ORGANIC gardeners use no manufactured chemicals. LIME reduces the acidity of soil. Most vegetables need neutral to slightly acid soil.
FERTILIZER numbers are the amount of nitrogen/phosphorous/phosphate, the most important nutrients, available for plants.
TERRACING often involves installing retaining walls to keep soil level along a slope. Major projects require a contractor. But terrace walls less than three feet tall can be built by the gardener. Materials often used for the walls include: cinder blocks, landscape timbers, railroad ties, and interlocking paving blocks. Some of these are available at garden centers. Clear plastic tubing filled with water can be used to make sure the terrace is level since the water will be the same height at both ends. Several terraces may be needed for a tall slope. Level the soil above each wall to make a surface that will not wash away during heavy rains and will be easy to plant.
You can test the VIABILITY OF OLD GARDEN SEEDS. Lay 10 seeds from the same package along a three inch wide strip of a paper towel. Roll the strip around the seeds a couple of times and place in a plastic bag. Be sure to label each strip if you are testing the viabilty of several seed packages. Moisten them all thoroughly. Keep in a warm place. Most seeds will germinate in one or two weeks with warm moist conditions. If few or no seeds germinate from a package, you cannot expect they will germinate in the garden.
Fungicide- & Powdery Mildew Spray:
1 Gallon water
3 Tablespoons Baking soda
1 Tablespoon Bleach
one and one-half Teaspoon Dishwashing Liquid
Add all ingredients together and mix. Spray affected leaves after those worst affected has been removed. Use with a light hand as the bleach can damage the foliage. (Warning test on a leaf or two first!)
written by joseph cash
written by joseph cash
Vegetables can be
fun to grow and even more fun to eat. My father was a farmer and had a
large garden with rows and rows of beans, a huge potato patch, and too
many tomato plants
to count. (He raised tobacco in Graves County, Kentucky.)
Growing a large vegetable garden is not as widespread as it once was, but many
folks want to grow at least a few tomatoes in pots if only so
that they can enjoy that home-grown taste.
vegetable garden-- The garden site needs to have more than six hours of full sunshine, 12 hours is better. It is best to have a site that
is reasonable level. Gardens on steeper
slopes will need to be terraced.
If you are planning a fair size vegetable plot, it is a good idea to find someone with a tractor to till the area. It may be worth while to buy,borrow, or rent cultivator.
A gardener who wants only a small bed might choose to hand dig with a shovel or garden fork. Digging lawn turf is very hard work. You want to turn over the top one foot of soil to kill the grass and give the roots loose soil in which to grow.
All grass and weeds need to be removed as well as their roots. Any rocks larger than an egg. Clods of soil need to broken up and the surface needs to be raked unti it is even.
Once the plot is tilled you may want to consider having the soil tested by the local agricultural extension service, if you haven't already. That can tell you what nutrients the soil needs as well as the pH level. Most vegetables grow best in neutral to slightly acid soil. To grow well, the top soil (the layer of soil where most roots grow) should be six or more inches deep and contain substantial amount of organic material. Usually, organic rich soils are dark brown in color and contain earthworms.
Nearly all soils benefit from the addition of organic material. It loosens clay soils, improves moisture holding ability of sandy soil, and increases the nutrient level of any soil.
Compost or manure can then be spread over the garden and worked into the top layer of the soil. It is best to used organic material that has been sterilized, but using grass clippings or tree leaves will help. Improving the soil is a continuing process so expect to add more organic material each season. If you had the soil tested and are adding lime, now will be the best time. Plant the garden after the last frost.
With the soil ready, you can lay out rows. Drive stakes in the ground every 20 feet and tie a string between them if you want a straight row. Rows need to be parallel to the slope of the terrain if the bed is not level. Make them four or five feet apart so that you can walk between them and give each plant room to grow without crowding.
Take a garden hoe or rake and make a long, low mound centered under the string. Pulling soil from both sides, the mound needs to be four to six inches tall at the center with gentle slopes on each side. Once you have neat rows remove the stakes and string.
Carve out a three inch deep furrow down the center of the long mounds you just made. If you are using a granular chemical fertilizer such as 10-20-10, sprinkle it down the center of the furrow, one handful per 2 feet of furrow. Otherwise, you can add manure or other organic fertilizer in the same way.
Now take the side of the hoe or rake and carefully rake a thin layer of soil over the fertilizer covering it but leaving a shallow furrow. The roots of the new plants could burn if they come in direct contact with strong fertilizers.
That is how my father would have made a garden 50 years ago and is still the simplest way for the beginning gardener to get his hands dirty. This will work whether you are gardening in Australia or Alabama. More intensive and trendier methods of gardening have developed in the last 40 years. However, they require more labor, planning, and money and could be more appropriate for a second or third season garden.
Using edible plants in the landscape.
written by joseph cash
Why Start Gardening?
My father grew vegetables because he always had--and because he had a family of 10 to feed. But he also grew them because he enjoyed the fresh taste of his home-grown vegetables.
Todays gardeners may have those and other reasons to have a garden. Organic gardening has taken off as more people think that chemicals used by commercial farmers are unsafe and they want to be sure their vegetables are raised without chemicals.
Some gardeners value vegetables for their nutrition rather than buy produce that just looks good. commercial produces are limited to varities that may not have the best nutrition and taste.
A new trend is to grow garden plants that are highest in antioxidants, cancer fighting substances. Plants high in vitamin C include cantaloupe and honeydew melons, strawberries, broccoli, asparagus, and bell peppers. Plants high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds and broccoli. Vegtables high in beta carotene are carrots, potoatoes, cantaloupe, squash, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. For selenium, try onions and garlic.
Gardening for health includes not only gardening for nutrition--it could also include gardening for the exercise and for the satisfaction. Gardening is one of the most common hobbies. Obviously, many people feel gardening expresses their creativity and get satisfaction from producing something useful and enjoyable.
There is also the knowledge and awareness one can gain from learning about nature, nutrition, botany, the environment.... A garden that is well kept and integrated into the landscape can add value and be a good investment for a home or any piece of real estate. Add attractive fruit trees and grapevines and the garden becomes a long term asset.
Tomatoes can be started from seeds, however, ...