A well-planned vegetable garden can be a rewarding experience, providing your household with all the fresh vegetables it can use. What you choose to plant will depend on the time of year and the space available. Some vegetables need warm spring temperatures to produce, whole others require cool weather. When you have selected what to grow from the list of warm and cool season crops, follow these steps to prepare and plant your garden:
- First, draw a diagram indicating plant types and how you will space them.
- Choose an area that will get full sun at least half of the day and is near a water source.
- Warm season vegetables may benefit from light afternoon shade.
- Plan to plant leafy-type vegetables together since they usually require more water than fruiting types.
- Remember to plant tall-growing plants where they won’t shade smaller ones.
Soil Preparation for New Vegetable Beds
To prepare the soil, turn your soil over to a depth of 12-15 inches.
For each 100 sq. ft., spread evenly over the area:
- 9 bags (1 cu.ft. each) of Tank’s Organic Compost
- 2 lbs. of Soil Sulfur
- 2.5 lbs. (3 tbsp./4 sq. ft.) of Osmocote Vegetable & Bedding Slow Release Plant Food
Mix thoroughly into the top 12-15 inches turning the soil over at least twice.
Soil Preparation for Previously Prepared Vegetable Beds
- All vegetable beds should be renewed with each new planting.
- Adding new compost, soil sulfur, and fertilizer regularly will help ensure healthy vegetable crops.
Planting and Watering
- Refer to seed packages for instructions pertaining to planting depths and spacing requirements.
- Keep soil moist until seedlings are well developed.
- When two or three sets of true leaves have developed, thin rows evenly by removing the less vigorous plants.
When using transplants, you may find it easier to add 4 tsp. of Osmocote under each plant (4-inch root balls) instead of spreading Osmocote over the entire area.
Encourage Deep Root Systems by Watering Slowly and Deeply
- Observe your garden and learn to water before plants wilt.
- Water early in the day and avoid wetting the foliage.
- Keeping a garden weed free can eliminate some disease and pest problems. If you observe insects and/or damage, consult a Garden Wizard at Harlow’s for pesticide recommendations.
- Some varieties of plants are labeled disease resistant.
- If spacing is limited, you may wish to grow plants in containers.
- Make sure pots are large enough.
- Use Black Gold Potting Soil.
- Sprinkle about 4 tbsp. of Osmocote in the pot (for an18-inch pot) at a depth of about 12 inches.
- Choose vegetables according to season.
- Learn approximate crop yields to avoid over planting and waste.
- For planting dates, click on article- Vegetable Planting Dates.
|Cool Season||Warm Season|
|Beets||Asparagus Roots (February)|
|Brussel Sprouts*||Bush Beans|
|Kohlrabi||Loose Leaf Lettuce|
|Spinach||Summer Squash* (h)|
|Sugar Peas*||Swiss Chard*|
|Winter Squash||Watermelon* (h)|
* indicates transplants are often available
(h) heat loving plant