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    Earthworms and Soil Microorganisms in the Vegetable Garden

    earthworms

    The lives of soil microorganisms and earthworms are essential to the health of vegetable garden soil. Microorganisms and worms are important to the decay cycle—nature’s way of recycling dead and dying organic material. Through the decay cycle, plants and animals of all sizes die, decompose, and return to the soil becoming essential nutrients needed to […] More

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    Improving Garden Soil with Organic Amendments

    garden beds

    You can improve your vegetable garden soil with organic amendments. Organic materials such as aged compost will add nutrients to the soil. Organic matter will also help the soil retain moisture as well as help it to be well-drained. You can add amend the soil with organic matter any time of the year. Good times […] More

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    Plant Nutrients

    Plants require nutrients to grow and for good health. Most plant nutrients are common chemical elements. Elemental plant nutrients are generally used in one of three ways: They become part of plant cells and are basic to the structure of plants. They are metabolic, required for biochemical functions within the plant such as photosynthesis or […] More

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    Key Ingredients of Garden Soil

    Radish in garden soil

    What makes good garden soil? Here are some key ingredients: Air and water in the soil Half the volume of soil is air and water which fill the spaces or pores between crumbs of soil. Plant roots and soil microorganisms breathe in oxygen from the soil air. Plant roots absorb minerals dissolved in soil water. […] More

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    Your Vegetable Garden Soil

    spading fork in soil

    Garden wisdom: “Don’t try to grow a 5 dollar plant in a 50 cent hole. For the best results, grow a 50 cent plant in a 5 dollar hole.” Growing vegetables starts with the soil. Soil is a mix of fine rock particles, water, air, organic matter, microorganisms, and other animals including worms. Soil is […] More

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    Soil and Air Temperatures for Growing Vegetables

    Spring vegetable garden

    The most useful measure of the vegetable garden growing season is soil and air temperature averages. Warming soil temperatures activate root growth and the uptake of moisture and nutrients. Soil temperature is very closely affected by the air temperature. As days lengthen in spring and the air temperature warms toward summer, the soil temperature follows. […] More

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    Vegetable Planting Times Roadmap

    Radish sprouts

    The three most active planting periods in the vegetable garden are: Early spring before the last frost when hardy frost-tolerant cool-season vegetables can be planted for late spring and early summer harvest. Late spring to early summer, 2 weeks or more after the last frost when tender crops can be planted for summer harvest. Mid […] More

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    Growing Season Work Sheet

    calendar

    Your growing season is the number of frost-free days where you live. Growing seasons vary from one region to the next and sometimes from one part of town to the next. Frost dates There are two important dates that you must consider before selecting your crops and deciding when to plant: (1) you must know […] More

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    Know Your Warm-Season Crops

    bell peppers in garden

    Success growing many vegetable crops is driven by warm temperatures. Not surprisingly, warm-season vegetables grow best in warm weather. Here are the key temperatures you need to keep in mind to successfully grow warm-season vegetables: Soil temperature: Warm-season crops require a minimum soil temperature of 60°F (16°C) but 70°F (21°C) is optimal. Air temperature: The […] More

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    Planting Cool-Season Crops

    Cool-season butterhead lettuce

    Cool-season vegetables grow best in early spring or in autumn when the weather is cooler. This article will list vegetables that can be planted in the cool time of the year. Cool-season vegetables should be planted in late winter or early spring so that they mature in mid-to-late spring before the weather grows warm. Cool-season […] More

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    Know Your Garden Growing Season

    garden crops

    Once you have decided on a site for your garden, it will be time to decide what to grow. Every garden is situated in a climate and more specifically a microclimate. Where you live will play it big part in what you grow and when you grow it. Not all vegetables do well in every […] More

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    How Big Should Your Vegetable Garden Be?

    Three-box vegetable and herb garden

    A vegetable garden can be any size and shape.  In one season, a garden as small as just 4-by-4 feet can produce a head of cabbage, a head of broccoli, a head of cauliflower, four heads of romaine lettuce, four heads of leaf lettuce, nine bunches of spinach, nine bunches of Swiss chard, sixteen baby […] More