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How to Grow Vegetables

If you have never grown vegetables before the first thing that you need to decide is where to plant them in your garden. Most vegetables need 6-8 hours of sunlight a day although greens can manage with less.

Choose a site in an area that will not be shaded by buildings or trees and one that is near to a water supply. You will not want to have to cart water any further than absolutely necessary. Protect the site with a fence to keep out dogs, rabbits and other animals which can damage your crops.

To grow vegetables successfully the soil needs to be fertile, deep, friable and well drained. Unless you are very fortunate your soil is unlikely to meet these criteria, but over a period of time you will be able to increase the fertility of the soil by following good cultivation practices.

The first task is to dig over the whole of your site. Dig to a depth of 8-10 inches and continue working the soil making it loose and friable. Do not dig when the soil is too wet. How do you know? Squeeze together a handful of soil. If it sticks together in a ball and does not readily crumble under slight pressure by the thumb and finger, it is too wet.

The soil will be improved by the addition of organic matter. It helps release nitrogen, minerals, and other nutrients for plant use when it decays. Well-rotted compost or manure can be dug into the soil. Alternatively a mulch of partially rotted straw, compost or crop residue on the soil helps keep the soil surface in good condition, slows water evaporation from the soil, and suppresses weeds.

How to grow vegetables (continued)

 

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