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What Vegetables Grow Well in Western Tennessee?


What grows very well in western TN? I'm thinking vegetables. Mostly sandy soil with some going toward clay. It rains a lot here.


Hardiness Zone: 6b

LJS from Lexington, TN



I know I sound like a broken record, but before planting anything at all I would start with a soil test. Once you find out the soils pH and what (if any) nutrients are lacking, you can work to amend the soil.

One the one hand, the loose particles in sandy soil makes it easy to work with. One the other hand, sandy soil allows nutrients to drain away much too rapidly. This is especially true in areas like yours that receive plenty of rain. Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beets, and radishes tend grow well in sandy soil as long as you supply them with adequate nutrients.

Clay-based soils, on the other hand, prevent water from draining away so they are more likely to waterlog your root veggies. Clay soil also tends to be more fertile. This type of soil is better suited to growing the hungrier vegetables like cabbage and broccoli.

Both types of soil can be improved greatly with regular additions of organic matter (well-rotted manure, compost, or leaf mold). These amendments will condition the soil, improve water retention and drainage, and add valuable organic nutrients.

Another option is to build raised beds. This allows you to increase the amount you grow using less space. You can also increase the variety of vegetables you grow because you only have to focus on improving the soil (or bringing in new soil) for those targeted areas.

Good luck!


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About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

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May 29, 20080 found this helpful

Check the web for your local extension service.

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July 12, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Ellen, I live in Decaturville Tn and we have found that chert grows green beans, corn and tomatoes grow very well. We usually are over run with green beans ad tomatoes.Also cucumbers.

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