Starting a Successful Vegetable Garden

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Starting a Successful Vegetable Garden. Subtitle Jon Traunfeld- jont@umd.edu. Why do people grow vegetables?. Flavor, freshness, pesticide-free Save money; learn new skills Health benefits exercise, nutrition, phytochemicals Connection to nature and family traditions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>Starting a Successful Vegetable Garden</p><p>Jon Traunfeld- jont@umd.edu</p></li><li><p>College ofAgriculture and Natural Resources</p></li><li><p>Why do people grow vegetables?Flavor, freshness, pesticide-freeSave money; learn new skills Health benefits exercise, nutrition, phytochemicalsConnection to nature and family traditionsIntroduce youth to gardening</p><p> v</p></li><li><p>Join the Grow it Eat it Network!A program brought to you by Maryland Master Gardeners and the Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC)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>We teach a common-sense, ecological approachRely on locally available materials and resources- (rocks, leaves, animal manure).Feed the soil (with organic matter) to increase garden productivity.Maximize biological and genetic diversity to strengthen your garden eco-system. Example: Plant an assortment of annual flowers and herbs to attract and feed beneficial insects.</p></li><li><p>Ingredients for first year successGood, deep soil; add organic matter.Give your plants the nutrients, water, and sunlight they need.Prevent weeds from growing.Make a plan; give it a little time each day Observe and take notesENJOY!</p></li><li><p>What type of vegetable garden?In-ground- convert turfgrass to vegetablesContainers- on back step, deck, or balcony or along driveway Edible landscape- pepper, cabbage, Swiss chard, etc. mixed into ornamental bedsCombination of the first three</p></li><li><p>Vegetable crops5-10 plant families may be represented in the average garden (almost all of our vegetable crops are non-native- not even from North America!)Most are annuals with a life cycle somewhere between 25 days (radish, baby greens) to 110 days (big pumpkins.)Require good growing conditions to produce high yields.Can be incorporated into ornamental landscape.</p></li><li><p>Making a planGood planning will save you time, work, and $Garden size; how big?- consider time, space, mouths to feed, motivationAlways best to start smallWhat should I growEasy cropsWhat your family will eat</p></li><li><p>7 good crops for startersTomato- productive and popularPepper- slow-growing but worth the waitCucumber- make them climb to save spaceSummer squash- feed the neighborhood! Bush bean- plant them twiceLettuce- grow best March-June and Sept.-Nov.Leafy greens- mustard, kale, collards, Asian greens, and Swiss chard (grows during hot weather) </p></li><li><p>Sample 8 ft. X 8 ft. garden8 ft.3 ft.Two raised beds- 8 ft. X 3 ft. with a 2 ft. path in the middle</p><p>Time: late May</p><p>Both beds could have been planted in salad greens from April 1 through mid-May</p><p>2 cuke plants1 squash plant</p></li><li><p>Can I really save $?Yes, but have you heard the one about the $100 tomato?Only buy what you really need; be resourcefulAn 8 ft. X 8 ft. garden with 48 sq. ft. of growing space should produce $175-300 of fresh produce</p></li><li><p>Picking a siteLevel ground; close to water source.Southern exposure; tallest plants on North side.Protection from critters.</p></li><li><p>Digging and aerating tools </p></li><li><p>Soil prep Kill sod and control weeds- Cover area with newspaper or cardboard, and cover with leaves, and compost ORDig up the area by hand or with a tiller</p></li><li><p>Soil prepSlicing off sodTurning soilLoosening subsoil </p></li><li><p>Sheet compost your way to a vegetable garden</p></li><li><p>You need good soilWell-drainedFriable- deep, crumbly; allows for maximum root growth.Regular additions of organic matter will improve soil structure and create a reservoir of slow-release nutrients.Test your soil; 6.0-6.8 is preferred range for soil pH.Urban/suburban soils are often low quality soils</p></li><li><p>Ways to add organic matterFarmyard manure (fall)CompostShredded leaves and grass clippingsOrganic mulchesPlant rootsCover crops</p><p>Large amounts of organic matter may be needed for several years.Thereafter, 1 in. of compost will help maintain high yields.</p></li><li><p>Cover crops improve and protect soilsIncrease soil organic matter. Mine the soil for nutrients. Protect soil from erosion.</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 food production per square foot.and some disadvantagesUp-front labor and expense.Dry out quickly if weather is hot and dry.Dont work on slopes, unless terraced.</p></li><li><p>Raised bed basics2-4 ft. wide; usually 6-8 above grade; can be bordered with wood, stone, brickInstant raised bed filled with a purchased soil/compost mix</p></li><li><p>Good info on most seed packets</p></li><li><p>Growing healthy transplants </p></li><li><p>Intensive gardening: getting the most per square foot</p><p>Close plantingVertical growthInter-plantingSuccession/relay planting</p></li><li><p>How close is too close??Correct spacing for big onionsOkra plants are too tight</p></li><li><p>Interplant to maximize productionpurslane is edible!</p></li><li><p>Mustard greens on north side of tomatoes</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>An entire raised bed of Asian leafy greens. </p></li><li><p>Get the most from every square foot: 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>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>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>Weed managementWeeds are plants that thrive in disturbed soil.Best control methods:crop coverhand-pullsharp hoemulchOther methods: vinegar, flame weeder, commercial herbicidal soap.</p></li><li><p>Organic mulches Prevent weed growth.Moderate soil temperatures.Conserve soil moisture.Add to soil organic matter.Should be spread after soil warms up.Can provide habitat for pests along with beneficial critters.</p><p>Examples: grass clippings, newspaper covered with straw, shredded leaves, compost</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>Drip irrigation: saves time and water</p></li><li><p>Growing up: using vertical spaceIncrease yields per sq. ft. Fewer fruit problems; easier to pick, water, and spray.Adds complex texture to garden; enhances ecosystem (shading, micro-climates.)</p></li><li><p>Fence out the critters</p></li><li><p>Container vegetables 8 cu. ft. of growing mediaWhiskey barrel- 1-2 plant capacity</p></li><li><p>EarthBox- self-watering container</p></li><li><p>Univ. of MD Salad Table: Growing salad greens at waist height March-November</p></li><li><p>Mixed greens cut at 1 above soil line</p></li><li><p>University of MD Salad Box</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 ProgramHoward CountyUniversity of Maryland Extension</p><p>You can edit your own title, sub title, author and email.**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. *So right at the end of last year we came up with the GE campaign as a way to address this issue. Master Gardeners across the state are teaching classes like this one. The HGIC is our partner in this. They add new information every day on the GE web site and answer questions by phone and e-mail. All of our contact information is on the next to last slide Ill show you and on the hand-outs you received.</p><p>We can also help you learn to grow fruit and herbs, but this class will be on vegetables. *We dont want to get too hung up on labels. We could substitute organic and sustainable for ecological.1. Rocks from your yard can form the sides of a raised bed; leaves from neighborhood trees can be shredded and added to the garden to improve soil quality and plant growth. Why buy dried steer manure from out west when there are locally available sources.2. Feed the soil and the soil will feed the plants. Adding organic matter is one of the most important things you can do as a gardener. OM improves the structure of the soil so that its easier to work with, holds water and nutrients and improves root growth.3.Diversity is another key to success. Different types of organic matter added to the soil will increase the diversity of critters in the soil. This ultimately benefits plant growth. What is a Sustainable Garden:Sustains itself through reliance on inherent resources; mimics natural eco-system.Needs a minimum of purchased inputs and relies on locally-available materials. Its not sustainable to buy compost or chicken manure from 5 states away when we have plenty in Maryland.Builds soil health (feeding the soil food web and recycling nutrients). Also, keep the soil covered (when you are not tilling or turning) with plants, mulch, cover crop, leaves, etc.Increases biological diversity above and below ground- plants, insects, microbial lifeDoes not pollute; strengthens the community eco-system. Requires knowledge, planning, and timing.There is no need to use chemical insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides in a vegetable garden.</p><p>What is Organic Gardening: no chemical fertilizer or pesticide. No rules (list of allowed and not allowed materials) for gardeners- just for farmers who are part of the National Organic Program. More info on organic gardening and farming and a list of certified organic farmers in MD is on the GE web site. Organic doesnt mean simply substituting purchased organic pesticides and fertilizers for synthetic products.</p><p>**This is especially important for vegetable crops because they are mostly annuals and mostly relatively shallow-rooted. For maximum growth, yield, and eating quality, they must be grown at a rapid pace with no major checks in growth. Providing water and nutrients when needed by plants is also very critical.</p><p>Other ingredients for success-fresh seed/health transplants; planting and harvesting at the correct time; monitoring for plant and pest problems.MD growing conditions: growing season days- 150 (Garrett Co.) to 225 (Lower Eastern Shore); four distinct seasons; quick changes in weather; wide range of soils- (many urban and suburban soils are greatly changed from native soils.)A wide range of warm and cool season crops can be grown (with planning and care.)</p><p>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>**Can you name a native vegetable? Jerusalem artichoke (a relative of sunflowers) is about it- and it originated on the American Plains!Native fruits are a different story: blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, crabapple, elderberry, fox grape (Vitis labrusca)Here you can introduce various schemes for classification- by plant families; cool-season and warm-season; annuals, biennials, perennials; crops that are grown for leaves, fruits, roots, stems or combinations thereof, etc. 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>*Refer to revised HG #70 Recommended Cultivars fact sheet for list of cultivars AND to see which crops do well in containers and less than full sun.*This garden can produce: 30 lbs. of tomatoes; 8 lbs. of snap beans (planted twice); 8 lbs. of cukes; 3 lbs. of squash; 5 lbs. of pepper; 10 lbs. of lettuce (planted twice); 15 lbs. of leafy greens (planted twice). These are moderate yields. </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>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</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:Macro- weather over 30 or more yearsMeso- climate as affected by to...</p></li></ul>