Vegetable Gardening 101


Plant when the time is right. Some seedlings can be started when it is still quite cold outside, while other vegetable plants will only thrive as the weather heats up.

Start out on a small scale. Often, overenthusiastic new gardeners become quickly overwhelmed when they make their garden too big. A small area can actually be very productive.


Choose the area for your garden carefully. Most vegetables need lots of sunshine. Place your garden where the plants will have at least six hours of sun each day. It can also be very helpful to place your garden close to your home, especially if you live on a large piece of property. If you locate your garden too far away, it is easy to forget about it, and not properly tend to the plants. You will find that placing your garden near your house will also encourage you to make use of your harvest.


Rich, fertile soil will provide you with the best harvest. Prepare the soil in your garden to a depth of around 6 to 12 inches. Encourage your child to lend a hand. Visit your local gardening center for tools and gloves that are sized appropriately for children.

Aerate heavy soils with organic materials, such as compost, peat moss, manure or topsoil. Organic materials break down and decompose, providing your veggies with lots of nutrients Choose an all-purpose plant food (12-4-8) in slow-release form, and add to your soil prior to planting. Don't forget to keep all fertilizers and pesticides out of your child's reach. Remind them that these are to be used only with adult supervision.

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