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HOME & GARDEN: Tips for successful vegetable gardening
• Choose the easiest veggies to grow. Tomatoes, radishes, zucchini, carrots, peas, peppers and lettuce will help make your first attempt at vegetable gardening successful.
• Choose the sunniest spot. Vegetables need up to eight hours of direct sunlight in rich, well-drained soil. Start with a 6’ x 10’ plot to keep the size manageable. Use string to mark off rows running east to west for the best sun exposure.
• Plant at the right time. Your local county extension service can help guide you on what to plant and when.
• Control destructive pests. Aphids, mites, leafhoppers and mealybugs are the kinds of pests that eat veggies. Bayer Advanced™ Natria Multi-Insect Control kills harmful insects on contact and it’s made with canola oil. It’s for organic gardening (www.BayerAdvanced.com). Always read and follow label directions.
• Deep, infrequent watering is key: Stick your finger in the soil. If it’s dry, then water. One inch of water will wet sandy soil a foot deep and clay soil about five inches deep.
• Organic mulch helps keep the weeds out. It also decomposes, feeds the plants and keeps the soil loose and cool.
• Feed your veggies. Apply nitrogen fertilizer regularly, especially when they’re young.
You might consider sharing your great-tasting veggies with your neighbors. If they become interested in gardening, you can pool your resources, create your own neighborhood food co-op and save even more money.
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