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Growing Vegetables in Home Gardens

Growing Vegetables in Home Gardens

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Published by Sharad Bhutoria

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Published by: Sharad Bhutoria on Aug 04, 2010
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09/27/2010

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PB 901
GrowingVegetablesin HomeGardens
 
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Table of Contents
Introduction
....................................................................................................................................3
Basic Techniques .........................................................................................................3
Site Selection ....................................................................................................................................................................3Planning the Garden .........................................................................................................................................................3Gardening Tools ...............................................................................................................................................................3Soil Preparation ................................................................................................................................................................4Guide to Spring-planted, Cool-season Vegetables ...........................................................................................................5Fertilizer and Lime ...........................................................................................................................................................5Guide to Warm-season Vegetables ...................................................................................................................................6Guide to Fall Vegetables ...................................................................................................................................................7Seeding and Spacing ........................................................................................................................................................8Timing Plantings ..............................................................................................................................................................9Transplants .......................................................................................................................................................................9Irrigation .........................................................................................................................................................................11Weed Control .................................................................................................................................................................11Insect and Disease Control .............................................................................................................................................12Harvesting ......................................................................................................................................................................12
Advanced Gardening Techniques .............................................................................14
Plant Supports.................................................................................................................................................................14Mulching .......................................................................................................................................................................14Composting ....................................................................................................................................................................15Reduced Spacing ............................................................................................................................................................15Protective Devices ..........................................................................................................................................................16Trickle Irrigation ............................................................................................................................................................18Transplant Production ....................................................................................................................................................18Saving Seed ....................................................................................................................................................................19
 
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Introduction
Gardening can be highly rewarding, but it is not with-out problems and eorts. A successul garden requires agood site, careul planning, good management and consid-erable hard work. Insects, diseases and weeds require con-trol measures. Acidic, inertile, poorly drained or sandy soilmay have to be improved. Shade and extremes o moistureand temperature are other problems that must be overcomeor a garden to be successul.For those willing to plan careully and to perormtimely gardening tasks, gardening can be very worthwhile.A vegetable garden can produce a steady supply o vegeta-bles rom spring to all. These vegetables can be harvested atoptimum maturity and eaten or preserved while resh. Freshvegetables may be higher in favor and nutritive value andlower in cost than purchased vegetables, which may havebeen harvested several days earlier. Vegetable productionprovides healthul exercise and an interesting outdoor activ-ity or the entire amily. Many gardeners eel the sense o ac-complishment, sel-suciency and security accompanying asuccessul garden are other signicant rewards o gardening.
Basic Techniques
Site Selection
A good garden site is essential or high vegetableyields. Poor sites not only produce low yields, but may alsobe extremely dicult to grow a garden on at all.Choose a garden site with deep, medium-textured,well-drained, nearly level soil. Fine-textured, clay soils staywet late into the spring, are dicult to work and tend tocrust badly. Sandy soils dry out very quickly and requirerequent nutrient applications. Excessive slopes tend toerode. A slight slope, however, is desirable to prevent coolair rom collecting and orming a rost pocket.Most garden vegetables require six hours o sunlightor more per day to produce well. The more the garden isshaded, the slower the vegetables will grow and the lowertheir yields will be. Trees and large shrubs not only shadegardens, but also use nutrients and water needed or propervegetable growth.A site near the house makes it more convenient to careor the garden and to harvest vegetables. Water is availableor transplanting and irrigation. Children or animals in thegarden can be observed, and the garden may be protectedrom these and other potential problems.
Planning the Garden
A garden plan will save time, space and money. Yieldswill be increased, as will the length o the harvest season.Begin by making a scale drawing o your availablegarden area on graph paper. Divide the drawing into cool-season and warm-season vegetable planting areas.Cool-season vegetables are those such as onions, cab-bage, radishes and English peas. They require cool weatherto grow and mature properly and can withstand some rost.Cool-season vegetables are planted in the early spring andagain in the all. Warm-season vegetables require warmweather to grow properly and are planted ater the soilhas warmed up. Frost will kill warm-season vegetables.Examples o warm-season vegetables include okra, sweetpotatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes.The cool-season section o the garden will be plantedearly and harvested in time to be replanted. Alternate thecool and warm-season areas o the garden each year toreduce plant pest problems.Decide which vegetables to grow and the amount o each vegetable you want. Use Tables 1-3 (pages 5 through7) to estimate the row lengths required to obtain the desiredamounts. Sketch and label the rows o each vegetable onyour plan to scale, using the row spacings suggested inTables 1-3. Be sure to arrange the rows so tall vegetableswon’t shade shorter ones. Make a note o the planting dates,varieties and amount o seeds required on your plan so aperiodic glance will show what needs to be done.
Gardening Tools
An ecient garden that’s un to work in requires thecorrect tools. It is not necessary to have a lot o tools, butthey should be good quality. All gardeners will require theollowing:1.
 A shovel or a spade.
Shovels are long-handled andhave wide, rounded blades. Spades are shorter and
Originally developed by David W. Sams, Proessor Emeritus, Plant and Soil ScienceRevised by Gary Bates, Proessor and Extension Coordinator, Plant Sciences
Growing Vegetablesin Home Gardens

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