulation, effectiveness, and ease of use.The balanced mineral-based 14-14-14 NPK formula works well for vegetables, flowers, fruits, and shrubs, from apples to zinnias.Suitable for vegetables and flowers during the growing season, you can use Espoma on trees and shrubs in the spring and fall and indoor plants year-round.The organic matter helps improve water movement within the soil and feeds beneficial microbes.“I still use Hyponex 10-10-10 today because it also works well to feed trees, shrubs, and so many plants.” — Mary Marlowe Leverette , Master Gardener.While it’s best to test the soil every year, a fast-release granular inorganic fertilizer like Hyponex with an NPK of 10-10-10 will give the seeds and seedlings a good boost toward maturity and vegetable production.We tend to forget that mature, established trees and shrubs require nutrients to remain healthy.“I use Miracle-Gro for all of my indoor plants and the cherry tomatoes in containers on my patio.” — Mary Marlowe Leverette , Master Gardener.Regular feeding of a container plant can be tricky because you must apply the fertilizer in a way that reaches the root system.While Scotts is a leading name in lawn products, what sets this formula apart is that it feeds for up to six months and does not need reapplication in most parts of the U.S

Can You Plant A Vegetable Garden In June

Can You Plant A Vegetable Garden In June

If seeds are planted in too cool soil, you'll lose both money and precious growing time.So for a June plant, match your region's average soil temperatures with vegetables best suited to those conditions.But those who live in warm climates can sow these same seeds straight into the ground in early spring.Some think it's an exercise in futility to grow vegetables in these areas, but certain hardy plants do well in cool climates.In June, plant root vegetables like radishes, carrots, beets, and potatoes so that their sprouts appear after the last frost (which can happen in mid-June in high mountain regions).Hardy plants like peas, scallions, kale, and chard also do well sown straight into the ground.By June, summer temperatures should be in full swing in zones 4 and 5, Northern Midwest and Southern New England.And if summer decides to cut short, throw a frost cover over any remaining plants with fruit to enjoy your harvest a little longer.These zones, the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and mid-Atlantic, have some of the best climates for seed germination (and good soil to boot).Since seeds and seedlings love water and need to be constantly hydrated—almost soaked—to sprout, the mild June rains in the Pacific Northwest are perfect.Quick Tip Arugula, chard, and spinach thrive in wet temperatures, and these greens will be some of the first crops you harvest in June if in the Pacific Northwest

Where Can I Buy Plants For My Vegetable Garden

Where Can I Buy Plants For My Vegetable Garden

After it blooms, harvest the seeds--they are what you buy in spice jars as coriander, another common ingredient in Asian cooking.Some gardeners also let the seeds drop to make new plants.Fall is a great time to grow cilantro in mild climates, as the plants are frost tolerant and love the cool weather in fall, winter, and early spring.Organic varieties are only available at retailers

Where Is The Best Place For A Vegetable Garden

Where Is The Best Place For A Vegetable Garden

These things should be taken into account no matter which method of gardening you’re employing—in containers on a balcony, in raised beds in your front yard, or elsewhere.In general, the more sunlight your garden receives, the greater the quantity and quality of your crops.Tip: In cooler climates, a suntrap or cold frame is ideal for tender crops.Nothing burns out a beginning gardener faster than having to lug water to thirsty plants during a heat wave.The soil near walls, fences, and under overhanging trees tends to be too dry for good plant growth, which is why an open area is best.Shelter from winds is helpful for most crops, especially those that grow upright and produce abundant amounts of fruit, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, peas, beans, and any other climbing vegetables.“Loamy” soil is composed of almost equal amounts of sand and silt with a little less clay.To test, add ½ gallon of water to an already damp pit and time how long it takes to drain.Many university extension services will test your soil for a small fee (or for free), providing you insight into its structural quality (sandy, loamy, or clayey), as well as its pH level (acid or alkaline?).This is especially important in urban and suburban areas, where lead and other harmful materials may be a concern.In choosing a location, avoid any low spots that stay wet in the spring.Water runoff makes hillsides drier, whereas the bottom of the slope may be wetter.Almost every yard has microclimates, which are areas with differing weather conditions brought about by natural or manmade factors.Examine your space and consider nearby structures, trees, shrubs, hard surfaces, and other factors when you select your garden site.However, the leeward (downwind) side of the vertical object will limit rainfall, making the adjacent ground drier.Fences, walls, and hedges trap blowing snow into tall drifts on their windward side, potentially crushing plants located there.A structure such as a house, fence, shed, or high wall will cast shade and lower temperatures on its east-, north-, and west-facing sides at varying times of the day.In warm seasons, the ground in the shaded areas retains moisture longer.However, the leeward (downwind) side of the vertical object will limit rainfall, making the adjacent ground drier.Fences, walls, and hedges trap blowing snow into tall drifts on their windward side, potentially crushing plants located there.This occurs not just at ground level; even roof runoff from clogged gutters can drench foundation plants and encourage deadly root rot.Sidewalks, driveways, roads, walls, or patios made of nonpermeable materials absorb and release heat.Gardening can take a lot of work, so start with a small bed and focus your energy on it for the best chances of success!Visit our complete Gardening for Everyone hub, where you’ll find a series of guides—all free!

Should Vegetables Be Planted In Full Sun

Should Vegetables Be Planted In Full Sun

Are you afraid your crops, flowers, and foliage might suffer if your garden doesn’t get enough sun?Choose wisely and your veggies will be fine with as little as two hours of direct sun a day.A plant can’t survive without the sun, so a full shade garden is not the best idea for growing crops.A plant can’t survive without the sun, so a full shade garden is not the best idea for growing crops.Here a high canopy tree or other types of lower growing foliage can obstruct the sun.Here a high canopy tree or other types of lower growing foliage can obstruct the sun.In a partially shaded yard, your crops will receive plenty of direct sunlight, between two to six hours a day.Choose a plot with plenty of sunlight and you’ll increase your crop yields.One of the easiest to grow, cukes have very broad leafy foliage, a common trait in many full-sun plants.Yet, extreme variation in temperature can cause the flowers to drop off and the plant to forgo producing for the year.If you opt for growing bell peppers, water them daily as they’re highly sensitive to heat.Too much sun can cause sunscald damage which appears in the form of large, pale areas on the fruit.If you provide rich soil and good positioning, your tomatoes can reach a height of up to seven feet tall.Make sure your soil is free of nitrogen, as it can cause vigorous foliage and poor fruit production.Some bush tomato varieties are adopted to cool regions and can thrive in shaded plots.As for pro gardening advice, plant the shade-loving ground cover veggies under taller foliage.Full sun on broccoli will lead to the rapid growth of flowers (which ruins the taste).Whereas partial sun encourages tighter heads and slower development of flowers.Yet, if you plant them in full shade, paint your walls and fences white so the crop can get some reflected sunlight.Although they don’t appreciate full sun exposure, they require between six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day.Like broccoli, limiting sunlight to under six hours daily means tighter heads of cauliflower.If you plant the herb in pots, place them in a shielded patio area to protect your coriander from direct, burning heat.Leeks thrive in cooler, moist environments compared to regular root onions.Onions prefer temperate climates without extreme hot or cold temperatures.Pea, this early summer vegetable, will develop more foliage than edible seeds if exposed to too much sun.If planted this way, the leaf foliage will cover the weed and keep the soil cool for better yields.Spring varieties of radishes tend to mature rapidly, so harvest them before they pass their prime.Similar to beets and onions in growth pattern, the rutabaga needs restricted sunlight in order to encourage deeper (larger) roots.They prefer cooler soil, so if your climate includes intense periods of heat, make sure to give them some shade.Bear in mind that your rutabaga will develop a smaller root crop if planted in full shade.While they won’t appreciate full shade, some vegetables have a high tolerance for a shady environment.Asparagus, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, radishes, and parsnips bloom in shady spots.Asparagus, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, radishes, and parsnips bloom in shady spots.These green edibles will even lose a bitter taste if grown in a shaded garden.If they’re left to mature in hot, dry weather, the crops will develop bitter flavor and flimsy texture.Feeding your soil with plenty of organic matter will help the plant produce tender leaves.Too much sun can cause lettuce to start diverting nutrients to seed production which results in a bitter taste.You can also choose to position your lettuce in shady areas or use overhead irrigation to cool plants.Another delicate leafy plant, swiss chard doesn’t enjoy a lot of sunlight.Swiss chard is a hardy plant that can thrive in almost fully shaded garden areas

How To Make Good Soil For Vegetable Garden

How To Make Good Soil For Vegetable Garden

Once that is done you move to the next row, removing 1 foot of topsoil, depositing it in the trench next to it, then loosening the subsoil with a spading fork.You repeat this process until you reach the end of the bed, at which point you use the reserved soil on the tarp to backfill the final trench

How To Buy Vegetable Plants Online

How To Buy Vegetable Plants Online

With summer weather right around the corner, now’s the time to be thinking about the fresh produce and herbs you want to grow in your garden this year.They offer close to 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, as well as a cool collection of “patio-ready” plants that don’t need to be transplanted!You’ve probably seen this brand name on seed packages at your local garden center, but Burpee also has potted plants for sale online.They currently have everything from cherry tomatoes and peppers to blueberry bushes and citrus trees, as well as a comprehensive selection of culinary herbs.Gurney’s even offers a range of container gardening supplies to help you create a convenient setup where your plants will thrive