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VEGETABLE GARDENING FOR DUMMIES

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Vegetable gardening is not difficult. It is one of the easiest forms of gardening. Of the many books on vegetable farming for beginners that are available, there is one that explains everything in plain, simple terms that will be easy for your to follow even if you have never grown a single vegetable. Gardening for Dummies, one of a long list of “how to” books, has a chapter specifically about growing vegetables.

Vegetable gardening for dummies begins by telling the reader how to plan a garden. The beginning gardener must know something about the local climate, because that determines when vegetables should be planted and when they should be harvested. Some vegetables, like corn, peppers and tomatoes can thrive only in warm weather. Others, like peas, lettuce and radishes, can tolerate at least some cool weather and maybe even a little frost.

The next step in vegetable gardening for dummies is to select the right location for your vegetable garden. You need a spot that gets six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach don’t mind a little shade, but peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins and squash need plenty of sunlight. Plant close enough to the house to make your gardening easier, but not right up against the house. Building foundations are often treated with pesticides that could be harmful to your plants. Start with a small garden, about ten feet by twenty feet. That is enough for a selection of leafy vegetables, some tomatoes, beans and cucumbers and a few herbs. Make sure individual plants have room to grow. Don’t plant short-growing plants where they will eventually be in the shade of taller plants. You must also have easy access to water. A fence might be necessary to keep out rabbits and raccoons.

Vegetable gardening for dummies tells the reader about soil. The gardener must have loose soil that drains well. If the soil is nutrient poor, the gardener can improve it with compost and fertilizers. Natural fertilizers are the best bet for beginners.

Beginner gardeners are often bewildered by the great variety of seeds available for vegetable gardening. They aren’t sure what they should plant. Vegetable gardening for dummies says to first select the seeds for the kinds of vegetables you like to eat. Then find out which of those vegetables will grown well in your area. All the information you need is on seed packages and in seed catalogs. Your local garden centre will also be helpful.

Plant your seeds according to the instructions on the package. Big seeds for beans and squash, for example, must be planted deeper than the tiny seeds for carrots and lettuce.

Once your planting is done, maintain your garden by watering, weeding and keeping out pests. In time you will have a good crop of vegetables, grown by your own hands.


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