Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Secrets Of Having A Good Vegetable Garden

By Marshall Clewis

A good vegetable garden can give the homeowner immense satisfaction and pride. What can surpass the flavour of freshly-cut asparagus, garden-fresh peas, a bowl of freshly picked strawberries or corn on the cob boiled and eaten within minutes of picking from the garden? Only a home gardener or a true gourmet really appreciates the difference in flavour between "store bought" produce and garden-fresh vegetables.

Plan to grow the vegetables which your family enjoys. Consideration of family preferences will go a long way towards making the vegetable garden a success.

Locate your vegetable garden where it will receive at least six hours of sunshine during sunny days.

A few crops can be planted in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. These include peas, onions, lettuce, radish, spinach, parsnips and beets but in general, it is not advisable to plant your vegetable garden until after danger of frost is past.

The soil should be well dug and fertilized before planting. For root crops such as carrots, it should be free of hard lumps or stones. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage do best if a high nitrogen fertilizer is used.

Buy good seed from a reputable dealer. Plant varieties suited to your locality. If you purchase plants to set out in your garden, examine them carefully and do not buy any which are diseased - watch for spots on stems and leaves or galls on roots.

Transplanting - When setting out plants like the snapdragons in the garden, choose a dull, sunless day if at all possible. If plants are set out on dry, sunny days or when the wind is strong, the newly set snapdragons plants may dry out before the roots become established, causing severe stunting or even death of the plants. For best results, water the plants immediately after transplanting with about 1 pint of water-soluble fertilizer solution such as 1 tablespoon of 20-20-20 dissolved in a gallon of water.

Spray or dust regularly during the summer to keep down insect pests and diseases. A Multi-Purpose Flower and Vegetable Spray is an excellent all-around treatment for most common insect and disease troubles. Cabbages and other related cole crops will require frequent treatment to keep them free from insects. After edible portions of crops appear, or if insects are present just before harvest, use a non-toxic type insecticide such as Neem oil which is all natural and organic.

One tip from a Lazy Husband: Do not plant any more than your wife can keep weeded.

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