Project List: Vegetable Gardening
Everyone loves the fresh tastes and cooking possibilities from having your own vegetables. Most growers will want to use organic growing practices to maximize nutrition. Start with high-quality soil and plant by seed or transplant at the proper time, and you’ll enjoy the rewards from growing your own food.
The first season can be more difficult with smaller yields, but have patience! Choose your site carefully – vegetables need at least 6 hours of sun, and preferably 8 or more. Plan for ease of frequent maintenance. Amend and plant directly, or use raised beds, which give you much greater success with many plants due to increased drainage and ease of soil turning. Larger containers can also work for many types of vegetables.
Don’t treat your soil like dirt! Vegetables need the best soil health you can give them in order to get the best results. For containers, try our NHG Organic Potting Soil. For raised beds or in-ground situations, use a ready-made mix, your own compost and recipe, or try ours. A Garden Advisor can give you ratios and quantities needed for your gardening situation:
Soil Mix – (for raised beds or containers)
- Mayer Raised Bed and Garden ___
NHG Recipe – (for raised beds; omit Topsoil if planting in-ground)
- Soil Mender Topsoil ___
- Soil Mender Garden Soil Builder ___
- Vital Earth Organic Compost ___
- Soil Mender Cow Manure ___
Fertilizer – add an organic vegetable food to all mixes at 2 lbs per 100 sq ft:
- Espoma Garden-tone ___
- Espoma Tomato-tone ___
- Texas Tee (add to in-ground situations to give additional nitrogen) ___
Thoroughly blend your chosen materials together, moisten it as needed, and plant.
Mulch – water first, then add a 2 – 3” layer of organic mulch. Choices include pine straw, cedar, hardwood & others. Afterward, lightly water again. Do not mulch areas to be seeded.
Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus ___
- An organic soil bacteria jump-starter, food, & bio-stimulant for new soils
Dried Molasses ___
- Adds needed sugars to boost the population & activity of soil bacteria
Liquid Seaweed ___
- Supplies trace nutrients and a good pest repellent; apply as a drench or spray
Texas Greensand ___
- Supplies potassium, iron, and other trace nutrients; ideal for root crops
Horticultural Corn Meal ___
- Increases soil quality and helps to prevent possible fungal diseases
Epsom Salts ___
- Supplements magnesium, required for plant growth & ideal for tomatoes; apply dry, or drench or spray in a solution
SECOND SEASON AND THEREAFTER
Be patient; as your soil improves, things will get better over time!
- Watch for earthworms to appear as the soil ages, and the nutrients become more
available to your plants.
- It is normal for the soil to settle, and the organic matter to be used up by the plants each season. Add additional prepared soil mix, or the Compost, Garden Builder and manure, fertilize again, moisten and turn prior to starting the next planting season.
- If a larger volume is needed, start with Topsoil. See a Garden Advisor for rates.
- Unless seeding, make sure the mulch layer is maintained at all times.
- Monitor your growing garden carefully– daily if possible—for potential pest and disease problems to catch them early and maximize your harvests.