Home Vegetable Gardens

All vegetable and herb gardens can start with these five easy steps. You must (1) select a site for your garden, (2) make a plan or layout of how your plants will be arranged, (3) determine the proper soil, (4) select which vegetables and herbs you would like to grow, and (5) follow the easy tips and guides from experts here at Gardening Directions to get the best out of your garden!
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Site Selection. Find a spot that is close and convenient to the house. Water is important, so be close to a source. For best results full sun is the best . Early morning full sun is preferable to late afternoon sun. The ideal spot would be on a gentle slope that points south, southeast or east. Good drainage is helped by a gentle slope. Keep away from trees who's roots may compete with garden. The size depends on how ambitious you are. Start small rather than big. Gardening is all about learning. Never be afraid to ask for help.

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Make a Plan. Put your ideas on a piece of paper. Show the location of each crop, the amount to be planted and the date, crops to follow earlier ones and the varieties of each crop. Tomatoes, corn, root crops, potatoes, melons, squash and cucumbers need the most light and leafy crops like spinach and greens can stand more shade. Plant the taller vegetables on the North end so they will not shade out the shorter ones. To get the most out of your gardening season follow directions for your specific planting zone. Planting tomatoes in Maine is a lot different than planting tomatoes in Key West.

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Proper Soil. If your garden site can grow weeds, then you can plant a garden. Your soil could be sandy, red clay, black dirt or any variation. The first thing to do is to till the area. Turn the soil over, taking out all weeds in the process. Organic materials like manure and compost should be worked into the soil at least three weeks before planting. Making your own Organic Compost is the most inexpensive way to constantly refresh your garden. (See Article #27)  Manure can be collected from local farms if you have the right connection.

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Selecting the Vegetables and Herbs.  Grow what you and your family like to eat. Grow what fits into your garden. Too many plants can create an environmental disaster. What you grow depends on where you live and what varieties are suitable for your area. Talk with other gardeners in your area and find what varieties work best for them. Maybe they will share some prized seeds.

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Tips for Setting Up Your Garden. Just a few good ideas and helpful tips to make everything easier and more productive.

  1. Group crops by similar planting and maturity dates. This gives your garden more bang for the buck.
  2. Arrange low growing vegetables on one side of the garden, medium in the middle and  tall on the other side. This minimizes shading.
  3. Run rows north and south for maximum exposure.
  4. Quick growing crops like radishes should be planted with longer growing crops. Radishes will be out of the way long before the slower crops need the space.
  5. Give yourself space between rows, so you can cultivate more conveniently.
  6. Don't plant too much of one crop at one time.
  7. Plant one variety at intervals of ten to fourteen days. This provides fresh vegetables over a longer period of time. Crops that have short "Peak" periods of quality like sweet corn, peas and beans are especially benefited.
  8. Love your Garden and it will love you in abundant returns. 

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