Helpful Vegetable Gardening Tips for the Blooming Green Thumb!

Looking for Vegetable gardening tips? There's nothing more rewarding than enjoying fresh, beautiful vegetables grown right in your own garden. Whether you're new to the game or are looking for some answers follow these vegetable gardening tips and you'll enjoy a beautiful, healthy garden.

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Great Soil for Happy Veggies

Having good soil is the foundation for a beautiful garden. Use layers of compost, mulch and fertilizer and mix them in with a rototiller or by hand with gardening tools to build up healthy, aerated soil.

Raised beds warm faster and promote faster plant growth. Leave flattened, or stoned rows in between for walking—this makes it easier to water, harvest and weed without tramping on your plants—and keep the soil moist but not muddy.

Start With a List

To keep track of what you are doing in the garden, you might like to Click and Print the free Plant Notes Printable Page.

Think of all the vegetables you love to eat, or start with the basics. Most people grow carrots, tomatoes, lettuces and beans. These are all fairly easy to grow. Squash like zucchini are also fun to grow and many can store for a long time in the fall after harvest. Once you have your list order or purchase your seeds and follow the directions on the packets of how to plant them. Some seeds are better to start inside.

Some plants like sun and some prefer shadier areas. Always read the instructions for the particular plant before sowing the seeds.

This link provides a great guide to look at for growing veggies and fruit.

Starting Seeds Indoors

If you want to get an early start on your garden start seeds indoors where you can control the temperature. Young plants will die if frost hits them so keeping them nice and warm and moist during their infancy gives them a good start in life.

One thing to remember: always follow instructions on the seed packets. Don't start plants too early indoors or you'll have them growing out of their boxed before the garden's ready for them.

Some general rules to go by when germinating seeds indoors are:

  1. Start broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, lettuce, peppers and cabbage eight weeks before the last frost.
  2. Start tomatoes six weeks before the last frost.
  3. Cucumbers and squash should be started four weeks before the last frost.
  4. Leeks, onions and celery should be started 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost.

Lettuces

Nothing beats a fresh, crisp salad on a hot summer day. Salads are so much better when they're picked fresh. Grow a variety of lettuces including romaine and leaf lettuce in soil with a pH of 6.5, in moist conditions. Water lettuces regularly. They grow best alongside plants like broccoli or brussel sprouts, which are slow growing. Lettuces can also be germinated and grown indoors if it's really hot out.

Tomatoes

Fresh grown tomatoes outshine store bought tomatoes any day. They're sweeter and as long as the weather has been favorable for growing they usually have a better texture. There are many varieties of tomatoes, from little cherry tomatoes to big, juicy beefsteak varieties.

Some tomatoes grow better in different climates, so finding a strain of tomato that suits your climate works best. Some tomatoes will also be ready for harvest sooner, and there are even hybrid types that are disease resistant. There's also the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes, the former ripening all at the same time and the latter ripening at different times. It's all up to you to choose.

Stake your tomatoes at a fairly early stage to help them keep upright and support the stalk once the fruit ripens. You can also find hanging baskets of cherry tomatoes that are great to have on hand for salads.

One last thing about tomatoes—they love sun! Plant your tomatoes in a spot where they'll get lots of warm sunshine and be sure to check if they need water daily. Snipping off small shoots or leaves at the bottom will also help the fruiting parts of the plant grow better.

Weed Control

Weeds can be the most annoying thing about a garden. Unfortunately if you want good veggies you can't just let the weeds run free. They'll take over!

The best thing to do is weed right in the spring before you plant. When you're mixing your soil or rototilling you'll come across big rooted plants that you should pull out and discard away from your garden. As your garden grows in the spring stay on top of them as well. Picking small weeds with shallow roots is much easier than trying to tackle deep-rooted ones.

Always take out weeds before they seed. They spread like wildfire and steal space, nutrients and sunlight from your vegetables. Weeding may be the most monotonous task during the gardening season but it's a great way to get outdoors—get the kids to help!

These vegetable gardening tips will help you get started on a beautiful garden that provides fresh, lovely produce to enjoy later in the season. Growing your own garden is so satisfying and it really catches on quick as a hobby once you start to see thing grow. It's time to test your green thumb!

Like to keep notes on what your plants are doing? Click and Print the free Plant Notes Page.

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