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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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    Seed Starting Supplies

    Seed Starting Basics

    It is easy to grow your own plants from seed. By starting your own seedlings you can choose from hundreds of varieties that are not available in garden centers. The cost of plants will be far less than those sold in nurseries. You can also have transplants ready to go into the garden at any […] More

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    Ready Your Garden for Spring

    Planting Bed Preparation

      Spring is coming soon!  Here are some early spring tips for your garden. Warm Your Garden Before Planting Pre-warm cold soil before sowing or transplanting warm-weather crops into the garden. Black or clear plastic sheeting is a simple and inexpensive way to warm the soil and get a jump on the growing season. Continue […] More

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    Vegetable Crops for Beginning Gardeners

    Peppers green bells

    Beginning vegetable gardeners can be easily intimidated by the scores and scores of vegetable seed varieties available from even the smallest seed retailer. There are hundreds of vegetable varieties available in garden centers and online each year. What to plant? Taste, quality, speed to harvest, total yield, ease of harvest, plant habit, disease, and pest […] More

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    Planning Succession Crops

    Garden bed succession planting1

    Succession planting will allow you to plant several times throughout the growing season for a continuous supply of fresh vegetables. To plan succession crops you must know two things: • The number of weeks of growing season in your garden. The length of the growing season is the number weeks between the last frost in […] More

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    Succession Planting–Be An Expert

    Garden bed yields1

    Succession planting means growing different crops in the same space one right after the other in the same season or planting the same crop in different parts of the garden in succession at different times. Succession planting results in a succession of harvests–a long continuous harvest season. Two Examples of Succession Planting A row of […] More

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    Common Mulches for Vegetable Gardens

    Mulch organic

    Here are commonly used organic and inorganic mulches for vegetable gardens (for the benefits of mulching see : Organic mulches: • Compost. Decomposed and partially decomposed organic materials. Compost is both a mulch and soil conditioner. A 2- to 3-inch layer of compost will control weeds though not prevent weed growth. Incorporate compost into the […] More

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    Mulch for Vegetable Gardens: The Benefits

    Mulch of organic materials1

    Mulch is any material laid on the surface of the soil. It can be organic, such as compost, shredded leaves, or lawn clipping, or inorganic or synthetic, such as coarse sand, gravel, or plastic. During the growing season, mulch can slow evaporation, inhibit and control weeds, and regulate soil temperature. In winter, mulch can protect […] More

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    Organic Fertilizers and Soil Amendments

    Beans on fence

    Organic fertilizers and organic soil amendments come from natural sources–plants, animals, and rocks. An organic fertilizer is a natural soil amendment that adds plant nutrients to the soil, most often nitrogen, phosphorous, or potassium. (NPK analysis is the concentration of major plant nutrients–nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K)–in a fertilizer as a percentage of […] More