Choose Your Site
• Area should get 6-8 hours of sun. Most vegetables do best in full sun.
• Plants grow best in moist, enriched soil but avoid planting vegetables in soil
where puddles stand for days. Poor drainage, will damage your plants.
• Near a water source and convenient to your house
• Start small with room to expand
– Consider style of garden you would like to plant — traditional rows, square
foot, raised beds or even containers (see page 3 for a list of container plants).
Plan Your Crops
What does your family like to eat? Consider trying new or different varieties
of favorite vegetables. The Growing Place offers both heirloom and disease
resistant strains of many plants. Think about mixing in some brightly colored
peppers or variegated herbs.
Spring tends to be wet. Give it the “squeeze test” to determine when soil can
be worked. Squeeze a handful of soil and then poke it with your finger. If it sticks
together, it’s too wet. If it crumbles, it’s ready to be worked.
• Add plenty of organic matter like TGP Garden Compost Mix, Leaf Mulch,
Blended Compost, grass clippings and/or compost from your garden to
break up compaction. Plants need oxygen in the soil.
• Mix in Espoma® Garden-tone for any vegetable or Espoma® Tomato-tone
for an extra dose of calcium when planting tomatoes.
• Layer ammendments on the surface and turn into your beds with a spade
Seeds or plants? Seeds are wonderful to use for many quick growing
vegetables and continue successive crops through the season. Plants will
give you a head start on longer season vegetables. Try a new variety of seeds
and plants each year. Add some colorful and fragrant flowers to draw those
pollinators to your garden!
10 Gardening Tips & Tidbits
- Rotate crops from year to year. Try not to plant the same crop in the same spot two years in a row.
- Reuse space after a crop is done.
- Plant tall plants at the north end of your garden so they cannot shade the shorter plants.
- A dense row of pole beans, planted along the north side of your tomato patch, traps extra warmth for tomatoes and wards off chilling winds in early fall.
- Grow vining plants on trellises to save space.
- Cucumbers prefer warm water. Set out a pail of water to warm up in the sun, or if your garden hose has been out in the sun, water your cucumbers first.
- Plant at least three rows of corn to improve pollination and get more ears. Plant corn in blocks rather than rows.
- Visit your vegetable garden daily to see (and harvest) what is new and to catch any potential problems early.
- Vegetables for shade: Arugula, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Celery, kohlrabi, kale, leeks, onions, spinach, summer squash, endive, Swiss chard, leaf lettuce, mesclun, and mustard greens.
- For container success: make sure your container has adequate drainage holes, and fill it with good soil. Most (but not all) vegetables can be grown in containers.