8/3/2019 Montana; Planting a Successful Home Vegetable Garden
For More Online MontGuides, Visit www.montana.edu/publications
MT 199502 AG revised 6/07
This guide covers basic garden planning and growing transplants, plus includes
a table with days to maturity, planting depth and spacing, projected yields andgermination temperatures for 40 common vegetables.
by Cheryl Moore-Gough, Extension Horticulture Specialist and R.E. Gough,
Proessor o Horticulture
a combination o warm and cool white uorescent bulbs toprovide supplemental light or grow lights, which provide theull spectrum o light waves. Space light bulbs about 2 inchesapart, center to center, and no higher than 18 inches above theplants. Leave them on rom 12 to 16 hours each day ater the
seedlings have emerged.Grow peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes in ats and
transplant them to the garden bare-root. Plant cell packs mayalso be used. Cucumber, squash, muskmelon and watermelondo not transplant well bare-root, so grow them in peat pots or
jiy pellets and transplant them to the garden with an intactsoil ball. Grow cabbage, cauliower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli,lettuce, and onion transplants either in ats or in containers.
I you use peat pots or transplanting, be sure the entirepot is buriedto prevent water loss rom soil around the plantthrough the wick action o the peat pot rim being exposedto the air. You can use Styrooam cups as growing containers
iyou punch drainage holes in their bottoms. Remove thesecontainers at planting.
Purchase a good soilless grow mix in which to raise yourtransplants or make one yoursel by mixing equal parts groundsphagnum moss and horticultural vermiculite or perlite. I theoliage o your seedlings turns yellow-green, water your plants
with a solution o 2 tablespoons o a ertilizer such as 202020 in a gallon o water.
Sow seeds o warm season vegetables 1/4 inch deep in rowsat the rate o 1 seed per inch o row i in ats, or 1-2 seeds percontainer. Wet the planting medium and allow excess water todrain beore planting. Dont over-water your seedlings.
Seeds o warm season crops such as eggplant and peppersgerminate astest at 8090F while those o other vegetablesgerminate better at 6080F. Ater emergence, reduce thegrowing temperature to 60F at night and 7075F duringthe day or most warm season crops. Cool season crops andtomatoes do well with 68 F day temperatures and 45 to 50 Fnight temperatures.
Pg SssHom Vg G
HaVinG a SucceSSful VeGetable Garden
depends not only upon how you garden but upon plantingenough o the right vegetables at the right time to supply youramilys needs.
Plant at the right time. Tis will vary with air temperature,
soil temperature and the needs o individual crops. Hardycrops like cabbage tolerate rosts and can be planted in earlyspring; tender crops like peppers dont tolerate rosts and needmore heat to mature properly, so plant them when the soil has
warmed to 60 F.
How you organize crops in the garden is also important.Plant tall vegetables like corn on the north or northeast side othe garden to reduce shading. Orient all rows in a north-southdirection to take advantage o the best sunlight distribution.Plant vegetables that need heavy watering in the all away romthose like onions, potatoes, and other root crops, which need tobe dry to be stored properly. Proper spacing between plants is
also important.Te table on pages 2 and 3 contains inormation about
average days to maturity, plant spacing, planting depth, averageyields, and planting dates or common vegetables.
Note the number o days to maturity on the seed packet tobe sure the cultivar will have time to mature beore the end othe season. o determine your rost-ree period, contact yourcounty Extension agent or use MontGuide 199308 AG, CanI Grow Tat Here?or EB165 - "A Montana Garder's Book ofDays". Te dates given or your locality represent average length
o growing seasons and the real season length can vary by plusor minus two weeks rom the length given.
Many tender vegetables cant mature in our short seasons; startplants indoors or buy transplants rom a local nursery or gardencenter.
I you grow your own transplants, give them adequate light.Te windowsill may appear bright enough but it isnt. Use