10 Best Vegetable
Gardening Tips for your Vegetable Gardens
We share with you our
vegetable gardening tips for growing vegetables that will turn your
vegetable gardens from so-so to all go-go! Growing Vegetables is easy,
if you know how.
If you have had a veggie patch but failed where most of the vegetables
struggled to grow and the rest were buffet spreads for the insects and
birds, we suggest that you don't give up but to try again, this time
using our top 10 secrets to great vegetable growing.
vegetables not only saves you money at the grocery store in feeding
your family, but it also gives you a thrill of being able to be self-suffcient
and know that you are growing good, clean food for your family's
Vegetable Gardening Tips
#1 : Only
Plant the Vegetables that you Like to Eat
Growing vegetables is
therefore it makes no sense to plant rows and rows of radishes just
because they are a quick and easy vegetable to grow if no one eats
Vegetable Gardening Tips
Preparing the Soil for Growing
Your soil is the life blood of your vegetables. If you have poor soil
you will have poor vegetables. And there is really no excuse for poor
soil. I have even grown vegetables most successfully on slabs of
concrete when I didn't have a garden. Growing vegetables in containers
is one way of controlling the soil composition.
So how to you get good
need to make sure that your soil has plenty of nutrients that will feed
your vegetables as they grow. You do this by adding farmyard manure,
blood and bone, and lime to your soil. However, not all plants like
lime, so make sure that when you add the lime you are only adding it to
areas that will complement the plants growing in that area.
manures are the
backbone to improving poor soil, as well as
the addition of chopped pea straw or legumes that can be turned back
into the soil, such as a green cover
crop that was grown for this purpose.
Rabbit manure is excellent
as you can add
this directly to your plants without waiting for it to rot down, but
any other manure, especially chicken manure which is
rich in nitrogen
but very strong needs at at least 6 weeks to rot down before adding it
to your soil.
By adding manure
your soil you will also be cutting down on the amount of watering
needed as your soil will now retain more moisture. The manure will also
encourage good root development.
In addition to feeding your soil to build it up, you also need to know
what the pH of your soil is and whether it is acidic or alkaline.
Different fruits and vegetables prefer different pH levels and you need
to know their preferences to prepare the soil accordingly. Cabbages,
for example like a pH of 8.5 which is highly alkaline, whereas
blueberries like acidic conditions with a pH of 4-6.
To make your soil more alkaline, add agricultural
lime to your soil. Do this slowly and test after each
application to make sure that you have the right conditions for
whatever you are planting. Adding lime to your soil if you are planting
brassicas is important for preventing clubfoot disease, a major problem
of this family of vegetable. However, potatoes, pumpkin, and parsnips
do not like lime at all.
Tips on Liming the Soil
Peas, peppers, tomatoes, turnips, rutabaga and squash need a light
application of lime every 3-4 years. 1 pound on a 22 foot row would be
Broccoli, corn, cucumber, eggplant, endive, kale, leeks, peas, melons,
radishes and spinach like a moderate application of lime. About 3
pounds of lime to a 22 foot row every 3-4 years is sufficient.
Asparagus, beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, lettuce
and onions are heavy lime feeders. Apply about 5 pounds to a 22 foot
row every 3-4 years.
If you have a wood lot where you cut your own firewood for your open
fireplaces the wood ash from hardwoods can be added to your
as it will provide potassium necessary for raising the pH level of your
soil if it is low and acidic. If you already have a good pH of say 7
and your soil is neutral or alkaline, then if you add more wood ash on
a regular basis you will end up interfering with the plants ability to
take up nutrients.
The Ideal pH Levels for
Know what conditions your vegetables like growing in. Tomatoes, for
example like an acidic soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5. However, almost all
vegetables like a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
6.0 to 6.5
6.0 to 6.5
6.0 to 6.8
Cabbage Cauliflower Kohlrabi
5.8 to 6.8
5.5 to 6.0
6.0 to 6.5 Corn Lettuce
Swiss Chard Spinach
5.5 to 6.0
5.5 to 6.5
5.8 to 7.0
5.5 to 6.0
4.5 to 6.5
6.0 to 6.8 Beets Carrots
6.0 to 6.5
6.0 to 6.8
6.5 - 7.5
6.0 - 8.0
5.0 - 8.0
needed for Good Soil:
important for good growth, promoting cell formation and
sources for nitrogen are
manure, compost, fish-emulsion, blood meal, and legume cover crops.
strong roots and the
formation of flowers, fruits and seeds, and helps the plants resist
disease. If the soil is poor in phosphorus your plants will stunted,
with thin stems and a purple tinge to the leaves on the underside. Good
sources for phosphorus can be found in bone meal and
important for your plants to
grow well and to resist disease. Too little potassium will result in
stunted plants, poor yields and yellow leaves. A good source of
potassium can be found in wood ash and greens.
Calcium is vital in
celled-walls and also prevents blossom-end rot which is a common
problem in tomato growing. Natural
sources of calcium include wood ash,
crushed egg shells and bone meal.
These are the main elements, but of course, not all.
So pre-testing your soil
to see what
you need to add to get it to where you want it to be, is the key to
success ad for us the most important of the vegetable gardening tips as
this is the foundation for good veggies.
Vegetable Gardening Tips #3 : Easy
Vegetables to Grow
If you are growing vegetables for the first time, choose vegetables
that are easy to grow:
Beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, chard, corn, endive,
Jerusalem artichokes, kale, lettuce, okra, onions, parsnips, peas,
potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, tomatoes and turnips.
Vegetable Gardening Tips #4 : Selecting Fresh Vegetable Seeds
Make sure that you buy or use open-pollinated seeds that are organic.
Any open-pollinated seeds can be planted and then harvested again and
again, season after season. Seed-saving
is one of the joys of growing your own vegetables.
The seed that you use should be fresh and therefore important that you
check the sell-by date on the packets. If you are keeping your
vegetable seeds from one season to another then you should know how
long your vegetable seeds will last.
Plan your garden well in advance, usually during the winter is a good
idea, and then draw out your beds on paper placing where your
vegetables will go. Make sure that you protect your plants with companion
planting , never planting just one type of vegetable in the
This is just asking for trouble.
Vegetable Gardening Tips #5 : Planting your Seeds out at the
Time for Growing Vegetables
Don't be too hasty in setting out your seeds. Know
when to plant your vegetables. There is a time for
There is a time to plant and a time to harvest... The time to plant is
when the soil has warmed up sufficiently after the winter, and the
chances of frosts have passed.
It is also important to plant
by the moon to get the best results. I have proved this time
I particularly like Maria Thun's way of doing things and plant my
vegetables according to her online calendar .
For those of you with limited space, grow more vegetables in less space
by growing them according to Mel
Bartholemew's Squarefoot Gardening method .
Vegetable Gardening Tips #6 : Planting Successively
When growing vegetables many complain that they end up with too many
lettuces or too many tomatoes all at once. This happens when you end up
planting your seeds all at once, rather than staggering the planting
By staggering the planting time say, every 2-3 weeks, you can then be
sure of getting a continual supply of your vegetables throughout the
If you do end up with a glut of one particular vegetable one can either
freeze the excess or look at home
Vegetable Gardening Tips #7:
Don't neglect your vegetables once they are established. You will need
to feed them regularly to get the best results. Particularly heavy
feeders like tomatoes
and strawberries .
You can do this by making up a good growing
brew . One of my favorites is this recipe:
1 part fish emulsion
2 parts kelp (dried, powdered seaweed)
10 parts dried farmyard manure
50 part water
Mix in a large container. Cover. Leave to stand for 2 days, stirring
To use pour half a pint around each of your corn, tomato, squash,
melon, peppers and eggplants and the other pint over the leaves. The
best way to do this is to take a small tree branch and dip it into the
brew and flick it over the leaves until it is finished. Apply twice
during the growing season.
For acid loving plants, add 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar to the pint and
feed this to your strawberries and blueberry
Vegetable Gardening Tips #8
: Spray your
Vegetables with Organic Sprays
When you grow your vegetables organically, that doesn't mean to say
that you never need to spray. You do, as there are lots of things that
can go wrong with your vegetables:
1) Sucking Insects such as aphids, scale, thrips and leaf hoppers.
2) Chewing Insects such as caterpillars, slugs and beetles.
3) Ground Insects that migrate from one plant to another, usually at
night, such as snails, grasshoppers, cutworms and sow bugs.
3) Fungus and Blights like mildew, rust and leaf spot.
We have a page of natural
pesticides for most insecticide and fungicide problems.
Vegetable Gardening Tips #9
: Water your
A good watering program is very important when growing vegetables. If
you do not water them regularly the vegetables will start to show
stress and will not grow properly as a result. Tomatoes are
particularly sensitive to erratic watering.
Rather water your vegetables in the morning, rather at night, so that
you don't encourage mildew, particularly if you live in a humid area. A
good soaking every 2 days is preferable to light waterings every day,
unless you live in a very hot area, where you will need to water every
Vegetable Gardening Tips #10 : Harvest your Vegetables
The best part of growing vegetables is of course harvesting your
vegetables. Start harvesting them young when they are tender and sweet.
Small carrots are delicious, so are pea shoots and tender beans. The
more you pick the more you will harvest! Enjoy!
For more information see our page on growing
If you have Vegetable
Gardening Tips of your own we would love to hear
Just send us your vegetable gardening tips by typing in the form below.
We will post the submission within a day or two.
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