You are definitely not alone. In the pursuit of fresh, organic produce, city-dwellers often have to suffice themselves with overpriced and subpar vegetables, greens and fruits from the supermarkets or grocery delivery apps. But, there is an easy solution. Why not grow your own vegetables? All you need are some planters, some potting soil, seeds or saplings and a little patience. You have got yourself a little garden that can fill up your plates with healthy food before you know it.
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Planting a vegetable garden is an enjoyable experience. With careful planning and preparation, you can have a good harvest. See individual vegetable pages for more information on growing specific crops in your home garden.
Do not prepare your soil for planting when it is too wet or too dry. If soil sticks to your shoes or shovel, it is too wet. Press a small amount of soil in your hand. When the moisture is right, the soil crumbles and breaks into small clumps. If it is too wet, it stays molded in a ball.
Rake the planting area after tilling or spading. A firm, fine seedbed is best, especially for small-seeded crops. Packing the soil too much could promote crusting of the soil surface and damage emerging seedlings.
Have your soil tested to find out the right amount of fertilizer or manure to apply before planting. A soil test will tell you if you need to add any lime, nitrogen, phosphorous or potassium to your soil. Timing is everything in the vegetable garden. Planting seeds at the right time ensures a bountiful harvest. Each crop has its own needs, including tolerance of cold temperatures.
The Midwestern Regional Climate Center has produced an up-to-date interactive map of first fall and last spring freeze dates.
You can sow early "cool-season" crops such as lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and onions right after preparing your garden plot. Cool season crops must mature before hot weather. Start these crops early indoors or buy plants from a garden center. Wait until after the last frost mid-to-late May before transplanting tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, summer squash, basil and similar "warm season" crops.
Warm season crops need a long growing season. They will not mature if seeded directly in the garden. Begin warm-season crops later than cool-season crops. You can seed cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelons earlier by placing hot caps over the soil one week before planting. Hot caps warm the soil and help those crops germinate more quickly.
Keep the hot caps on until the plants emerge and are growing vigorously. Transplanting always gives a head start on the season, which is a key benefit when considering Minnesota's short growing season. Some plants, such as radishes, carrots and beets, do not tolerate transplanting and will need to be direct seeded.
If you use hot caps, you may set out transplanted crops in the garden a week or two before it would otherwise be safe to do so. Remove the caps after the air temperatures rise during the day.
If you use paper hot caps, punch ventilation holes in the tops. High temperatures within the hot caps can kill young plants. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Home Yard and garden How-to Planting and growing guides Planting the vegetable garden. Planning your vegetable garden Timing is everything in the vegetable garden. Open all Close all. Cool season crops. Warm season crops.
Tender crops You can seed cucumbers, pumpkins and watermelons earlier by placing hot caps over the soil one week before planting. Starting plants indoors.
Starting seeds Start seeds indoors in plastic trays or peat pots that are three to four inches deep. A good soil mixture contains two parts loam, one part sand and one part organic matter. Thoroughly mix the soil in a wheelbarrow with a shovel and sift it through a one-fourth-inch mesh screen.
Premixed soil mixtures are available at garden centers. Fill the transplant tray or peat pots with the soil mixture and carefully firm the soil along the sides. After filling in the depressions, level the soil to about one-fourth-inch below the top. Firm the soil evenly. Sow two to three seeds in each tray cell or peat pot. Make a one-fourth to one-half-inch hole using a dibble tool or pencil with a tape mark to keep the depth consistent.
Cover the seeds lightly with sand, screened soil or vermiculite. Gently water the transplant trays using a fine screened watering tool to prevent washing the seeds out of the soil. Cover the transplant tray or peat pots with clear plastic and keep in a warm room until germination. Caring for seedlings As soon as the seedlings appear, remove the plastic cover and keep the seedlings in full sunlight or directly under fluorescent lights. Apply approximately one-fourth-cup of the solution to each seedling every two weeks until transplanting.
Rinse the seedlings with water after fertilizing to prevent leaf burn. Hardening and transplanting seedlings Transplanting always gives a head start on the season, which is a key benefit when considering Minnesota's short growing season. Hardening To harden or acclimate transplants: Shade them for a few days outside using either a lath house or shade cloth.
Slightly decrease watering, but not to the point of wilting. Hardening will reduce plant growth delay after transplanting, otherwise known as "transplant shock. Transplanting Transplant in late afternoon or on a cool, cloudy, calm day.
Water plants well before transplanting. Cut the soil between the plants with a knife so each plant can separate easily with a substantial root ball attached. You can transplant seedlings grown in separate containers without disturbing the roots. If you transplant seedlings in peat pots, make sure the top edge of the peat pot is not above the soil surface or the peat pot will act like a wick and rapidly draw the moisture from the root ball, stressing the plant. Scrape the dry surface soil from the planting area.
With a hand shovel, make a hole large enough to receive easily the root ball of the transplant. Firm the soil around the roots and water with the starter fertilizer solution.
Apply one-half-cup per plant at planting time. Hot caps If you use hot caps, you may set out transplanted crops in the garden a week or two before it would otherwise be safe to do so. Vincent A. Fritz, Extension horticulturist and Julie Weisenhorn, Extension educator. Share this page:. Page survey.
Gardening is a fun and easy nature adventure to do with kids of any age. Kids love getting messy, muddy and digging around in the earth. They also love being outside, being active, learning about new things and taking care of their very own project. All these things make gardening a perfect activity for kids. Today, we have the absolutely amazing Jemma of thimbleandtwig. There are so many great reasons to get kids involved in gardening. As outdoor activities go, gardening is a wonderful and well-rounded way to teach a valuable skill and connect kids to the earth.
You can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year. The two major planting (Ask your county Extension agent about So Easy to Preserve.).
Successful home gardening comes with careful planning and constant attention. Select the site carefully, plant at the correct time, use the right amount of fertilizer, use adapted varieties, and control pests. Select a site exposed to full sun. Too many gardeners try to grow vegetables in competition with trees, shade from buildings, or fences. The soil should be well drained and free of harmful chemicals, oil, ashes, mortar, etc. Soil Management. You can improve your garden soil by adding organic matter—compost, leaf mold, or well-rotted sawdust. Work it into the soil in the late fall. Lime and Fertilizer. A soil test is the best way to determine lime and fertilizer needs.
More Information ». Home garden vegetables can be grown abundantly in most areas of South Carolina with proper care. The number of home vegetable gardeners is steadily increasing in the state. Success or failure of home vegetable production can depend on many things, but some major reasons for failure are negligence, not following the proper instructions, and not keeping up with current vegetable developments.
When you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you get all the fun of gardening plus the garden-to-table goodness and nutrition that only comes with homegrown harvests.
Growing your own produce is a simple solution to numerous health, environmental, and economic problems. Whether you are growing a single tomato plant or have a large backyard garden, it is beneficial to your health, as well as the environments. When growing your own food, your diet is more diverse and healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food in its rawest, freshest form is not only the tastiest way to enjoy it, but also the most nutritional. The majority of produce sold in grocery stores go through a long process of being harvested, shipped and distributed to stores. Once distributed, the produce can end up staying in storage or on the shelf for an extended period of time before being purchased, losing nutritional value.
Detroit residents have ample choices for vegetables to grow in their gardens. Frost and cold weather are normal for the state, and the growing season is shorter than southern states. So, residents have to pick the best vegetables to grow in Detroit to ensure they reap a good harvest. A majority of the planting takes places in April or May, and fall crops can be planted in August. You want a majority of your garden area to receive full sun, and be sure to have well-draining soil. Urban gardening is growing in popularity through the Detroit area, as well as the suburbs beyond. Groups, such as Keep Growing Detroit, work to support urban farmers and provide resources. You can find urban farms, where you can purchase veggies or help grow them.
Gardening is not as easy as simply planting a seed or transplant and watching If you like to cook unusual foods, try vegetables that are.
A vegetable hand-picked from your own garden tastes better than anything you can buy in a store. And here in Florida, home gardeners can grow vegetables all year long. Home gardens are convenient and may encourage you and your family to eat more fresh vegetables.RELATED VIDEO: Vegetables and Herbs you can Grow from your Kitchen - Don't buy seeds
Ah, spring. The sun is shining, the trees are budding, and most importantly, the ground is thawing. Interested in growing your own fruits and veggies this season? Here are a few low-maintenance plants you can raise—even as a beginner. Honeydew is best planted in late spring, when the soil is warm. Dig out small moat-like circles around each mound.
M ost Australians love the sun and longer daylight hours of summer to play outdoors. The vegetables in this list are no different.
By: Jessica Brown Updated: Apr 7,Grocery store produce departments are filled with fruits and vegetables from countries such as Chile and South Africa, along with varieties from across the United States. Yet, many produce eaters are looking a little closer to home for their vegetables supplies -- their own yards. According to a recent National Gardening Survey, in , an estimated 70 percent of all U. This trend toward vegetable gardening can also be seen in a transition of residential yard environments. According to a recent survey in American Society of Landscape Architect, nearly one in five residential landscape architects are switching out regular grass for edible gardens [source: American Society of Landscape Architects ].
No backyard needed. For many of us, growing vegetables at home is starting to sound more and more appealing. It saves you a trip to the grocery store, and it's a great way to put your green thumb to work.