12 Simple Steps for Starting a Vegetable Garden Donna Koczaja & Nicolas Tardif

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12 Simple Steps for Starting a Vegetable Garden Donna Koczaja & Nicolas Tardif http:extension.umd.edu/growit. Why d o people grow their own vegetables?. Flavor, freshness, pesticide-free Save money; learn new skills Health benefits Exercise, nutrition - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>12 Simple Steps for Starting a Vegetable GardenDonna Koczaja &amp;Nicolas Tardif</p></li><li><p>College ofAgriculture and Natural Resources</p></li><li><p>Why do people grow their own vegetables?Flavor, freshness, pesticide-freeSave money; learn new skillsHealth benefitsExercise, nutritionConnection to nature and family traditionsIntroduce youth to gardening</p></li><li><p>Planning is the key to success!Ask yourself</p></li><li><p>What do I want to grow?Tomato - productive and popularPepper - slow-growing but worth the waitCucumber - make them climb to save spaceSummer squash (zucchini) - feed the neighborhood! Bush bean - plant them twice for rolling harvestLettuce- grow best March-June and Sept.-Nov.Leafy greens - mustard, kale, collards, Asian greens, and Swiss chardThese crops do well in MarylandHG#70: Recommended Vegetable Cultivars for Md Home Garden </p></li><li><p>Where do I want to grow it?In-groundContainers Edible landscapeCombination of all three??</p><p>Herb Garden at the UMd PG County Extension Office </p></li><li><p>How much time do I want to spend on it?Every garden takes work, but you can get great results with just a little effort</p><p>One container: few minutes/day</p><p>Or, the other extreme</p></li><li><p>all Sunday afternoon to cook, process, dry, and freeze the harvest from the week! 15x25 main garden + 15x3 edible landscape plus10 containers + fruit bushes and trees = 30 minutes/day maintenance plus</p></li><li><p>In shortConsider available space, time, mouths to feed, and motivationAlways best to start small</p><p>Good planning will save you time, work, and $</p><p>Here we go!!!</p></li><li><p>12 Simple Steps - Follow the 4 PsPlan1. Type of garden2. Size and costs3. LocationPrepare4. Soil testing5. Soil prep6. Soil improvingPlant7. Seeds vs. Transplants8. How to plant seeds9. Using transplantsProduce10. Feed and water11. Weeds &amp; Disease12. Harvest!</p></li><li><p>1. What type of vegetable garden?In-ground - convert turfgrass to vegetablesContainers - on back step, deck, balcony or along driveway, etcEdible landscape - pepper, cabbage, Swiss chard, etc. mixed into ornamental bedsCombination of all three??</p><p>Another option: rent a plot in a community garden</p></li><li><p>2. Size and costOnly buy what you really need; be resourcefulMany opportunities for giving recyclable materials a new lifeAn 8 ft. X 8 ft. raised bed garden with 48 sq. ft. of growing space can produce $175-300 of fresh produce and cost about $120 to build (without tools).</p></li><li><p>3. LocationLevel ground; close to water source.Southern exposure; tallest plants on North side. At least 6-8 hrs. of direct sun.Protection from critters.Critter protection</p></li><li><p>4. Testing the soilWell-drainedFriable - deep, crumbly; allows for maximum root growth.Test your soil; 6.0-6.8 is preferred range for soil pH.Send sample to a regional soil testing laboratory (HG#110,#18)Amend soil as necessary (HG#42)pH too low: add liming materials (e.g., calcium)pH too high: add sulfur</p><p>Urban/suburban soils are often low quality soils</p></li><li><p>5. Preparing the soil Kill sod and control weeds- Dig up the area by hand or with a tiller ORCover area with newspaper or cardboard, and cover with leaves, and compost</p></li><li><p>Digging &amp; LooseningSlicing off sodTurning soilLoosening subsoil </p></li><li><p>Sheet compost your way to a vegetable garden Start in fall for spring planting</p><p> If start later, layer with newspaper instead of cardboard for faster breakdown of materials</p></li><li><p>Raised beds</p><p>some advantages Warm up quickly in spring.Drain well; less compaction and erosion.Increase available rooting area. Can produce greater yields per square foot.</p><p>and some disadvantagesUp-front labor and expenseUse top soil for best resultsDry out quickly if weather is hot and dry.</p></li><li><p>Container Gardening (HG#600)Use just about anything that can hold soilDo NOT fill with soil from the groundToo heavy and compact not enough drainageUse: commercial potting soils, soil-less mixesPlant crop in appropriate size container, e.g:Tomatoes, broccoli require 4-5 gallonPeppers, cucumbers, onions require 1-3 gallonPlace in sunny locationWater frequentlyFertilize if potting soil isnt self-feedingHG#601: Grow Your Own Greens with Salad Tables &amp; Boxes</p></li><li><p>6. Improving the soil with organic matterRegular additions of organic matter will improve soil structure and create a reservoir of slow-release nutrients.Sources: manure, compost, shredded leaves, grass clippings, organic mulches, plant roots, cover crops, buried kitchen scraps, store-bought garden soilLarge amounts of organic matter may be needed for several years.Thereafter, 1 in. of compost will help maintain high yields</p><p>HG#35 Backyard Composting</p></li><li><p>7. Seeds vs. Transplants?SeedsPros: cost-effective, more variety1 pack of seeds for $1 may last 2-3 yearsCons: more work, take longer to produce, greater risk of failureIf starting seeds indoors, 2 weeks (lettuce) to 8 weeks (eggplant) from seeding to transplant outsideTransplantsPros: less work, ready to plant when you areCons: more expensive, origin may be unknown, limited variety to buySome mail-order companies will mail transplants</p></li><li><p>8. How to plant seedsRake the soil smooth.Make a shallow furrow to plant a single row. Or sprinkle seeds over a wide row or bed (broadcasting).Dont plant too deep! Barely cover seeds with to in. of soil.Plant seeds at the recommended spacing, thin as needed Mounds: with a hoe create a small hill ~18 diameter, plant 4-5 seeds on top and thin to 2-3 plants when establishedZucchini, cucumbers, melons do well this wayTamp down on the soil for good seed to soil contactWater, and keep soil moist (but not soggy)</p></li><li><p>9. Using transplantsHarden off before planting outdoorsTransplants fill the space quickly; no need to thin.Dont plant too close!Fertilize after planting; water every day. When to use transplants: tomato, pepper, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, herbs.You can also grow or buy melon, squash, kale, lettuce, and other veggie transplants, but these are all relatively easy to start from seed</p></li><li><p>Spacing issuesCorrect spacing for big onionsOkra plants are too tightDont crowd! More plants will not necessarily improve yield (may reduce quality).</p></li><li><p>Stake/supportGrow vining crops up to save space (easier to pick, too!)Peppers &amp; tomatoes need support for heavy fruiting</p></li><li><p>10. Feed and waterUse garden fertilizers according to label directions.Organic and chemical fertilizers that are over-applied can burn plant leaves and roots, reduce fruiting, invite insect pests, and pollute waterways.Water the roots, not the leaves. Keep the root zone of your garden moist.Preferable to water in early morningUse drip irrigation or a soaker hose to save time and water.Most vegetables need 1 water/weekHG#42: Soil Amendments &amp; Fertilizers</p></li><li><p>11. Weed &amp; Disease ManagementWeeds are plants that thrive in disturbed soil.Best control methods:Manual: hand-pull, sharp hoeMulch: grass clippings, newspaper covered with straw, shredded leaves, compostCrop cover: dense planting of crops shades out weedsOther methods: vinegar, flame weeder, commercial herbicidal soapDisease/pest controlNot all pests are bad; use non-chemical control methodsFor specific problems:Visit and search HGIC and Grow It Eat It websitesCall Home &amp; Garden Information Center Hotline</p></li><li><p>12. Harvest!Besides enjoying your vegetables fresh (and sharing them with your neighbors and local soup kitchens), there are myriad ways to preserve your harvest to enjoy year round.CanningFreezingOr all three!Drying</p></li><li><p>Schedule (when to do what!*)January/February: get seed catalogs, plan your gardenMarch/early April: prepare soil cultivate, mix in organic matter, start seedlings indoorsLate March/April: plant cool-weather crops outdoors, mulchMay (Mothers Day rule): plant warm-weather crops (seeds and transplants) outdoors, mulchJune/July/August: nurture, water, fertilize, harvest!August: plant cool-weather crops for fall harvest, preserve your vegetables for winter enjoymentFall: start sheet composting over turf for new garden next year, clean up existing beds, mulch for the winter</p><p>*In Marylands climate</p></li><li><p>Planting Schedule**in central Maryland, last spring frost typically mid April, first fall frost typically late October GE 007- Spring Planting Guide for Vegetables: A Dynamic Chart for Maryland GardenersGE 008- Vegetable Planting Calendar for Central Maryland</p><p>Sheet1</p><p>februarymarchaprilmayjunejulyaugustseptoctober</p><p>Tomato</p><p>Sweet Bell Pepper</p><p>Cucumber</p><p>Squash (zucchini)</p><p>Onion</p><p>Garlic</p><p>Snap Bean</p><p>Radish</p><p>Lettuce</p><p>Broccoli</p><p>seed inside:</p><p>seen in ground:</p><p>Transplant in ground</p><p>Sheet2</p><p>Sheet3</p></li><li><p>Keep the harvest coming with succession plantingRequires planningTransplants fill the space quicklySpecial attention to water and nutrient needsFloating row cover for protection from pests and excessive heat</p></li><li><p>Succession planting examplesGarlic (11/1)-cucumbers (7/1)-oats/clover (9/20)Peas/favas (3/1)-squash (6/1)-kale (9/1)Lettuce (3/20)-green beans (5/15)-broccoli (8/1)Radish (3/1)-Asian greens (4/15)-eggplant (6/1)-rye (9/15)Cucumber (4/15)- green bean (7/1)-spinach (9/20)</p></li><li><p>Fertilizing tipsNitrogen is nutrient most often in short supply. Use one of the meals (kelp, fish, cottonseed, alfalfa) to supplement N from organic matter.Follow label directions.Organic fertilizers can be over-applied and burn plants or stimulate excessive leaf growth at the expense of fruit.Add 1 inch of compost each year to contribute to long-term nutrient reservoir.</p></li><li><p>Most commonly available commercial organic fertilizersFish emulsion: 6-2-2Seaweed extract: 1-.5-2Bloodmeal: 15-1-0Cottonseed meal: 6-2.5-1.5Guano: 8 to 13-8-2Bone meal: 4-21-0Rock phosphate: 0-22-0Alfalfa meal: 3-1-2</p></li><li><p>Synthetic mulchesBlack plastic mulch warms the soil for earlier, higher yields of warm-season crops.Red plastic mulch may produce higher yields of tomato than black plastic.Landscape fabric warms soil and allows water and air into soil. Can be re-used. </p></li><li><p>Join the Grow it Eat it Network!A program brought to you by UME Master Gardeners and the Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC)</p><p>Goals:teach people how to grow foodincrease the number of Maryland food gardenerscreate a network of food gardeners who will keep learning and sharing through classes, workshops, events, web site, blog</p></li><li><p>Resources</p><p>Grow It! Eat It!http://www.extension.umd.edu/growitWe have all types of practical food gardening tips and information. Check out our popular blog!Home and Garden Information Centerhttp://www.extension.umd.edu/hgicHere you will find factsheets, photos, and videos. You can also subscribe to the free monthly e-newsletter.We answer gardening questions 24/7just click Ask Marylands Garden Experts Maryland Master Gardener Programhttp://www.extension.umd.edu/mgConsider becoming a trained MG volunteer!</p></li><li><p>This program was brought to you by the Maryland Master Gardener Program______ CountyUniversity of Maryland Extension</p><p>WelcomeIntroduce yourself and the MG program to the audience. We are part of Maryland Cooperative Extension- an outreach education arm of the University of Maryland. Our topic is starting a successful vegetable garden.*These are some of the main reasons people start and maintain gardens. There is a deep human need to connect to the soil, plant seeds, and then nourish your body with the harvest. The recession has lots of us trying to reduce expenses and become more self-reliant. Some seed companies had record sales last year and expect heavy demand in 2009. In 2008 we received a huge number of requests for information about starting vegetable gardens. </p><p>From Eat This Not That: Supermarket Survival Guide (David Zinczenko w/ Matt Goulding)Our fruits and vegetables arent as healthy as they once were: Researchers in a study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition tested 43 different garden crops for nutritional content and discovered that 6 out of 13 nutrients showed major declines between 1950 and 1999: protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Researchers say the declines are probably due to farmers efforts to achieve higher yields and plants that grow faster and can be picked earlier. As a result, the plants arent able to make or take in nutrients at the same rate.*Picture: tomato plant.There is a way for everyone to grow something to eat.</p><p>There is one type of garden you wont find in Maryland: a no-work vegetable garden. It takes time- especially the first year when you are breaking new ground and getting established. Timing is everything. If you have a good plan and give your garden a little time and attention each day you can produce a lot of food.</p><p>*Do you want to ensure a steady supply of salad greens? Are you psyched about the idea of having enough cucumbers for pickling? Are you most interested in tomatoes and basil for great Italian dishes? Does your family go bonkers for fresh green beans (youll want to plant some every 2-3 weeks from mid-May through July?)</p><p>Common-sense: dont spend money on products or tools you really dont need. Saving seeds saves you money.Cost of tools: 4-tine digging fork- $25-35; garden spade- $25-30; metal rake- $15-20; hoe- $15-20; mattock/pick axe- $30; seeds- $2/packet on average; 1.5 cu. Ft. bag of Leafgro - $4; essentials: garden gloves ($5), hand shovel ($2)</p><p>$100 tomato joke- $5 for the biggest plant at the garden center; $10 for special tomato fertilizer; $20 for special Japanese tomato trellis; $30 for unnecessary pesticides to kill whatever is causing those brown spots on the bottom of the fruits (blossom-end rot!); $10 for a Wall o Water to protect it; $5 for a second plant because the first plant was killed one cold April night when a mouse chewed on the Wall o Water letting the water out; $10 to buy 2 lbs. of tomatoes on June 20 at the farmers market and $10 to ship them to your brother in Trenton who bet you $1 he could produce the first home-grown tomato in the family. At least you won the bet!!</p><p>We could tell you to only plant high value crops- expensive to buy in the store. But what if you love the flavor and texture of new potatoes? You should grow them. Also, potatoes used to be fairly inexpensive in the supermarket. No longer**Aspect- compass direction that the garden faces; distance and direction from trees, hills, and buildings; cant change easilySoil type- texture, structure, fertility, drainage; can always be improvedSlope- can be very difficult for planting annual crops; loss of soil, water, and nutrients; terracing recommended</p><p>Notice that this garden is fenced with polywire hooked up to a solar-powered fence charger. It is also terraced to create level planting surface. Also, tallest crops (tomatoes) are to the North of the pepper plants.One set of definitions regarding micro-climates:</p><p>The cages over the strawberry boxes in the smaller picture keep the birds out.*Deep, rich soil that allows for un-impeded growth is critical. (Soils with well-formed crumbs have high number of large and small pore spaces to allow for good movement of roots, water, air, and soil critters.)</p><p>Note that adding lots of manure can drive up soil pH, so check it every 3 years. All gardeners should have their soil tested for lead levels prior to garde...</p></li></ul>