Vegetable Garden Tips


This article on vegetable garden tips is for those of you  who are looking for specific information about the health of your vegetable plants.

All too often, your plants start of great and over time you notice one type of plant or another no longer looks healthy.

I have listed some of the problems your plants may experience and what to do to correct the problem.

I will also include great tips from various gardening bloggers to this page for your reading interest.

Over time, I'll be adding more and more vegetable garden tips to this page.

For more detailed information on the following list, click on each link title.














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Vegetable Garden Tips-Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

  • When to Plant


    Wait until daytime ground temperature reach at least 65F-18C and night time temperatures no colder than 50F- 10C  before planting tomatoes.

  • Types of Tomatoes


    Determinate tomatoes

    Sometimes called bush tomatoes these plants require no pruning and produce fruit at the end of the stem one time only. Roma tomatoes are an example of a determinate tomato.

    Indeterminate Tomatoes

    This type of plant is commonly called a vining plant and needs a support for it to twine around as it grows upward. There are several types of supports on the market. You can find more information on tomato supports on our tomato cage page.

    Indeterminate tomatoes can grow as high as five feet or more and is the most common type of tomato grown by gardeners. 

  • Pruning Tomatoes

    Remove tomato suckers as they grow. You will have fewer tomatoes but they will be much larger.

  • Making Your Own Compost

    As you add layer after layer, don't squash the material down to make more room, this will result in depletion of air the microbes need to produce good compost and you will end up with smelly compost.

    Peanut shells, shredded cardboard, and newspaper, are also a great source of carbon organic material.

    Accidental Over Watering Compost

    If you accidently over water, you can rectify the situation by adding more brown material to absorb the extra water. However, as the days get hotter even green organic material begin to dry out. You will eventually have to add water to your bin, but remember each layer should only be as moist as a wrung out sponge.

    Stabilizing Compost

    It is a good idea to let your finished compost sit for two or three weeks to make sure the decomposition has stabilized.



  • Control Weeds


    The use of newspapers and mulch is a great way to suppress and kill garden weeds. Unlike the use of chemicals, once the weeds are gone you can plant extra vegetables by moving the mulch aside and plant through the newspaper.

    Synthetic or Weed Blocker

    Over time weeds may eventually emerge to the surface of any synthetic weed blocker. Should this happen remove the weeds by hand or use an organic or chemical weed spray. The few garden weeds that do manage to come through are easily removed and shouldn't take much of your time.

    Weed Control

    When you use weed control be careful not to spray your plants. It's the garden weeds you want to kill, not your vegetable plants.

    Be Careful with Chemical Spray

    I cannot overstate these two important vegetable garden tips.

    When using a chemical spray, cover the area around any existing vegetable or flower to protect them from receiving any chemical spray or residue, and keep pets and young children away from the area.

    Chemical Herbicides are Poison

    Always make sure a chemical herbicide container is clearly marked poison and easy to read, and if there are any left-over chemicals after use, be sure to dispose of the solution according to the manufactures instructions.

    And now on to more vegetable garden tips.

    Weeds and Your Lawn

    We haven't as of yet written an article about lawns, but as we're discussing weeds, we decided to include this note in our vegetable garden tips.

    Keep your lawn well manicured by mowing regularly to prevent weeds from flowering and producing seeds. And don't use a weedwacker to remove weeds especially if they have flowered.

  •  Fertilizer


    Check Soil pH Level

    You can use the same type of fertilizer for traditional gardening or raised bed gardening, just make sure the soil pH level is suitable for growing tomatoes or any other vegetable. Most garden centers sell a kit to check your soil pH level, or you can take a sample from your garden and have it sent for testing.

    Manure Odor

    Your neighbor's will love these tips.

    If manure odor is a problem, you can also purchase steer manure which has been deodorized.

    If you purchase natural manure, mix thoroughly into the soil or cover with a layer of top soil so as not to attract flies and also to eliminate the smell.

  • Container Vegetable Gardening


    When choosing a container for your vegetable plants, remember that a dark color as well as metal containers attract more heat increasing soil moisture loss.

    Also, avoid treated lumber containers to prevent possible chemical leaching in the soil.

    Use mulch on top of your soil to cool it down, this will reduce moisture evaporation.

    Water in a garden hose that has been laying in the sun will get quite hot. Run the hose for a while before use.

    To conserve soil nutrients and prevent them from washing away, layer the bottom of your vegetable container with a screen or landscape cloth.

    Container pots don't drain well if placed directly on the ground or patio. Choose whatever method you wish to raise the pot about 2 inches to allow efficient drainage.

    A Vegetable Container Can Cause Stains

    If you plan on placing your vegetable container on a wooded deck, patio, or on a concrete surface, be sure to place a plastic saucer under the container to catch the drained water.

    Not All Plastics Are Made Equal

    Before you purchase a plastic container for your plants or a plastic saucer to capture drained water, check to make sure it is sun resistant and will not become brittle or crack.

    Do Not

    Use soil from your yard to fill your container. It is to heavy for proper water drainage. And, it may harbor disease that will attack your vegetable plants.

    A Vegetable Garden Tip For the Garden Beginner

    Growing Media- The material your plants grow in is called the "Growing Medium."

  • Prevent Moisture Escape

    Add mulch such as pine straw or bark chips to the top of your soil, or mix vermiculite in the top layer to prevent moisture from escaping.

    Frequent Watering

    To reduce frequent watering, use mulch at the base of the plants.

    When to Water

    Use this method to determine if your vegetable plant soil requires watering.-

    Insert a popsicle stick several inches in the soil. When removed, if there is soil sticking to the popsicle stick, your soil is still moist.

    An alternative method is the use of a moisture meter.

    Sun

    If you grow plants on the side of a wall or side of your house be sure the sun doesn't reflect too much heat for that type of plant. 

Cucumbers

  • Time to Plant Cucumbers

    To check to see if the ground is warm enough to grow cucumbers at the beginning of the planting season, sit on the ground for a few minutes. If it doesn't feel cold then it is warm enough to plant.

    Remember, cucumbers like spinach are early planting crops.

Seed Storage

  • Vegetable Seeds

    When buying tomato seeds look on the package for your zone.

    To Prevent Moisture

    To prevent your seeds from absorbing moisture use a silica gel (such as the type in a medication bottle), or you can use powdered milk; just add a little to the bottom of the jar.

    Date and Identify

    Date and identify each vegetable seed container to prevent the frustration later of trying to figure out what seed container is what vegetable.


Here are some great gardening tips from a fellow contributing blogger Ella Andrews




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