Planting a vegetable garden can be an ongoing process. Even once you’ve set up your garden, there’s still plenty of work to do. Each variety of vegetable has its own requirements in terms of space, timing and care. To help you out we’ve compiled a list of tips for a number of common veggies.
- Plant in very late winter (about 2 weeks before frosts end) and continue planting every two weeks until midsummer. Carrots can be planted up to 12 weeks before frosts start.
- Miniature carrots grow fast and are very sweet and fresh.
- Sow the seeds about a quarter inch deep and 2 inches apart, in double or triple rows.
- Carrots can be harvested whenever they reach a size you desire, though the longer they’re left the sweeter they’ll become.
- Start planting in late winter (about 2 weeks before frosts end), or early autumn (around 8 weeks before the first frost).
- Plant seeds a quarter of an inch deep, and an inch apart. They can be scattered quite freely rather than in rows.
- Harvest lettuce in the morning as it will be full of water from overnight and put it straight into the fridge. Use scissors to get a few leaves at a time, or pull up baby plants to make space for others to grow larger.
- Crisphead lettuces such as iceberg varieties are easy to grow.
- Start planting two weeks before your last frost. It takes two to three weeks for potatoes to emerge from the ground, so make sure you start early if you want a decent yield.
- Plant in one inch or so of loose soil or mulch so that the sprouts can find their way to the surface.
- Harvest whenever the spuds are big enough.
- Try other tuber vegetables such as kumara and yams.
- Cucumbers like warm (but not too hot!) temperatures, so start planting during spring for a sweeter summer yield.
- Give plenty of water – they are thirsty vegetables.
- Use a plastic cover over the seedlings to boost early growth. Warm temperatures will produce sweet fresh cucumbers.
- Harvest when they reach desired size.
- Space seedlings out so they have plenty of room to grow.
- Select a space that will get as much sunlight as possible – tomatoes need at least 10 hours of direct sunlight per day
- Once they take off, trim the bottom three inches of leaves to prevent fungal infections.
- Trim any non-fruiting branches to concentrate the plant’s energy into the fruits.
- A greenhouse or simple plastic covering will help tomatoes grow. They are very frost tender, so only start when frosts are over.
With planning and effort, planting a vegetable garden can be done by anyone. Get started growing healthy and delicious veggies for an extended season.
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