Garden Planting Tips
How plants Grow:
The essential principle to grasp is the plants in your garden have the same needs as those growing in the wild. Plants need air, light, water, and nutrients to flourish, but they very in their needs. Some, for example, need evenly moist healthy growth, while others can survive long periods of drought. The amount of light needed varies greatly too. When grown in conditions that suit them, plants generally stay healthy. The single most important lesson in gardening is to allow the conditions to dictate the choice of plants.
Preparing the soil is the first thing needed. Digging and raking the soil is preformed to get the soil into the best condition possible for growing plants. Digging is the most important of these operations, because it allows air into the soil. For optimum results, soil that is intensively cultivated needs generous fertilizing. This can be provided with organic or inorganic matter. The amount of fertilizer needed will depend on the soil type, because light, sandy soils lose fertilizer quickly, whereas clay soils will hold nutrients for much longer.
Basic Planting Tips:
- Most plants can be started from seed, but some must be propagated from cuttings or division to make sure the flavor comes true.
- Don’t plant near trees, because roots close to the surface can impede digging and compete with plants for nourishment.
- If soil is poor or very compacted, make a raised bed. Bring in new soil and add compost and other organic matter to create a 6 to 10 inch-high mound on top of the soil surface. Don’t make a raised bed near a tree trunk; changing the soil depth around a tree can harm or kill it.
- Check plant heights. Plants taller plants at the back of a bed, or at the center of a circular bed.
- Feel free to harvest your vegetables as they mature in some cases plants replenish themselves others may become bushier and sturdier.
Vegetables for Spring Planting
In spring we long for something crisp, leafy, or pungent picked from our own garden. Sure, we know that gardening teaches patience, but it also confers a keen appreciation for what tastes good. Plant some of these earliest garden foods, and you’ll have something fresh and tasty- and fast.
Early Start Spring Plants:
Peppergrass, sometime called curly grass or garden cress, can be ready for harvest in ten days. Seeds start to germinate in a day and within two weeks you’ll have fresh greens, with a mustard like pungency.
Radishes can be ready for picking in three weeks from planting. Radishes grow best in cool weather and abundant moisture. Plant them directly in the ground as soon as the soil is dry enough to work.
Onions sets, the miniature bulbs that appear in stores even before the seed packets in spring, can give you a bonus of piquant green top leaves. Plant onion sets as early in spring as you can get the ground dug and raked.
Turnips can be planted a month before your last spring frost date, sow the seeds where plants are to grow, in well composted soil. Keep the plants well watered for rapid, tender growth.
Beets small, tender. Pin-Pong sized beet roots make a delightful early crop. Beet leaves are delicious and full of vitamins, too. Plant outdoors where the plants are to grow, about six weeks before your last frost date.
Kohlrabi Plant in the garden about a month before your last spring frost and thin seedlings to 6 inches apart. Pick at about 2 inches in diameter, before they grow large and woody
Spinach is a wonderful early spring crop with tender, crisp leaves. Plant the seeds where they are to grow as early in spring as the soil can be worked, in your richest ground.
Lettuce seeds can be sown right in the garden soon after you plant spinach. Plant the fine seeds thinly and shallowly.
Vegetables for Summer Planting
When choosing vegetables to grow, remember that plants grow more slowly after Labor Day, when days gradually shorten and nights turn cool. There is plenty of time for most loose-leaf greens and lettuces to develop when planted in July or August, and spinach can be planted as late as September for late fall picking
Midsummer Vegetable Garden Plantings:
Beans. Summer planted snap or bush beans are usually in production by late September.
Beets. Make last planting by early August.
Broccoli. Transplant started seedlings by mid-July. Withstands heavy frost.
Brussels sprouts. Transplant started seedlings by early July.
Cabbage. Transplant seedlings by mid-August.
Carrots. Make last planting by late July.
Cauliflower. Transplant started seedling by late July.
Corn. Make last planting by mid-July.
Cucumbers. Cukes grow rapidly in warm summer weather. Make last planting by early July.
Kale. You can pick it all winter. Make last planting by late July.
Lettuce. Sow seeds of leaf and butter head lettuce every few weeks all summer.
Onions. Make last seed planting by mid-June.
Peas. Make last planting by mid-July.
Radishes. Even though they will produce in less than a month from seed, radishes are seldom remembered in fall.
Spinach. Garden staple for fall and winter. Make last planting mid-August.
Tomatoes. Root a sideshoot from an established tomato plant to carry on the harvest until late fall.
Turnip. Later plantings will yield good greens, even if they don’t have time to form roots. Make last planting by August 1.
Zucchini. These late plants bear by early September and sometimes continue until frost. Make last planting by mid-July.