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I am trying hard to find out how to grow vegetables. How do I prepare the soil, ie. lime? fertilizers? compost? What time of the year for what plants? Help please.
If you live in the US, each state has an "agricultural extension service" whose purpose is to support people who are farming or gardening. They offer advice, literature, sometimes classes, and consultants. You can find their phone number in your phone book, via google, or by calling your public library and asking them.
Gardening feeds not just the body, but the soul! Good luck!
If you start early garden planting, you run the risk of too much of a rainy season unless you have the planting done in well drained earth. I would suggest buying good size tomato plants so you can have harvest earlier than planting a late garden.
Garden fertilizer and lime is sprinkled in the garden patch prior to planting seeds. Bush beans have no strings on them to remove as do some pole beans or runner green beans. Pole beans can be sown beside the corn and allow to vine up the stalks.
Do not plant all vining seeds/plants close to each other as they take over. What kinds of vegetables do you like? Start there and as far as sweet corn goes, Peaches and Cream, Silver Queen, Candy Corn are all tasty; depends on the size of cob you want as some grow smaller kernels than others.
Bell peppers are popular and easy to grow as are leaf lettuce, cabbage.
Zucchini and other squash, cucumbers and melons get planted in hills. Poke a hole in the hills made with your finger about 5-6 inches apart and place a couple seeds in each one and cover over.
Still need to dust vegetable plants with "Sevin" powder to keep garden bugs from eating your plants and veggies often and after every rain.
Do not plant indian corn near the sweet corn as they cross pollinate and get ruined.
If you want sweet potatoes or white potatoes cut a portion of the potato where you have at least 3 eyes in the cutting and plant them face down for roots to take hold. Plant the potatoes in a row and when the plants dye down, it's time you can dig them up being careful you don't cut into your new potatoes.
We don't plant carrots as underground bugs bother them too much, but you might have great success. Onions are ready to harvest when you see the top of the onion surfacing the ground and the top green is dying down.
Hope this bit helps you.
I would like to expand just a bit on Jilson's comment that every U.S. state has an "agricultural extension service" as our area also has a "county agricultural extension service" (in addition to the state service) which offers even more advice for a much smaller, more specific, area within our state. I don't know, however, if such a service is offered by every county in every state.
To find out if your state offers similar county by county services, as Jilson suggested, check the phone listings for your county offices or ask at a local public library.
Gardening is indeed a fulfilling hobby, (necessity for some) not to mention how incredibly wonderful food tastes when freshly harvested and prepared by your own hands! Good luck and happy eats!
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My wife and I are starting a garden this year for the first time. We were wondering what kind of vegetables thrive near each other? What would be good to grow for our area? Any advice would be much appreciated, and put to good use. Thank you all very much.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By andrew and velma from Detroit, MI
I am sending this link which tells which vegetables "not" to plant next to each other.
I always started a "scrap" garden off to the side of the house and I buried potatoes that were growing roots and emptied tomatoes out there that went too soft. They were sometimes better than the store bought seeded plants with the exception of the yellow tomatoes and you can't beat those for taste! (05/08/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Here is a link I found for your garden question: http://growingtaste.com/intro.shtml
Have fun with your garden. I forgot, in my scrap garden some of the best green beans are made out of burying plain pinto beans in the ground. They grow like crazy, but you have to look inside the leaves, the green beans will hide there. Have fun! (05/08/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Here is a link to Michigan State Extension. In the upper right hand box there are links for gardening in your state, plus tips. Enjoy!
There's actually a book called "Carrots Love Tomatoes" that you could either buy, or see if your local library has it. Good luck! (05/16/2009)
Marigolds and nasturtiums are good companion flowers to repel bugs that are nasty. They must be the large marigolds that have the smelly leaves. The little dwarf ones don't seem to be effective.
There is lots of information on this. Google "companion planting" or something like that. I also recommend the "Carrots Love Tomatoes" book. (05/17/2009)
By Louise B.
Hello, and good for you. There is a great book you should read, "The Back Yard Homestead" edited by Carlene Madigan. It's very good and has lots of information for the new gardener. Goodluck. (05/17/2009)
By Debi Turner
For a summer and spring garden you can plant peas, corn, snap beans (green beans), butter beans, okra, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and squash of all kinds.
I grow all kinds of greens, turnips, mustard, lettuce, rutabagas, collards, cabbage, also onions and garlic. I share with our neighbors and friends. You can call your county extension office for a free vegetable guide. Good luck.
Here's picture of part of my garden, a raised bed is the best way to go. You don't have to make it any more, just ad more composted manure to it as needed, about once a year, good luck. (06/11/2009)
Only plant what you will eat. If you like it and it grows in your area, plant it. You don't have to grow everything the first time. Talk to a gardener in your area or a friend who has a veggie garden.
Jump in, just know you will have a learning curve of some kind.
The healthiest people have a garden and eat from it. (04/29/2010)
Years ago we had vegetable gardens, big ones, and I remember all of the hours we spent weeding, watering, etc. But I still wanted to plant a garden so I could have fresh vegetables.
I bought "Square Foot Gardening" by Bartholomew for $5 at the Dollar Store. It was worth every penny. I put in one 4x4 box and planted tomatoes and bell peppers. Then I added four 1x3 boxes for petunias. Last, a week ago, I added another 4x4 with beets, yellow wax beans, sweet corn, Kentucky Wonder pole beans, carrots, and radishes. Everything is coming up. The rows are close, but I can reach the center of the box for weeding; that's the only reason for having rows.
The initial cost was there because I purchased good soil, cow manure compost, and peat moss. This was laid down on the plastic that prevents weeds and grass from growing, but water will drain out. I just used enough seeds to plant the rows and saved the rest. As soon as these vegetables have been harvested I can immediately put more seeds in. I will add compost, but there will be no chemicals of any sort.
I strongly recommend you get the book, it's really good.
This picture is of the garden one week old.
I'm just starting a vegetable garden and I've never done this before.