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Get the Dirt, Issue #005 How Does Your Garden Grow?
May 23, 2010
Dear Fellow Gardeners,

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Based on questions coming in over the past few weeks, it may be a good idea to review a few gardening basic tips:

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When To Plant

1. Don't plant tender vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, peppers) too early.

They will not really grow well until the soil and air temperatures are warm. These vegetables will die if exposed to frost.

It's tempting to try to "get a head start" by planting early. But these plants can't be rushed into growing before the weather warms.

If you can't wait for warm weather to start your garden, plant onions, lettuce, peas, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and other "cool season" vegetables. These plants prefer to grow in cooler weather.

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Watering Your Vegetable Garden

2. Too much water or rain can drown or stress your vegetable plants. Well-drained soil is a "must".

Don't over-water your garden. One to two inches of water per week should be enough except during very hot windy weather.

Water in the morning, so that the plant foliage isn't wet overnight. The soil should be damp, but not sticky or soaking wet.

If your soil is very heavy or clay-like, consider building a raised bed garden. Fill the raised bed with a garden soil mixture that contains soil, compost, vermiculite, sand, and peat moss. Mix in some fertilizer to feed the plants through out the garden season.

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Good Fertile Soil Makes Healthy Plants

3. Healthy plants can withstand some stress better than just barely surviving plants.

Prepare your garden soil with compost and added fertilizer to get your garden off to a healthy start.

Set up a convenient watering system so that you don't neglect watering once hot weather arrives in your area.

Consider adding mulch to the top of your garden soil to help retain water by preventing evaporation.

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Choosing the Right Seeds and Plants

4. Choose plants that are known to grow well in your climate and soil conditions.

Also, try not to be tempted by the pretty seed packets of vegetables that your family likely won't want to eat! Stay with your family's favorite vegetables for best results.

It's better to have a smaller well-tended garden than a large garden full of weeds and vegetables that you can't eat or don't have time to preserve by canning or freezing.

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Please Send Pictures and a Comment or Story About Your Garden!

Please take pictures of your garden before, during and after!

I would love to hear all about your gardening adventures, and see pictures also.

You can have your own vegetable garden page on my website at

Go ahead and brag a little! Or share your biggest mess-up ever!

It's really fun and easy to write a little story about your garden, and upload a digital photograph to show any details you want to share.

We all learn from experience, so how about sharing something you learned with all of us?

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Best of Vegetable Gardening E-Book

Don't forget to download my new e-Book with lots of tips and basic vegetable gardening information!

This handy e-Book also contains all the worksheets, sample garden plans, garden diary, and vegetable planting guide for your convenience.

It's priced right at only $9.95!

Until next week....

Have a Great Garden!

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