Vegetable Garden Reference Center

Vegetable Gardens . Edible Gardens . Sustainable Living


                                             


                                                                  


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Featured Articles

Seed Selection Tips
Selecting the Best Vegetable Seeds

Seed Selection

Start seed shopping early, winter is the best time to allow you to accumulate your seeds and plan out the details of your seed-starting and transplant schedules.

Compare selections from a variety of seed sellers not only to get the best price, but the highest quality as well.

Don't necessarily assume that seeds on sale are the best value, at times they are leftovers from last season that will not always germinate as well as seeds packaged for the current season.

Select seeds and plants that grow well in your specific area. Take into consideration not only the hardiness zone, but your micro climate as well. Do you live by the sea shore, a swampy area or a windy location ? Full Article



Vegetable Garden Plans
Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs
With Proper Planning

Good soil, adequate nutrients, water and sunlight are vital to a successful vegetable garden, these are indisputably the primary factors in the development of any plant. It is your job as the Gardener to put all these elements together for the end goal of a bumper crop.

  

Vegetable Garden Vision

Making a schematic or map of your garden is a good starting point. Familiarize yourself with your local climate and the vegetables and fruits that grow best there, Keep track of the seasonal calendar.

If you are planting from seeds, consult the Best Planting Dates for your region. See Frost Dates. If you're putting plants in the ground from a nursery or transplanting from a greenhouse. Full Article



Permaculture Basics What is Permaculture

Garden of Eden The original Permaculture

Permaculture is a philosophy of utilizing nature for the mutual benefit of both humans and the ecosystem. It involves observing natural functions and interactions of plants, birds, bees, bugs, toads, snakes, soil, rain, and all the elements and factors present in a natural setting and designing or actually redesigning them to suit our needs without destroying micro-ecosystems around us and ultimately the macro ecosystem. Summarized it is Emulating Nature to suit our needs. It is the essence of agricultural sustainability and represents a Utopian ambition of managing a new age Garden of Eden, Elysian fields or perhaps Xanadu

At times it can be frustrating as we endeavor to harness natural systems to work in harmony with our needs, but the long term rewards are beneficial not only to us but our planet and the critters we share it with. - Full Article




Gardening is better than Prozac and you get Tomatoes

Garden Mental Health

If you have ever gardened, you know it makes you feel good although you are not really sure why. The positive impact on your mental health is undeniable. It instills a sense of well-being and primitive euphoria almost as good as an orgasm. There is strong evidence of gardening being an effective treatment and preventative of mental illness.

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Sunflower Pin

Grow Magnificent Sunflowers

The sunflower is a member of one of the largest families of flowering plants - Compositae. The sunflower family has over 20,000 distinct species. The Compositae encompass a diverse array of species that includes perennials and annuals. Other members of the same plant family include marigolds, dandelions and daisies. Sunflower is commonly grown not only for its ornamental value - being a large and attractive flower, but also for its food value. Most commonly eaten is the seeds. The petals, leaves and the bud are also edible. The bud is steamed, and is similar to an artichoke.

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All America Selections - Sunflowers

Suntastic Sunflower

Ring of Fire Sunflower

Soraya Sunflower



Three Sisters Planting Method Doe's it Really Work?

A number of Native American tribes had varying versions of the 3 sisters legend. The Mohawk version of the Three Sisters is preserved in the booklet 'Three Sisters: Exploring an Iroquois garden'. Translating this ancient legend to reality is a tad more complicated than one might surmise. Timing plantings so that they coincide with each other is just fine in theory. It may have been easier for Native Americans as the crops they grew and methods they used differed from modern ones. Full Article

Three Sisters Planting Method

DIY Garden Soil Testing - Inexpensive Self Testing Your Gardens Soil Full Article

Little Boy Eating Dirt - not how to test your soil

A rich fertile soil is vital to growing the best fruits and vegetables, but how can you tell if your soil has the nutrients and minerals your plants need? Sending a soil sample to a lab will give you a comprehensive analysis of your soil structure breaking down the nutrients and deficiencies thereof. A soil analysis is the most efficient way to determine what you soil may be lacking in, However a laboratory soil analysis is not always feasible, particularly for the small backyard gardener.

Stop Tomato Blight with Copper Wire Doe's it Really Work?

Copper Wire Tomato Plants

Gardeners have lots of tips to improve their harvests, many sound absurd and border on quackery, many sound absurd and actually work.

Somewhere along the line, some DIY old school gardener came up with the brainstorm of placing copper wire in his/her tomato plants instead of spending their hard earned dough on expensive copper fungicides. Damn - what doesn't kill your tomato plant makes it stronger ?!

My basic knowledge stored in my personal gray matter includes a fragment that tells me copper is bad , copper is toxic. So does this trick really work? Full Article



Organic vs. Hydroponic Gardening

Hydroponics is it better?

There are those who believe that hydroponic gardening for most purposes is just as good as organic gardening. That statement is not a fact, it's an opinion. There are many growers that organically produce their crops in soil the way nature intended that would beg to differ.

Organic 'snobs' actually fight to keep hydroponic produce from being classified as Organic. The USDA has so far refused to consider allowing hydroponically produced food from being labeled as 'certified organic produce'. Hydroponic growers strive to feed their plants everything nature provides in the correct dosage via soluble nutrients added to a solution. Full Article