Friday, January 26, 2007

Grow Delicious Vegetables in Your Backyard

Grow Delicious Vegetables in Your Backyard

Small gardens can produce abundant food crops all summer long, and you can stock up for winter by canning and freezing your excess. Include your family; find out which vegetables they like best and then plan and plot the garden accordingly.

Most vegetable gardens are planted directly in their gardens rows. Indoors or out, seeds need covering with a disease-preventative dust for sale at garden stores. Otherwise seedlings can die before getting above the ground! Put a tiny amount directly into the seed packet and shake to lightly dust the seeds.

Depending on your climate some vegetable plants will do best if started early indoors. A head start helps tomatoes, peppers, celery and cabbage.

Start the seeds in shallow pots or boxes. Use 2 parts soil to one part sand and one part peat moss or vermiculite. Level it, firm it, and moisten. Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.

Keep the seed containers covered with paper or glass until the plants are up. Then move them to a sunny window. Keep the soil moist, preferably by watering through the bottom of the container. When the first true leaves appear, transplant to a bigger box or into individual plant bands. Allow 2 x 2 spacing between the plants.

Plants must be toughened for outdoor life before being moved to the garden. A cold frame is an ideal spot for this "hardening". Plants can also be placed on a shady porch out of the wind.

No comments: