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The 10 Commandments of Veggie Gardening

  1. Thou shalt choose a garden site that gets 8 hours plus of sun per day.veggie seedlings
  2. Thou shalt amend the soil each year with good quality organic matter such as mushroom or steer manure, or well rotted compost.   Alternatively use a good quality, organically based fertilizer, and follow the instructions on the box.   Remember that healthy soil makes for healthy plants.   Lime where you will plant brocolli or cauliflower, but thou shalt not! !!! lime where you plant your potatoes.
  3. Thou shalt not work the soil when it is wet and sticky.   When the soil is dry, spread and then rototill or dig in your organic amendments.  Rake smooth and remove large rocks and other debris.
  4. Thou shalt buy fresh vegetable seeds from reputable companies, or use what your neighbourhood garden guru gives you.  At this time of year, you can start peas, carrots, broadbeans, chard, radishes,  bunching onions and potatoes.  All are easy to grow.  Wait until the weather warms up, or start inside the heat loving veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and corn.
  5. Thou shalt read your seed packets carefully, before buying and on planting day.  This will help avoid disappointment when your beans overtake the eggplants you have been babying all summer. 
  6. Thou shalt  gather your seeds, a rake, a hoe and a stringline, and smear on some sunscreen before heading out to the veg patch on a spring day.  It is best not to plant in the rain – the soil is so much harder to work, and the seeds harder to space when they are wet.
  7. Thou shalt follow the instructions on the seed packets to do with spacing and depth of planting.  Water freshly planted seeds but don’t drown them.
  8. Thou shalt weed, weed and weed!  Be careful around tender little seedlings – their roots are often shallow.
  9. Thou shalt follow the divine water schedule.  That is , do not water on rainy days, and water in the mornings on days when it is needed.  Most veggies need 1” of water per week, although young transplants need checking every day.  Celery and cauliflower especially need  regular watering.
  10. Thou shalt walk through your veggie garden every day, looking at your growing plants and keeping an eye out for disease or  pests.

 Last but not least!  Enjoy yourself and your veggies.  Picking your own dinner just outside your door is one of life’s greatest satisfactions.

Author: Lynne B. Source: Arts Nursery Ltd.

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