How to Grow a Vegetable Garden
Vegetables contain a good source of vitamins that can enhance our health and strengthen our bodies to fight off sickness and diseases. Vegetables are more potent when eaten raw or semi-cooked.
Overcooking vegetables can destroy many vitamins they contain, so we will be looking at vegetables and how we can plant and care for them in our vegetable garden. There is nothing like growing and harvesting your very own vegetables from your home garden. The first vegetable that we will be looking at is carrots.
Planting and care of carrots
Carrots are not only one of the favorite of the looney cartoon character bungs bunny but are also a favorite of many worldwide, carrots are loaded with Vitamin A that is good for your eyesight which can increase your body’s defense system. So let’s plant some carrots.
Carrots should be planted in early spring and late fall the soil should be well-drained soil or soil that has good drainage, to help condition your soil if you don’t know what soil type you have you can amend the soil
with some type of organic material to ensure proper drainage. When growing carrots the soil should be properly cultivated to ensure a good healthy harvest.
Plant your carrots in rows one to three feet apart and seeds should be planted one inch deep and one to four inches apart. Do not let the soil dry out completely when watering.
Top growth should appear in about two weeks, keeping the soil cultivated will keep weeds down so with a hoe you can go from row to row lightly turning the soil in between each row.
Make sure to read the instruction on the back of the seed package so you can know when to harvest, baby carrots can be harvest in two and a half months.
I know it may seem long but it is worth the wait, the more mature carrot can be harvest in about the same time period or you can give it an additional week. Loosen the soil around your carrots and gently pull to remove the carrot from the soil.
Planting and care of cucumbers
Cucumbers can be used in salads or it can be cooked I prefer to eat them raw, cucumbers have a great taste and can add much flavor to your meals. Cucumbers also have it’s our bodies require. So let’s plant some cucumbers
The seeds can be purchased from your plant nursery. The soil should be rich in organic matter. When planting put about two to three seeds in each planting hole.
Each hole should be spaced about six to eight inches apart, water plants about one inch in depth. Cucumbers grow like a vine so they should be planted using a trellis instead of letting them grow on the ground.
Also, note cucumbers are warm-season plants and can be planted two weeks after the last spring frost date.
Make sure that the planting site is in a sunny location. Also, keep an eye out for whiteflies and cucumber beetles. Your nurseryman should be able to recommend an insecticide to eliminate these pest problems, harvest cucumbers when they are one to one and a half inches in diameter.
Planting and care of bell peppers
Remember that old 80’s song that goes you can ring my bell well these colorful veggies is no exception with their array of colors they sure can ring our bells adding not only flavor but many colors to our tables, bell peppers are a must for our gardens so include them you won’t be sorry. Let’s get started.
Seeds can be purchased from your nursery or you can use the seed from the bell peppers you would have purchased from the supermarket. Let the seeds dry for about a week and a half
The planting site should be in a sunny location the soil should be a good loamy soil rich in organic matter, plant seeds about eight to ten weeks before last spring frost.
start seeds indoors in plant pots or plastic trays. The temperature should be about seventy degrees or higher to begin to achieve success. After frost has passed plants can be transferred on the outside.
Each planting hole should be eighteen to twenty-four inches apart give the plant one to two inches of water per week, in the hot or drier climate you may need to increase watering.
You can also place stakes in the ground to help support the plant and keep it from bending as the bell pepper matures in size, keep an eye out for pests such as flea beetles and aphids
also blossom end rot. Check with your nurseryman for what you can use to combat this problem, when peppers are fully mature you can use a knife or scissors to remove them. Peppers can be placed in vegetable pans in the fridge or in plastic bags then refrigerate for about two weeks.
Planting and care of broccoli
Broccoli semi-cooked with melted cheese is not only a tasty treat but is also an excellent way to get those vitamins, so how do we get these veggies from the garden to our kitchen tables?
Broccoli needs to be planted in a sunny location, the soil should be a good loamy soil that can hold moisture for spring planting seeds or transplant two to three weeks before the last spring frost date.
When preparing the site for planting make such to incorporate chicken or cow manure or some other rich organic material into the soil.
Seeds, as you know, can be purchased from your plant nursery make sure to water the planting site with sufficient water before planting about sixteen to twenty-two inches of water.
Place seeds about one to two inches deep in the planting hole and about ten to twelve inches apart.
When the florets around the broccoli head begin to show slight loosening and the beads in the crown are still tight your broccoli is ready to harvest or you can read the back of the seed packet for more detail.
Planting and care of celery
Celery, Celery how art thou Celery. I once saw someone sprinkled salt on a stick of celery and guess what they began to eat it man talk about strange and guess what again the celery was not even cooked it was RAW.
Anyway back to the celery plant, these fine veggie complements the many dishes and salads that we prepare and can also add to our nutrient intake so let’s get down and dirty and start our garden.
In order to get a jump start on planting celery, you can plant them indoors just before spring, the seeds can be purchased from your garden nursery store.
You can start out by planting them in trays, make sure and use good garden soil. It’s good to use sand when planting the seeds, mix some of the seeds in the sand make such that the sand is good salt-free sand.
Sprinkle the sand over the surface of the soil the sand will ensure that the seeds do not wash away. Apply more soil on top of the sand to get complete coverage.
Water the tray with about half an inch of water. Cover the tray with a clear thin plastic wrap this will keep the soil temperature warm aiding in the germination of the seeds.
Keep checking the soil to make sure that it has adequate moisture. When the plants emerge from the soil and the weather on the outside has warm-up you can transplant them.
Make sure the planting site is in a sunny location and that the soil is a good sandy loam soil, incorporate chicken or cow manure, or some other organic material to the soil.
Install each plant about two to four feet apart and give it adequate water. Celery can be harvest when stocks are about eight to ten inches tall.
Planting and care of Onions
I love onions, onions are one of my favorites I like to especially eat onions uncooked in salads. Onions give such a great flavor to foods, besides that onion also has some healing agents
That we will be looking at a bit later in this article, but for now we will be discussing how to plant and care for onions.
Planting and care of onion
When planting onions choose a sunny location, a location that gets about 6 hours of sunlight each day. You can either plant onion from seed or from bulbs.
I remember on a few occasions and to my amazement onions that I had in the refrigerator began to actually sprout no joke. When planting onions
make sure that the soil you are using is good garden soil, If not then you can add compost or manure, what compost does is that it will condition your soil
So that your soil would be able to retain water and fertilizer much better along with proper air circulation. What you can do also is to get a soil ph test and add soil amendments
If needed. Another thing that you can consider is if you don’t have the garden space to create an onion garden, you can always build a raised bed.
Plant onion seeds about 2 inches in the soil, 3-4 seeds per hole. Make sure that each planting hole is spaced about a foot apart to keep the soil moist don’t let the soil dry out.
Fertilize with triple 20 0r 16-16-8 or if you prefer to go organic use chicken or cow manure. In fact, manure can be mixed with the soil before planting seeds.
Onions are ready to harvest when the top part of the onion turns yellow, wither, and falls back to the ground.
Planting and care of beets
As a child growing up one veggie that was sure to be on my plate especially Sunday dinner would often be beets, I remembered how my parents would always tell me about how I needed to eat beets because it was healthy for me. I will never forget those words, now let’s go plant some beets.
Let’s get started
There are many different varieties of beets you can choose from, you have golden beets, Detroit’s dark red beets, Chioggia beets, early wonder top tall beets, and burpee golden beets.
Choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight, make sure to add compost to the planting area, and remove rocks out of the plant, rocks should be removed first before adding the compost. Rocks will hinder the roots from establishing, plant seeds 1/2 inch in soil, and about 1-2 inches apart.
Make sure the soil remains moist at all times, the outer shell of beets is somewhat hard, so keeping the soil moist will aid in softening the outer shell or soak seeds in warm water overnight that is to be planted so that the seeds can germinate more quickly. You can plant seeds in March-April and again from June-September.
Watch out for pests such as aphids, flea beetles, and leaf miners.
Beets reach maturity anywhere from 50-70 days, or when you see the top part or leaf grows to about six inches this is another indication that beets are ready to harvest.
Fresh beets can be stored in your fridge for 5-7 days, the tops of beets can be eaten also so if you plan on eating the top or leafy greens of beets cut them off and store them separately.
Planting and care of corn
One of the most popular snacks that moviegoers love is popcorn, even as a child when going to the movies just the thought of popcorn added to the excitement. I also remembered the gardens that I planted as a child and one of the seeds that were often included in my garden was corn seeds.
So we will be looking at how corn makes its journey from the ground to our tables to being used in many ways including the movie houses.
Let’s get started
Choose a sunny location, add compost and organic matter to the planting area for the best results. When planting corn seeds plant in rows of about 8-10 inches apart, place 4-6 seeds in each planting hole. Each row should be spaced about 23-33 inches.
Make sure that the soil stays moist do not overwater, Cultivate around the young seedlings for the first 3-4 weeks to keep weeds down, or what you can do also if you don’t want to damage the roots is add mulch to keep weeds down, watch out for pests such as flea beetles and cutworms.
Harvest corn three weeks after corn silks appears, gently pull back a part of the husk to check for ripeness. pierce about 2-3 kernels with your fingernail, if a white or milk-like liquid comes out the corn is ready to harvest. Dry silk or a yellow faded green sheath means that the ear has passed its prime.
So keep an eye on those ears of corn so you can get the best harvest.
Planting and care of cabbages
Cabbages can be used in so many ways, one of the ways that I love to use them is in soups and salads. Like every vegetable, care should be taken when growing cabbages in order to get the best results.
Choose a sunny location that gets about six hours of sunlight, Make sure that the soil in the planting area is enriched with compost and organic matter. Seeds should be placed about 12-24 inches in rows and 1/2-1 inch in the soil. keep plants well-watered make sure the soil is moist at all times.
Keep an eye out for weeds and watch out for pests such as aphids, flea beetles, cabbage worms, and cabbage root maggots.
Harvest cabbage when the cabbage head is firm or after 70 days, Don’t let the head overripe because the head of cabbages will split. After harvesting removes roots and stems to avoid disease buildup. Cabbages can be stored in the fridge for about two weeks.
Once they are wash make sure they are dry and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap, with that said lets plant some cabbage.
Planting and care of potatoes
Where would potato chip be without potatoes or what about those tasty fries that we get from Wendy’s, Mc Donalds, Burger King, or some other fast food place, In this article, we will be looking at how to plant and care for potatoes to bring them from our garden to our tables.
Let’s get started
For best results choose a sunny location, make sure that the soil in the garden area is enriched with compost and organic matter, work the soil and remove rocks and other debris from the garden area. Break up any hard and clumpy soil.
The rows should be 12 inches apart and the seeds should be planted about 3-4 inches into the soil, make sure to keep the garden area well-watered. Potatoes like moisture so keep the soil moist, another way to plant potato
is to cut a potato in half or pieces make sure that each piece has about 2-3 three eyes or indents on the surface, place these pieces in the sun for about 2 days when you see sprouts coming out of the eyes it’s time to get them in the soil.
Dust the pieces with agricultural sulfur, place the sides that are cut into the soil with the eye or the sprouts pointing upwards, and 3-4 inches below the soil level in mounds. As leaves start to appear, keep putting soil around your mounds to prevent the potato from showing.
Insects to watch out for are white grubs, and wireworms, these insects can be found below ground. The above-ground insect is the colorado potato beetle, potato leafhoppers, and aphids.
You will know when your potatoes are ready to harvest when the top part of the potatoes begins to flower, So let’s put on those gloves that hat and grab a shovel and begin to plant some potatoes.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.